Championing the cat population in Dallas, and beyond, Pet Product News’
2017-2018 Feline Friend Retailer of the Year is truly an advocate of the furry feline set.
BY LIZETT BOND
Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary defines a coincidence as, “The occurrence of events that happen at the same time by accident, but seem to have some connection.” Errin West and Priscilla Rodriguez, co-owners of The Cat Connection in Dallas,
know firsthand how serendipity and a seized opportunity can merge to create a flourishing enterprise.
The pair crossed paths in 2005, when West, a one-time horse trainer, newlywed and
recent Dallas transplant, responded to an ad for kennel help at The Cat Connection.
Once on board, she met fellow employee and cat lover Rodriguez, who had recently left
behind a position grooming dogs at a big-box pet retailer to tidy and fluff cats.
In 2012, the endeavor, established in 1985, became available, and the colleagues
joined forces to become the owners of a business focused almost entirely on cats.
“Priscilla and I put our dollars and our lives on the line,” West says. “Everything we
do here is for the well-being of the cat.”
The location in North Dallas comprises four storefronts situated in an off-the-beaten-
“We are not necessarily the most convenient place, but we do have better parking
than a traditional shopping center,” West says. “We also provide carry-outs for our
Shoppers are greeted by a full line of cat foods and supplies, along with a limited
inventory of fare for the canine set. Feline grooming and boarding services are also in
The ambience is functional.
“It’s not the prettiest, but you don’t need pretty to do it right; it’s not going to improve
the quality of the products,” West says. “Our core value is to get it done.”
Besides a robust brick-and-mortar business, The Cat Connection’s online store pro-
vides supplies and foods worldwide. Approximately 30 to 40 orders per day are shipped
from 2,000 square feet of warehouse space devoted to these sales.
“Many of the products that we offer online are not found elsewhere, so a lot of these
customers are searching brands, and that’s how they find us,” West says. “We also have
a pretty decent advertising budget.”
Sustenance is at the heart of The Cat Connection’s “whole cat” philosophy, and bio-
logically appropriate nourishment is spotlighted.
“We are big proponents of raw feeding and more natural foods, the less processed
the better—we don’t sell a lot of kibble here,” West says, adding that they are sticklers
For this reason, local veterinary clinics often refer their clients to The Cat Connection
for consultations and recommendations.
When a staff member is assisting a customer in a food selection, budget and time
THE CAT CONNECTION AT A GLANCE
YEAR of the
Location: 14233 Inwood Road Dallas, TX 75244
Owners: Errin West, Priscilla Rodriguez
Employees: 7 full time, 9 part time
Years in business: 33 years
Square feet: 9,000
Products and services: Cat foods, treats and supplies, online store, cat grooming, boarding, Cat Café, adoptions, subscription boxes