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Pop-Up Manhattan Cat Cafe Brings Animal Lovers, Adoptees Together

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- The country's first cat cafe opened in Manhattan on Thursday.

As CBS 2's Cindy Hsu reported, the line to get inside the Cat Cafe on Bowery Street was out the door and around the block on its first day open.

Once inside, you get the chance to snuggle and play with 16 cats who are up for adoption from the North Shore Animal League.

Anthony Gallo, 10, told Hsu he couldn't get enough of the furry felines.

"It's like a zoo for cats," he said.

But there are no cages at this cafe, the cats roam free.

"What I think is great is that it's going to bring awareness to how cats that are rescued and shelter cats are such great pets and how they could bring such joy to people," said Christina Travalja, of the North Shore Animal League America.

Along with adoptions the cafe is focusing on feline health. Purina ONE signed on to sponsor "Cat Chat" sessions with famous cat lovers, along with a line up of experts.

"We're going to be talking to a veterinarian from Purina, we're talking to a feline behaviorist, North Shore Animal League will be here talking about how to get your happy, healthy cat acquainted with its new surroundings," said Niky Roberts, of Purina ONE.

Not everyone at the cafe was able to adopt Thursday.

"I'm just here to play with the cats because unfortunately I can't adopt one my roommate is allergic," said Vanessa Gonzalez-Bunster. "It's a great place to still get to see animals and give them love even if I can't have my own."

While there was quite a wait outside, once inside, the cafe offers coffee, free snacks, and of course, plenty of love from some furry friends.

The Cat Cafe will only be open through Sunday night. But if you can't make it, the North Shore Animal League is open every day of the year and they have plenty of cats who need homes.

The North Shore Animal League said while there are 16 cats available now, on Saturday it plans to bring in many more that are up for adoption.

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