Design team behind Birmingham’s new Kitty Café reveals how to create a cat-friendly café

Seating at Kitty Cafe Birmingham, designed by CPMG Architects

Birmingham city centre’s local moggies are meowing for joy as the quirky Kitty Café has opened a third venue in Grand Central Station.

Following the success of its premises in Nottingham and Leeds, Kitty Café has opened its doors to cat lovers following a £250,000 refurb of the old Handmade Burger Restaurant in the city’s shopping centre.

The designers behind the new café at CPMG Architects have opened up about how they designed the West Midlands’ first cat-friendly café.

Cristina Riley, senior interior designer at CPMG said: “Creating an environment for both cats and humans to enjoy has certainly had its challenges. It is important that the cats can’t get into the kitchen, so we have installed a sealed serving hatch for food to be passed through.”

200m long obstacle course

Birmingham’s Kitty Café is home to a bespoke multi-level Indiana Jones-style cat obstacle course which includes over 200 metres of cat runs, bridges, hammocks, carpet-clad sisal scratching columns, jumping posts, birch log screens, and best of all, a cat-sized spiral staircase.

Bringing the outdoors in

Senior interior designer at CPMG Architects, Cristina ‘Kitty’ Riley, has brought in plants, trees and foliage to make the café’s 30 cats (and humans) feel like they are in their natural habitat, making it feel as alfresco as possible. Guests can expect a ‘night sky’ effect ceiling, a ‘living wall’ using ivy-effect vinyl and reclaimed timber panelling on the walls.

Cristina said: “The wellbeing of users is key in any environment, particularly when the space is going to be used by animals, so we needed to make sure the space was as natural as possible. Biophilic environments increase the happiness of their inhabitants, especially when they are able to play with animals at the same time!”

Natural colours

Cristina and the team have created a new colour palette which is a combination of pastels and brights for the finishes, furniture, ceilings, lighting and branding.

K-I-T-T-Y-C-A-F-E lighting

Local shoppers will have noticed a new sign in the window of the Grand Central Station unit, which spells out the brand name with a bespoke multi-coloured light.

Cat-friendly furniture

Fireplaces, sofas and bespoke cat shelves made with logs are all feline-friendly and there are animal print fabrics to make them feel even more at home.

Anything for cats

CPMG’s design team is allergic to cats! Project director Paul and Kit Riley sneeze any time they come into contact with a cat. But graphic designer and brand consultant Jess has her very own cat named Kitty.

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