Speaking to call the cat people out there: here’s everything you need to know to have an amazing time at the cat café in Edinburgh…
254731 things you need to know about the cat cafe in Edinburgh coming right up!
Let’s talk cat cafes. If you’re a cat lover then the thought of hanging out with a bunch of cute kitties for an hour or so is probably up there as one of the number one activities you can do in your spare time. Right?
Me too. As a cat person who actually owns a dog I actually really miss having a cat as a pet. My pup is remarkably cute, but hanging out with little fuzzy feline friends for an hour or so would also be really lovely.
Take last week for example: I was out running and this cute cat literally stopped me in my tracks. It sprawled on the ground in front of me, presented its belly to be tickled, and then nudged its head into mine and begged to be stroked. I didn’t say no. As someone who constantly has to defend the merits of cats to my dog-loving boyfriend, this encounter really brought it home how much I missed cats. The purring, the nuzzling, the rolling around, the funny little chirping sounds they make when they’re happy… they really are the best pets.
That’s why I was super excited to visit the cat cafe in Edinburgh, Maison de Moggy, a few weeks ago.
Maison de Moggy: what do you need to know?
So what should you know about Maison de Moggy in Edinburgh? Well, it’s the ONLY cat café in Edinburgh and it’s the first cat café in Scotland. There are two other cat cafes in Scotland now. Cats Meow Kittea Café in Stirling and Purrple Cat Café in Glasgow. I’ve not been to either of them. However, once things open up again and we can travel around again I would love to visit them. The more cat cafes you can go to the merrier, I’d say. The first cat café I ever went to was when I lived in Shangai a few years ago and it was brilliant!
So what else can I say about Maison de Moggy? Well, I had already done a little bit of research on this cat café before I visited. I knew they had a wide variety of cats to hang out with in the cafe, which definitely made my ears prick up. It’s definitely not just your usual range of moggies – there are some serious pedigree pets here in this cat cafe. More on that below.
I also knew that Maison de Moggy gets brilliant reviews on Tripadvisor. Pretty much every review there is gushing with enthusiasm, so I was sure I’d have a great time. Having walked past it before many times, I also knew that Maison de Moggy looks pretty much as inviting as you can get from the outside. If cat-shaped signage, pastel blue paintwork and swirling white lettering doesn’t work for you I don’t know what will.
You do only get 60 minutes per session, so here’s how to make the most of it…
What is a cat café?
Before we go any further let’s just hold the bus a sec and clarify what a cat café actually is. You might think it’s obvious. Maybe it is! But there are over 140,000,000 results for the search query ‘what is a cat café?’ on Google so it’s clear that some people out there don’t know. No judgement from me, but I guess it means that people might have some expectations about cat cafes that aren’t true. So this seems like as good a time as any to clear those up. So let’s get on with a little myth busting when it comes to cat cafes…
Myth 1) You bring your own cat to a cat café
No – unfortunately you can’t bring your own cat to cat cafes. Just think how they’d react to a) being taken out of their home and b) being forced to hang out with all these other strange cats.
Myth 2) The first cat café originated in Japan
The first cat café actually opened in Taipei in Taiwan, way back in 1998! However, the idea was popularised in Japan and between 2005 and 2010, 79 cat cafes opened in Japan.
Myth 3) You can bring cat treats to feed the cats in the cat café
Nope, sorry. The cats all have their own diet so you can’t feed them anything.
Myth 4) Cat cafes have rescue cats at them
Well, having dug around on the great ol’ place that is the internet it turns out that some cat cafes DO rehome rescue cats if they can’t find a permanent home. However, not this one.
Myth 5) You can adopt the cats at a cat café
Not at this one – much to my disappointment. I would take them all home!
Myth 7) Cat cafes are cruel
There are different opinions on this and you have to make your own mind up. The Cats Protection takes a pretty dim view of them. International Cat Care has a more positive view, saying, “It is a difficult environment to get right but it’s not impossible by any means”. For my part, all the cats in the cat cafe in Edinburgh seemed to be really content and well looked after. I’m sure if they weren’t happy they’d let you know about it!
