Three local friends have partnered to debut what they feel is the purr-fect way to find fur-ever homes for fostered cats.

Fur Babies Cat Café, which officially opens today, June 4, is Carroll County’s first cat café. It serves as a foster home for cats brought in from the Carroll County Animal Shelter.

Owners Jesse New, Sara Segal, and Becky Preston came up with the idea the beginning of the year, and recently brought it to life.

“We are super excited to be able to open this café,” said Preston. “We have been working extremely hard putting this together, so to be able to invite the public to come out and meet our cats and possibly take them home is incredible.”

Fur Babies Cat Café is located at 302 South St. at the intersection of South and Maple Street that was previously the home of 302 South Restaurant. They are open on Fridays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., and on Sundays from noon to 7 p.m.

Currently there are 14 cats being housed in the facility. Four of those cats live there permanently, while the other 10 are up for adoption. There is a $13 fee applicable to everyone who plans to relax in the cat lounge, and a $50 fee to adopt.

“We charge the guest a $13 fee for one hour if they plan to hang out in the cat lounge,” said New. “We require the guest to spend at least a hour with the cats so they can really get a feel of the cat before taking them home.

“It is not to make money; instead [to] encourage people to spend time with these animals. If you spend a hour with the cat, you are able to see whether or not it’s a good fit for you and your home, instead of having to bring the cat back here and start the process all over again.”

New expressed how thankful they are to the community for helping them make it all possible. He mentioned how everyone has been working as a team to make everything flow smoothly, and they couldn’t ask for anything better.

“Everybody that we have dealt with from our land owners to [county commission Chairman] Michelle Morgan, have all been fantastic,” said New. “I think just getting this facility ready to house cats in a safe and secure environment has been one of the biggest challenges we have faced.

“We have one sponsor— World’s Best Cat Litter that’s donating all of the cat litter to us, and then we are just working with the Animal Shelter as far as the cats.”

The café displays a lot of artwork involving cats. Preston said that all of the artwork comes from an art student, Piper Heaton, who has just recently graduated from the University of West Georgia. In fact, all of the artwork is up for sale.

“All of the artwork inside is available for purchase directly through us,” said Preston. “In addition, Piper also does self-portraits for the animals, and left her business cards here with us for anyone who is interested.”

Although each of the owners have full-time jobs, they said that they will still spend much of their time at the café as well. Once everything in place, they plan to hire a staff to help whenever they are busy.

“We do plan on hiring some people once we understand the operation, the flow, and how many people we will need to get the job done,” said New. “We may end up hiring between four to seven people, depending on what the needs are.”