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Local 5 - weareiowa.com | Des Moines Local News & Weather | Des Moines, Iowa

Iowa's first 'Cat Café' stays afloat after opening during pandemic

Customers can caffeinate pet a furry feline in the cat lounge for ten bucks an hour.

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa — It hasn't been easy, but Mary Jankowski's managed to open a business during a pandemic and keep it open--a first-of-it's-kind business in Iowa, at that.

Coffee Cats, in West Des Moines' Valley Junction district, has entered it's fourth month of business. It's Iowa's first cat café. Customers can reserve an hour in the cat lounge for ten dollars; others can sip coffee from the adjacent café and watch the cat activity in the lounge through windows.

While many are well-into pandemic fatigue, Jankoswki says it's a good place for guests to de-stress and find their "zen."

"I'm a licensed mental health counselor by trade, and so to me this is just another form of therapy for people," said Jankowski. "You don't have to talk to anybody, you can just sit and relax, take time out from the crazy world that's happening today and maybe even adopt a cat while you're at it!"

All cats at the business are provided by the Animal Rescue League and are up for adoption. Jankowski says on average, adoption time ranges from a week-and-a-half to two weeks. The longest time it took for a cat to be adopted was two months, but one got snatched up within ten minutes.

"We had a cat get dropped off by the ARL and we had folks in there that wanted this cat, and they adopted him and I think it took about ten minutes for them to decide."

Masks are required, and Jankowski's following other safety protocol to ensure guests stay safe.

"We clean and sanitize between all customers," said Jankowski. "We make sure that folks are maintaining social distancing inside [the lounge] as well as in the coffee shop."

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