A new business in Lewisville is inviting North Texans to sit back, relax and play with some cats. The area's first full-time cat café is already proving a surprising hit.
Visitors pay $5 to spend 30 minutes inside, where 27 cats roam around multiple rooms, ready to entertain.
It's a fairly new concept in the Dallas-Fort Worth area that's been slowly gaining steam across the country. Some cat cafés serve food and drinks while others are just relaxation spaces to unwind with a cat.
Beverly Freed, owner of Charming Cat Corner Café in Lewisville's Vista Ridge Mall, said they decided against food when they leased the spot so close to the food court in Vista Ridge, but they do allow visitors to bring their own snacks.
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They have several different themed rooms set up where people can relax with the cats, play with them or even bring some work or a book to enjoy.
It seems the idea is catching on.
Several people lined up Thursday afternoon to get inside and have a little "cat time."
Freed said, so far, after less than a month in business, they're averaging between 40 and 70 visitors a day with several return visitors and even a crop of regulars who come by often to de-stress.
Allison Eddings, of Denton, returned for a second visit Thursday, bringing a friend along to try out the store.
"I love cats. It's very therapeutic to be able to pet them, play with them, just enjoy them," said Eddings.
However, it's not just about 30 minutes of fun with the cats. It's also about finding them forever homes.
Freed, a longtime adoption worker, wanted to build the café to also act as a less stressful adoption center for the cats inside.
"Here, they live here," she said. "So when people come to visit, the people are their guests. Their personalities are in place, they don't have any stress levels at all."
The café works with several local shelters that provide the cats. Already they've sent dozens of cats to new homes, averaging about seven adoptions per week.
"It's far surpassed our expectations," said manager Ardith Timmons.
Freed said the café just renewed its short-term lease with the mall for a full year, and they hope to extend beyond that if the concept continues to draw traffic.
In the meantime, other cat cafés have come into the area as temporary pop-up stores, and another permanent one has been considered in the Metroplex.