Unbelievably we’ve made it to 2022. The last few years for most of us have been a whirlwind, but we’re sure we can vouch for many by saying it’s our cats that got us through it. Wonderful little purr machines of zen, we salute them for keeping us calm throughout the crazy and forever being our furry therapists.
As we see in the New Year, a lot of us will naturally be on a bit of shoestring after the splurge that is Christmas. We got to thinking how we cat people could still get our fill of feline fun on a budget and bust those January blues.
We found some of the best cat-tivities to explore in the UK, which won’t see you spending your life savings but will have you spending even more of your time looking at, talking to and talking about cats – what’s new?
- Animal Therapy: The Cats of Louis Wain
Make a trip to Beckenham to feast your eyes on this beautiful exhibition by Louis Wain, running until april 2022. Take a look at five of his famous cat portraits and other wonderful works inspired by the feline world. Entry is free, with donations welcomed, a perfect day out combining cats and culture. For a full day of Louis Wain, why not pop to the cinema after the exhibition and catch the new film based on his life – The Electrical Life of Louis Wain.
- York Cat Trail
Those residing a little more North should think about taking a trip over to York, a self-confessed cat-loving city. Starting off at The Cat Gallery, a cat themed shop full of every kind of feline trinket imaginable, the self-guided ramble will take you on a trail to spot the cat statues and sculptures dotted around the city. A perfect day trip out for anyone obsessed with the fur balls, and even better, totally free! Get some fresh air, spot some stone Sphynxes between the historic architecture, and maybe even return home with a cat candle or mug for the collection.
- Sip tea in a Cat Cafe
Over the last couple of years, it seems we’re not the only ones trying to spend every waking moment in the company of cats, with cat cafes popping up all over the country. From London to Newcastle, and most places in between, these adorable tearooms have appeared, where you can share a cuddle with a kitten over a cuppa – heavenly. These cafes are also perfect if you adore the floofs but aren’t yet able to have one of your own. Order afternoon tea and nibble on your scone next to a Bengal, how delightful. Though certainly not the place to complain if you find a hair on your plate, Lady Dinah’s in London is one of our favourite spots. It’s full of roaming rescue mogs so rather than a shelter, these guys get to live out their days being spoilt with scratches from an ever changing audience. Visits cost £15pp for 90 minutes. Be sure to pre-book.
Here’s some more of our top picks:
– Mog on the Tyne, Newcastle
– Maison de Moggy, Edinburgh
– Rabble Rags Manor, Newport
– Kitty Cafe, Nottingham & Leeds
- Hazlitt’s Library in London
After a day bustling around the big city, we can think of nothing dreamier than sipping a G&T in a luxurious London library with the company of an honorable cat. Sounds like we’re making it up? Think again. Sir Godfrey is the resident cat of the Soho hotel, Hazlitts. Though we know a stay in a boutique hotel in Soho doesn’t seem so budget-friendly, why not step into the library bar and enjoy a beverage just to meet the infamous knight? The friendly ginger mog has resided at the hotel rent-free for 9 years, we’re pretty sure he has his fair share of tales to tell. We reckon the price of a glass of wine is worth it.
- The Big Cat Sanctuary, Kent
If you have a little more money to spend, why not take a walk on the wilder side and book a ticket to The Big Cat Sanctuary in Kent for one of their open days. Roll with the big boys and get up close to some of the most beautiful beasts, as well as getting to see the invaluable work the charity is doing at their sanctuary to keep some of our favourite species alive and out of danger. Although a little pricier at £25, you can rest easy knowing that the open days are one of the charity’s biggest fundraisers, and your money is going to a great place to help feed the animals and provide a safer environment for endangered species. All whilst helping to fund continued research into the conservation of big cats. Have a chat with a cheetah and take part in a photography workshop to capture memories you can keep for a lifetime.
And there you have it, be it a big adventure to hang with the wild ones, or just an earl grey with a tortoiseshell, there’s plenty of cat-orientated ways to spend your time in the new year without needing to break the bank! x