Leeds Kitty Cafe opens its doors after £500k refurb of old Yorkshire Bank

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The much anticipated opening of the Kitty Cafe in Leeds takes place today after the finishing touches have been put on a £500,000 refurbishment.

There have been a number of delays to the project but the first cats arrived a few weeks back and the colourful cafe is now ready to welcome its first customers.

And the YEP will be heading along at 1pm for a special tour, which you can watch via Facebook Live.

Once a Yorkshire Bank, the building in Kirkgate now features a cat snug, bespoke runs and what is said to be the UK's largest cat scratching post.

The full interior - complete with café, kitchen, office, lobby and reception desk - was designed by CMPG Architects.

Cristina Riley, senior interior designer at CPMG, said: “The Kitty Café was a really interesting project with a very specific brief.

"It was integral that the cats could easily run from the front to the back of the café. There are bespoke shelves, bridges and posts to ensure that the cats can play and be as active as possible. The bespoke rope scratching post stands over two metres tall.

“The back of house area is designed specifically for cat naps and we even designed a private luxury cat snug, which the cats can access through holes in the wall.”

READ MORE: Here's how to book a visit to Kitty Cafe Leeds

The cafe is full of natural, outdoor elements and materials to make the cats feel as comfortable as possible, including birch posts, tree logs and faux greenery.

There are large windows to show off the cats to passers-by and an air conditioning unit to maintain a feline-friendly temperature.

Cafe owner Kate Charles-Richards said: “CPMG completed the brief beyond our expectations. Its team got fully on board with the concept of the Kitty Café and were very flexible with the changes we needed to make.

"They brought fantastic ideas to the table which made the new café even better than we had imagined. We’d love to work with the team again when we expand in 2018.”

Kate and her husband Oliver find cats from local rescue centres, train them for four weeks and then welcome them to the Kitty Café, where they can enjoy strokes and cuddles from customers.

Following a thorough vetting, budding cat owners can then adopt one of their very own to take home.