Bay Area cat lovers will soon have the pur-fect place to unwind with a cup of tea. Three feline fans in San Francisco have announced plans to open KitTea, America’s first cat café. Imagine sipping a cup of sustainably sourced tea while ten rescued cats compete for your affection. Sounds meow-tastic!

The cat-café combination, while new to the United States, has already proved popular in cities around the globe. Parisians get “purr therapy” at Café des Chats, and residents of Osaka, Japan, frequent the feline-filled Cats’ Time Café. It was Japan’s cat café, in fact, that inspired KitTea co-founder Courtney Hatt to begin her business in the first place. As Hatt explained to Catster, her team aims to create “ a Zen-like place where people can relax, hang out with cats, and drink tea.”

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“Our patrons will enjoy all the benefits that playing with cats provides: from the pure joy and fun of the furballs to their tested ability to improve our health and reduce stress,” reads the KitTea FAQ. “At the same time, patrons can enjoy an exotic collection of teas, sustainably sourced from around the world, in an elegant setting.”

Although the upper-tier tea selection is a nice touch, KitTea will primarily serve to foster the adoption of its feline residents. KitTea has plans to partner with local animal shelters—including Go Cat Go, Wonder Cat Rescue, and Give Me Shelter Cat Resuce—to provide the cats for the café. After the cats are socialized and introduced to the space, they’ll be fully adoptable and ready to find a fur-ever home.

“Huge numbers of cats in California never leave shelters,” the KitTea site says. “…Our cat oasis will be the ultimate nirvana in comparison to being left in a cage with an uncertain future, which is their fate if they are left at a city shelter. Everyone connected to this project is a devoted cat parent and animal defender. We truly want what is best for the cats.”

It is abundantly clear that the KitTea team does have the kitties’ best interests at heart. They’ve already added a feline vet and cat behaviorist to their advisory team, and have pledged to follow the guidelines of the Association of Shelter Veterinarians—while simultaneously upholding the standards of San Francisco’s Food Safety Program, of course.

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KitTea is currently scouting and negotiating potential spaces, but is optimistic about opening later this year. In the meantime, check out Animalist’s interview video with Hatt for more details on the upcoming café, as well as adorable footage of other cat cafes around the world!


Image source: Love Meow
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