Carrollton’s local Furbabies Cat Cafe offers a perfect place for guests looking to enjoy the warm embrace of a cat in your lap while focusing on giving cats and kittens a new home.
Furbabies will be open to students on Tuesdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and while students do have to provide ID and pay $7 to sit in with the cats, coffee, tea and other refreshments are included in the payment.
“There’s no music going to be played, no adoptions during that time,” says Becky Preston, one of the three Furbabies co-founders. “It’s basically just a quiet place where they can sit and study.”
During normal hours, Furbabies is open Friday and Saturday at 10 a.m. to 6 p.m and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m., with admission normally costing $13 per hour with all proceeds going straight to the shelter and feline residents.
“We are a foster home for the Carroll County Animal Shelter,” says Preston. “So we house adoptable cats, and they stay with us until they find their forever homes.”
Recently opened on June 4, 2021, Furbabies Cat Cafe has already made leaps in serving the community and managing to adopt over 340 cats since opening. Owners Becky Preston, Sarah Siegel and Jesse New all helped to run the business alongside working their day jobs.
The concept and dream came together from a visit to Chattanooga, TN when the friends visited Naughty Cats Cat Cafe and decided that Carroll County needed a cat cafe of its own. Within just five months after their idea sprouted, Furbabies established in Carrollton partnering with the local shelter to take in whichever cats and kittens were designated to them.
“We just say [to the shelter] ‘send whatever you think is going to be best,’” says Jesse New. “Sometimes it might be ones that are struggling because they are shy and timid and struggling to come out of their shell. On the opposite end, it might be ones that are super energetic and fun and need something like this where they can run around and have fun.”
The cafe fosters around fifteen cats at a time. They also offer adoptions and everything needed to adopt a cat the day of adoption including a cat carrier and food.
In some cases, the adopter’s initial choice might change as they interact and bond with a different cat who was never on their radar. However, adopting a cat can be a commitment unavailable to some, so cat cafes offer a place to pet cats with no commitment needed.
“We had a girl [visit], for a while, from the university and she would come every Friday, because she had this fear of cats,” says Sarah Siegel. “She was doing this immersion therapy. She enjoyed it even though she was like ‘don’t leave me alone in here.’”
With the exception of those with allergies, any prospective visitors including those skeptical of cats are invited to drop by for a weekend dose of serotonin.
“We always tell people: you’ll either leave with a cat, or lower blood pressure,” says New. “Maybe both.”