STROUD’S first cat cafe is causing quite a stir.

El Gato’s, located at 27 Stroud High Street, has been open just over a week and is proving a real hit with the town's cat lovers.

The cafe is home to four furry residents, siblings Neko, Gnairi, Miz and Shimmi.

Customers can get a coffee and a snack and enjoy the company of friendly felines at the same time.

“I think being around animals can really break down barriers," said cafe co-owner Debbie Hicks.

"There's no expectations with them, you can just be yourself.

"And if you're going through a difficult time, animals can be a real source of comfort."

The café serves up tea, coffee, cold drinks, vegetarian and vegan sandwiches, cakes, and high afternoon tea.

Cat cafe customers are asked to pre-book their visit online via

Only 15 customers will be allowed inside at a time to “ensure the quality of the experience and the welfare of the cats is maintained at all times”, with an 80 minute booking costing £5.

Tuesdays are community drop in days, without admission fees, where coffee and a cake is £3.

There are a set of house rules for customers to ensure the cats can maintain a relaxed and care-free lifestyle and do not become overwhelmed by attention.

Photos by Simon Pizzey.