SOHO — A new cat cafe opened its doors this week.
Little Lions at 40 Grand St. has the pressed tin ceiling and ornate chandeliers of a sophisticated tea room, and does offer coffee, tea and pastries from DO, Ovenly and Balthazar.
But the space is bisected, and right next to the tea room section is a "cat sanctuary," where visitors can pay $11 to spend an hour sitting with rescue cats.
The felines are provided by Best Friends Animal Society, an animal rescue organization that aims to save dogs and cats from kill shelters.
All of the cats at Little Lions are available for adoption, and they have all been spayed, neutered, vaccinated and micro-chipped.
Little Lions founder Erin McShane said the venture "is a labor of love and a pragmatic solution to address cat homelessness" that was born from her experience volunteering at animal shelters and fostering cats.
"The need is too great for my efforts alone to fill," McShane said. "I need to do more and that’s where the idea of Little Lions sprouted.”
The teahouse opens every day at 8 a.m., and the cat sanctuary opens at 10 a.m. Both close at 8 p.m. Reservations for the cat sanctuary are recommended but not required, and can be made online.