What kinds of cats do they have at the cat cafe in Edinburgh?
As I mentioned, one of my favourite things about the cat cafe in Edinburgh is the sheer variety of cats they have there. Not only that, they’re all pretty exciting breeds. The cat I was most excited about seeing was their resident Sphynx cat, Elodie. Maison de Moggy is one of the ONLY cat cafes in the world to have a Sphynx cat.
It was a real honour and a privilege to be able to spend time with one up close – especially one as gorgeous as Elodie. I’ve long been a big fan of Sphynx cats – which are furless – because everything you read about them just makes them seem like the most wonderful pets. More on that below.
Let’s take a look at the cat breeds in a bit more detail so you can know what to expect!
Cat breeds at Maison de Moggy
Known as the ET of the cat world (I love that so much) they are renowned for their soft hairless body and big personalities. They’re also called “velcro lap cats” because of their need for warmth and affection. They really make the most devoted and wonderful pets.
The Sphynx cat at Maison de Moggy is: Elodie
The most striking thing about Maine Coon cats are their size – they’re the largest domesticated cat breed around. Native to the US state of Maine, their pleasant and sociable temperament has earned them the nickname the “gentle giant”.
The Maine Coon cat at Maison de Moggy is: Pauline
If you’ve ever wanted a cat that kind of looks like a leopard or a jaguar then the Bengal is it. With a striking coat described as showing spots, rosettes, and marbling, they’re simply gorgeous to look at. Oh, and their temperament is confident and curious too.
The Bengal cat at Maison de Moggy is: Marcel and Philippe
Fluffy, laid-back, with jewel-like blue eyes and a tendency to follow their owners around, it doesn’t get much cuter than a ragdoll cat. They’re so relaxed that their name actually comes from the fact that they go floppy and ragdoll-like when they picked up.
The Ragdoll cat at Maison de Moggy is: Alain and Amelie
Norwegian Forest Cat
These cats actually feature in old Norse myths and fairytales, with the Norse goddess Freya’s chariot being pulled by six of these beauties. They’re large, fluffy and have a semi longhair coat and their temperament is friendly and relaxed.
The Norwegian Forest Cat at Maison de Moggy is: Fabian and Jacques
Known as the most pedigreed version of the traditional British domestic cat, these cuties originate all the way back to first century AD. They’re powerful and sturdy cats with a little bit of British reserve, but once you get to know them they’re super friendly!
The British Shorthair cat at Maison de Moggy is: Coco Carbonelle
Chinchilla Persians are thought to be the most beautiful of all the Persian cats. With their doll-like features and regal nature it’s not unsurprisingly. They have blue or green eyes and are said to be sweet tempered and affectionate – what’s not to like?
The Chinchilla Persian cat at Maison de Moggy is: Guillaume
Your Maison de Moggy review + itinerary
OK, so it’s not really an itinerary, but I thought it would be good to show you what your 60 minute time slot at the cat cafe in Edinburgh actually looks like. That way you can know what to expect.
First of all, they advise you arrive 5-10 minutes before your time slot so you’re there on time. Due to the current restrictions, each group enters the cafe one at a time to make sure everyone is adequately socially distanced from each other. You meet one of the members of staff at the entrance. They will quickly brief you on what you need to do when you enter the café.
First thing you do is take off your shoes, coats and jackets and leave them in the cloakroom. Next up, you choose a table. This is actually really useful because it means you can dump your stuff here and use it as a base during your time at the cafe.
The décor in the café is super charming; it’s all soft pastel walls, twinkling fairy lights, leafy foliage, and wicker egg chairs. It definitely reminded me of Easter and those chairs are probably the reason why! If you’re wondering whether your amazing photos of the kitties will have an equally enchanting backdrop then the answer is: most definitely.
