SINCE opening its doors just over three months, ago the Totnes Cat Café has attracted visitors from all over the world.
The café is continuing to grow in popularity and the six cats, belonging to café owner Liz Dyas, have become increasingly confident and at ease with the customers.
Liz said: "We have people coming to the café from all over the world and is, therefore, attracting tourists to Totnes, something everyone can benefit from.
"People come to the café for many different reasons, often because they are unable to keep a cat at home, but we have an increasing number of visitors from health-related groups, whose clients benefit from the relaxing effects of feline therapy, for example the Stroke Association and the Deaf Society.
"We also have an increasing number of customers with special needs who come with a carer and who love the attention they get from the cats. Our customers are very enthusiastic and write lovely comments in the visitors' book."
The café is not-for-profit, and this aspect together with the emphasis on feline therapy rather than commercial gain, has given the café a very different atmosphere to that portrayed in the founding Japanese cat cafés.
The interior is styled more like a living room than a café, with comfortable couches, soft lighting and soothing music. Customers do not pay an entrance fee, but choose from the range of coffees, teas and home-baked cakes.
The café is open Tuesday to Saturday, from 10am to 4pm when the cats return home with Mrs Dyas. This is very different from the Japanese model, where cats live on the premises and the cafes are open until late at night.