MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A Minneapolis business is providing patrons with a place to sip coffee and play with rescue cats that are up for adoption.

The Cafe Meow opened Feb. 16, Minnesota Public Radio reported. The cafe is divided into two areas: a coffee shop on one side and the cat lounge on the other side.

Danielle Rasmussen and Jessica Burge have been working on the business for four years.

"When I was in my last semester of university, I was looking at what I was going to be doing — I was thinking web developing — I went to school for graphic design," Burge said. "But then Purina ONE had a cat cafe that popped up in New York City and I was like, 'Well, oh my gosh, this is it, this is what we need to do.'"

The felines can roam freely in the cat lounge and enjoy the jungle gym, nap in cubbies or curl up on couches.

The cats are from local animal rescues and will spend most of their time at the cafe until they're adopted. The cafe can accommodate up to 15 cats at a time.

"There are a lot of cats that sit at rescues or in fosters and you don't get to see their personalities," Burge said. "That's how people fall in love with them, is getting to really know the cats. We figure this space will provide that for people so when they're looking to adopt, it'll be that comfortable, 'Oh, I love this cat and this is why,' you know, this moment that you shared together."

Cat cafes originated in Taiwan in the 1990s and have recently been gaining popularity worldwide.


Information from: Minnesota Public Radio News, http://www.mprnews.org