As you’re only there for an hour-long slot the staff will take your order when you first arrive. They have an amazing selection of cakes and hot drinks. There’s loose leaf teas, coffee and hot chocolate, and great cakes. I opted for a latte with a shot of amaretto syrup while my twin sister went for the full works. A chai latte topped with whipped cream. Basically, a dessert in liquid version, right? I had a little sip of it and it was SO good. I also wish I’d left a bit more room to have a slice of cake, but there’s always next time. The good news is that drinks all come out quickly which means that there’s plenty of time to spend with the cats.
Of course you can go and wander around the café when you first arrive, as we did. However, it’s after you’ve finished eating that you have to most amount of time to go cat spotting. Most of the cats were curled up in various different locations around the café when we arrived.
There are various nooks and crannies dotted around the place for the cats to hide in. Cosy cat houses, window boxes, wooden branches and rope ladders and so on. You’ll look up to see a fluffy white cloud of fur above your head and realise that it’s the Persian Chinchilla kitty having a quick catnap.
Most of the cats were sleeping when we arrived but they perked up over the course of the hour. This was probably due to the fact that it was feeding time soon! However, it did mean we got to see all of them darting around the place. One of the Norwegian Forest Cats was particularly playful and enjoyed playing with his toy. Meanwhile, some of the others simply took up residence on the stairs and waited for the hour to be up so they could get fed!
Five minutes before your time slot is up one of the members of staff will alert you to this fact, and ask that you pay your bill and start readying yourself to leave. There is still time to have a quick look at their gift shop, however, if you’d like to take home a souvenir to remember your visit by.
And that was my experience of the cat café in Edinburgh! I loved every second of it, and so I would highly recommend stopping by if you get a chance in the future.
Where is Maison de Moggy?
OK so let’s get onto the logistical stuff…
The cat cafe in Edinburgh is located on West Port, which is just off the Grassmarket.
It’s a really central location which is handy. If you want to grab a coffee beforehand or go for lunch afterwards there are plenty of options available. One of my top picks when it comes to lunch spots nearby is the stylish coffee shop Lovecrumbs, which is just up the road. It makes the perfect pit stop after the cat café and it’s also got a great selection of vegan cakes.
Maison de Moggy address:
17 West Port
How do I get to the cat café in Edinburgh?
If you’re visiting Maison de Moggy from another city and travelling by train then you may be wondering which railway station in Edinburgh is best to get off at. To be honest, there isn’t really that much in it. It takes about the same time to get to the cat café from Waverly Station as it does from Haymarket, so it’s really just your personal preference.
Haymarket Station to Maison de Moggy – 17-minute walk
Waverly Station to Maison de Moggy – 14-minute walk
If you want to get a bus when you get off the train you can do. However, you need to take TWO buses to do that which isn’t ideal. You need to get a number 49 bus from North Bridge and then a number 2 bus from the Southside.
A taxi is another viable alternative, although a do always find taxis in Edinburgh a little pricey! You can get a taxi from outside Waverley Station. Head up to Market Street to find the rank and it should only be a 5-10 minute journey depending on the traffic.
What are the opening hours of Maison de Moggy?
The café is open seven days a week (yay) and I’ve listed the opening hours below:
10.30am – 11.30am
11.45am – 12.45pm
1.00pm – 2.00pm
3pm – 4pm
4.15pm – 5.15pm
5.30pm – 6.30pm
7.00pm – 8pm (Thursdays only)
The opening hours might look a little complicated but they’re essentially made up of hour-long sessions that you can book on their website. There are eight people allowed per session at the cat cafe in Edinburgh and it shows you on the website how many slots they still have available.
Can children visit the cat café in Edinburgh?
Yes they can – but only kids over 10 are permitted. According to their website, any children that are aged between 10 to 14 need to be supervised one on one by an adult.
What Covid-19 regulations do I need to know about?
As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic there have been changes to the way they operate at Maison de Moggy. The main one is that they’ve reduced their capacity to allow for social distancing. The next rule is of course related to masks. As with all other cafes and restaurants. you must wear masks at all times in the cat café. That means when you’re entering, when you’re leaving, and during your time in the café. The only exception is when you’re sitting at your allocated table and eating and drinking!
