Thrings Meets… Paws for Thought

Thrings Meets… Emma Blyth, Paws for Thought Cat Cafe

In this series focusing on the region’s businesses and entrepreneurs, Emily Gulliver from Thrings enjoys a cuppa and some cat therapy.

“People said it wouldn’t work, it wasn’t going to last – there were so many negative comments to begin with,” says Emma Blyth, sipping a coffee while a cat purrs at her side.

Emma was working as a quantity surveyor in the construction trade when her big life change came, inspired by the loss of her cat Louis, who she had loved since childhood.

“Someone mentioned a cat café, so I went along and thought it was great – firstly because it helped with my grieving, and secondly because they helped rescue cats.

“After that I couldn’t get it out of my head – I was thinking about it every day at my desk. It just seemed that it was meant to be.”

Emma launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise interest and awareness. In 2018, Paws for Thought Cat Café, in Church Street, Romsey, became the first of its kind in the south.

Now, guests enjoy tea, coffee, cake and ‘cat therapy’ courtesy of eight rescue cats who have made this their happy home. Some were taken in via a rescue centre that saved them from the streets of Romania. A male called Teddy only has one eye, while an amputee named Emmy happily roams on three legs.

The cats in the café remain constant because of the work it takes to get the animals introduced to each other and living happily together.

However, Emma actively helps to rehome others, including a family of stray kittens found wandering Romsey, living off discarded fish and chips, who now live happily on a farm.

Paws for Thought’s website is regularly updated with cats looking for homes, and every booking attracts a £5 “cat cover charge” which supports rescue work. Visits are strictly by booking to keep numbers manageable.

“We have regulars, including older people who visit from residential homes,” says Emma. “Sometimes we see students who pop in because they’re missing their cats from home, or people who want to work here on their laptops for the day. We’ve had lots of birthdays, hen parties – and one couple even had their wedding reception here!”.

Emma’s dream is to have a fully-fledged cat rescue sanctuary with a café on site, although with a one-year-old son, her own cat and a café to look after, she accepts that may be a way off.

For now, she’s proud of everything she has achieved. “When I look back and think about how many cats we’ve helped, and the families we’ve helped to find their new pets, it’s a very good feeling.

“I did put a massive number 5 balloon outside on our fifth anniversary to say to those doubters – look at us now!”

Emily Gulliver specialises in family law at the Romsey office of the law firm Thrings. For more information about Thrings solicitors visit

Thrings Lawyers home page

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