THE first cat cafe in Hampshire has thrown open its doors to the public.

Cat lovers flocked to Romsey on Saturday for the official opening of the feline-themed Paws For Thought Cat Cafe.

Owner Emma Blyth and cats Xena, Kiara, Lina, Nala and Krunchie welcomed customers in the new coffee shop in Church Street.

The cafe will home around ten rescue cats who can roam and mingle with customers downstairs, while having their own home upstairs.

Emma, 30, from North Baddesley, said the opening went really well and she has already received more than 100 bookings for this week.

“I was not expecting that. The opening ran perfectly and we had very good reviews already,”she said.

On why Emma decided to open the cafe in Romsey, she said: “I wanted a quite place where cats would be safe and I felt a small town and a small community felt more like a home. It think it will also help bring more people to Romsey so they can see how beautiful it is.”

Emma said the idea of a cat cafe came after she lost her beloved cat Louis in 2016.

“It made me realise there were no places for pet bereavement and I thought ‘why

not create a place where people can come and talk about it?’.

“I also realised how many cats there were out there to be rehomed and we wanted to help.”

The cafe will act as a place where locals can reminisce about their pets who have passed away.

Residents can also put pictures of their pet on the Remembrance Wall in the coffee shop.

“People just want their pets to be remembered,” Emma said.

The coffee shop is booking-only cafe to protect the safety of the cats.

Fundraising events will be run once a month to support charities.

unning fundraising events to raise money for local rescue centres and charities Every Life Counts and Sasha Animal Foundation.