Should I book the cat café in advance?
Yes, absolutely. This is the most important thing you can do. As I mentioned above, due to coronavirus restrictions the café has limited the number of people per session to eight people. That means that it can fill up pretty quickly! When we visited I booked a few days before but I would recommend booking the cat cafe in Edinburgh well in advance to make sure you don’t miss out.
Do how do you make a booking for the cat café?
You can make online bookings for the cat cafe in Edinburgh quickly and easily right here
If you want to cancel or amend your booking you can do so by emailing them here:
7 tips to get the most out of your experience at the cat café…
1) Do your cat research before you go
I’d already read up on all the cats at Maison de Moggy so I knew exactly what kinds of cats there were. When we wandered around and couldn’t see Elodie, the Sphynx cat, we were able to ask where she was. It turns out she was tucked up having a snooze out of sight. But if we hadn’t known there was a Sphynx at the café we may have missed out on seeing her completely. So I would recommend having a look at their website before you go and getting the lowdown on all the different kinds of cats at the café – and their personalities.
2) Make sure you’re prepared
At the time of writing we’re still in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic and so everywhere is still adhering to the current regulations. When you visit the cat cafe in Edinburgh you’ll have to have a mask to wear for your visit. Make sure you have one to hand as you won’t be able to get in without it. I would also bring a decent camera and your phone (of course) for grabbing all those selfies with the cats. You’ll also want to bring your appetite so you can sample the delicious coffee and cake!
3) Go in the middle of the day for the best light
I’m writing this post in the depths of December when it’s dark when I start work and dark when I finish work. If you are visiting the cat café in autumn or winter you want to try and get the best light possible, right? Because good light = better photographs. I would therefore recommend going for the 10.30, 11.45, or 1pm time slots, because that’s when it’ll be brightest. By the time it gets to 3pm or 4.15 it’s going to be really dark.
4) Visit the cat cafe before the cats get fed
A disclaimer: I don’t know how many times in the day the cats get fed. Maybe it’s once, maybe it’s twice, maybe it’s three times. All I know is that we went to the cat cafe in Edinburgh at the 1pm time slot and the cats were all sleeping when we arrived. However, by the time we left they were all up and about and full of beans, because they were getting fed after we left. This meant that there were lots of opportunities to play with the cats and see them having fun with each other – as well as lots of great photo opportunities. A win win really!
5) Wear appropriate clothing
I know, I know. Wear appropriate clothing, what do I even mean by that? Well, I guess I just wear clothes that you don’t mind getting covered by cat hair. I’m not saying that they will get covered in cat hair, I’m just saying be prepared for that to happen. All the cats are pretty fluffy after all! You also have to take off your shoes and leave them in the cloakroom so shoes that you can quickly get in and out of are a good idea too.
6) Chat to the staff at the cat café
If you’re anything like me you might be a bit reserved when you meet people for the first time. However, the staff at Maison de Moggy were so friendly and warm that they instantly put everyone (or least me) at ease. Let’s face it, you’ve got a brilliant conversation topic to hand – all the amazing cats. The staff were super happy to answer any questions we had and also told us so many cute stories about the cats. My favourite moment was being shown all of Elodie’s amazing outfits. They included a spooky Halloween outfit, a pink dressing gown and some teeny pyjamas that she wears to keep cosy overnight. The cuteness, I just can’t deal!
7) Manage your expectations
Need I say more? This is a really important point when visiting the cat cafe in Edinburgh – and any cat cafe around the world. These are cats we’re talking about. They’re going to do exactly what they want to do and whatever you want them to do isn’t going to have any bearing on that. So if they want to sleep they’re going to sleep. If they want to play they’re going to play. And if they want to face the wall with their back to you they’re going to do precisely that, and no amount of clicking or waving or calling their name will make them do any different. Come on, tthey’re way too cool for all that. So just make peace with that before you go in.