BRAINTREE’S first cat café is opening tomorrow, and the Braintree and Witham Times was given an exclusive first look inside the new venue.

Town mum Sarah Fretwell is gearing up to open the Whiskers and Paws cat café in the town.

Sarah has a background working with SEN children but said previously she was looking for a career change.

The new site will be in the George Yard Shopping Centre next to Fever Jewellers.

Before its grand opening tomorrow, Saturday, March 2, we were invited to take a look inside and spend some time with the amazing feline friends there.

Saffron Walden Reporter: Inside - the Braintree cat café is littered with homely decorInside - the Braintree cat café is littered with homely decor (Image: Newsquest)

There are 14 cats at the moment, with Sarah having license for up to 20.

The café is bookings only, and a busy opening weekend is expected.

Saffron Walden Reporter: Stunning - inside Whiskers and PawsStunning - inside Whiskers and Paws (Image: Newsquest)

Sarah said: “We got the keys in January and have been working non-stop.

“We are working with local charity Mel’s Rescue.

Saffron Walden Reporter: Opening - the café has two doors for safetyOpening - the café has two doors for safety (Image: Newsquest)

“There will be up to 20 people at a time per hour.

“It is a huge relief it is all done, and I am looking forward to opening this weekend.

Saffron Walden Reporter: Love - we enjoyed cuddles with MickyLove - we enjoyed cuddles with Micky (Image: Newsquest)

“I did not expect it to be as popular as it has been, but we were fully booked quickly.”

During our visit, we enjoyed some cuddles with the cats on site, who are very friendly.

There was also a handful of people looking through the window, anxiously awaiting its opening.

Saffron Walden Reporter: Pose - new arrival Armani enjoyed some love on the sofaPose - new arrival Armani enjoyed some love on the sofa (Image: Newsquest)

The décor feels very homely, with lovely wallpaper, pictures, sofas and more.

There are plenty of toys to choose from to play with the cats, with climbing apparatus for the felines to explore around.

Saffron Walden Reporter: Rest - a new kitten enjoying a restRest - a new kitten enjoying a rest (Image: Newsquest)

“I have been working hard to befriend them and make them comfortable,” said Sarah.

“I am happy they all seem to be settling in well, but we will be monitoring them to make sure they stay that way.”

Saffron Walden Reporter: Climbing - there is plenty for the cats to explore and enjoyClimbing - there is plenty for the cats to explore and enjoy (Image: Newsquest)

The café gives the cats plenty of space and their own rooms upstairs off limits to get away from people if they want to.

This includes places to eat, sleep and use the toilet.

Saffron Walden Reporter: Rest - cats can eat and sleep upstairs away from visitorsRest - cats can eat and sleep upstairs away from visitors (Image: Newsquest)

The café offers fresh cakes and bakes, with a nice variety of warm and cold drinks.

Whiskers and Paws will be open from 9.30am to 5.30pm on Monday to Wednesday, 9,30am to 7pm on Thursday to Saturday and 10am to 4pm on Sunday.

For more information or to book, visit