By Hannah Neary, Local Democracy Reporter
A popular cat café has won a battle to stay open after the owner was told she couldn’t keep cats.
La Maison du Chat in Moreton Street, Pimlico has been given a lifeline after a five-month stint without cats, which almost crippled the business.
Owner Florence Heath has won a licence to keep cats at the café after a Westminster City council officer had originally told her she could not keep animals there without a proper licence and changes to the layout of the business.
Florence, 40 said it was a “massive relief” to finally get the licence.
The business opened in December 2020 and managed to find new homes for 37 abandoned cats last year.
But things came to a halt this February when a council worker told Florence she needed a special licence and couldn’t keep animals there without installing a third doorway.
She said a new door would have cost her £20,000 but the council later told her it was no longer necessary after councillors argued her case.
Florence said the café wouldn’t have survived without the help of local people and businesses, who raised £8,000 to help her pay her bills and rent.
She added: “We got there in the end. I wouldn’t have made it that far without the crowd funding and without the help from the community. It was a really nice effort from everyone in Pimlico.”
Pictured top: Cats at the cafe before the licence was originally suspended (Picture: Florence Heath)
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