My Trip to Lyon’s Cat Café
Normally I’m more of a dog person, but as my cocker spaniel is at home in Liverpool, I wanted to find a way to fill this fluff-less void in my life. Scrolling through Instagram one day, I came up on the perfect solution: Lyon’s cat café. Located near to Perrache train station, Le GentleCat perfectly combines what I see as two of life’s greatest delights: tea and cats.
A Relaxing Place Where You’re Free to Stroke Cats
‘But what exactly is a cat café?’ I hear you ask. Well, Le GentleCat is first and foremost a café, which is proven by the fact that, unlike many cat cafés in Britain, there is no entrance fee. So if you just wish to go there to work, or meet friends for a coffee and cake, without stroking any cats, then you absolutely can. I mean, I can’t see why you wouldn’t want to cuddle the cats, but it’s definitely possible.
Tempting Treats at Le GentleCat
Le GentleCat takes tea very seriously- in fact, they have 30 of their own original creations. Most of their impressive range can be ordered as part of a ‘formule’, which come with a glass of orange juice and a choice of cake, each ‘formule’ varying from 8€-10€. This may seem rather pricey for a cup of tea and a muffin, but given that many cat cafés charge entrance fees of anywhere around 10€, it’s relatively good value. I’d recommend the chai tea latte and oreo cheesecake.
If you fancy a little more than cake, Le GentleCat also does lunches, which they aim particularly at workers near to Place Carnot in Lyon 2, where it is based. Again, lunch can be ordered in ‘formules’ – 10€ for a quiche or hot dish, a bowl of soup, nachos or salad, and a drink.
Ethical Code at Le GentleCat
Assured of the quality of the food and drink, one concern remains- is it ethical to keep the cats in Le GentleCat? Well, Le GentleCat has an answer to that too. It has a strict code of ethics: the café states that they will uphold the psychological and physical needs of the cats, by ensuring that they have a good diet, fresh water, and tranquil spaces to get away from people if needed. There is a room upstairs that can only be accessed through a cat flap, or with a key, so the cats can go there to escape the cuddles.
There are also rules for customers dining there- you must disinfect your hands on entrance, and you cannot pick up or feed the cats.
Given that many of the cats were rescue cats, the life they are offered in Le GentleCat is heaven in comparison to their former lives. There are plenty of toys for the cats to play with, and they do not want for anything.
A Place for Work or Just Doing Nothing
Many people go to the cat café just to stroke the cats, but equally many go just because of its calm atmosphere, to do work or read books. The sound of purring has been scientifically proven to have relaxing effects, so what better place can there be to write that difficult report?
There’s even a rabbit, which gets on impeccably well with the cats, so if the cats aren’t in the mood for cuddles, have no fear, you can always go cuddle the rabbit.
You can truly do anything at Le GentleCat: eat and drink good food, do work, just sit there, or, of course, play with the cats- and why wouldn’t you? They’re adorable!