Pints and Purrs, Britain’s First Ever Cat Pub

Posted in Cat Stories - On: November 23, 2023 - Author:  Jan Travell
Posted in Cat Stories 
Last Updated: November 23, 2023  
Author:  Jan Travell

What could be more delightful than reuniting with your friends on a rainy Friday night, ideally in the cozy ambiance of a charming pub offering an array of delectable bar snacks and beverages?

Picture this: you're nestled in, savoring your drink of choice, and surrounded by the warm presence of friendly, furry feline companions.

Sounds too good to be true? Well, you'll find all of that and more at a rather special pub nestled in the heart of Bristol, United Kingdom.

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The Bag of Nails, unlike your typical dimly lit watering hole serving flat pints, offers an extraordinary haven where you can unwind, explore diverse IPAs, engage in spirited board game tournaments with friends, and revel in the delightful company of cats.

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 Yes, you read that correctly – a clowder of adorable cats call this pub home, and they can be found lounging just about anywhere, including the counter and bar chairs, so be sure to take care where you sit!

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This delightful establishment, first opened in 2011 by Luke Daniels, marked a fresh start filled with excitement.

As Luke welcomed patrons, served them drinks and spun great tunes, he quickly established the Bag of Nails as the new place to be.

As fate would have it, feline visitors shared this sentiment. Not long after he opened, a tiny kitten made a surprise appearance at the pub.

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The Bag of Nails proudly introduced this adorable newcomer on their Facebook page with the caption:

"The Bag of Nails has a kitten! I know. Could things get any freakin’ cuter around here? Meet Malcolm. All together now."

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Soon, Malcolm found a companion in another cat named Beresford, and their irresistible charm gradually began to take over the pub.

Luke wasn't at all upset by this development; the cats were simply too adorable to resist.

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Over time, the two cats welcomed a litter of tiny kittens who continued to call the pub home.

With an ever-increasing feline presence, the Bag of Nails became renowned as Bristol's beloved cat pub.

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"Cats and beer. It's what we do," the pub proclaimed on their social media.

This tiny phrase succinctly encapsulated their unique charm, making many, like me, start considering a trip to Bristol.

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Word must have spread among the feline community, as more cats began to frequent the pub, seeking treats and even joining the ever-expanding family of felines.

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 These cats, like humans, possess distinct personalities and preferences. 

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Some are shy, while others boldly climb onto customers, much to their delight.

After all, there's no greater joy than being chosen as a personal perch by a cat.

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Luke shared, "There is a lot of nuance to their individual behavior once you get to know them. Solarise loves a lap, Wolfgang adores chicken above all else.

Sally revels in belly rubs, and Cirrus has an uncanny ability to sense when you're feeling down. The list goes on."

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These fluffy friends can be spotted leisurely lounging around the pub at nearly all hours of the day.

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 However, they aren't confined to the pub's boundaries; they are free to venture outside and explore the nearby Brandon Hill Park area. It truly sounds like a dream life!

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Cats have a reputation for being independent and are cautious by nature, so don't expect them to rush up to greet you the moment you walk in.

As Luke says, "We can't guarantee the cats will be there when you come, but if you hang around long enough or keep coming back, they will surely show you some affection."

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For over a decade now, the Bag of Nails has provided a home to these charming cats, attracting a diverse clientele from around the world with its exceptional drinks and complimentary cat companionship.

Let's hope this unique establishment continues to thrive for years to come, setting an example for other businesses to consider hiring equally endearing employees.

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About the author

Jan Travell is a lifelong cat owner and a feline expert. She's been the Cats and Kittens lead editor from the start. She lives in rural France with her two rescue cats, Tigerlily and Mr.Gee. Her senior kitty, Ducati, passed over the rainbow bridge recently at the ripe old age of 22.

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