A gourmet tea salon for cat lovers

Cats walk between consumers at the "Cafe des chats" (Cat Cafe) in Paris. San Francisco looks set to get its own cat café this spring.

It looks like the cat café trend has made its way across the Atlantic, with San Francisco set to welcome what is thought to be the USA’s first feline tea salon.

KitTea, described as “part gourmet tea house, part cat and human oasis,” is set to open in the Californian city this spring. The café will allow customers to sample a range of exotic teas while interacting with cats from a local rescue shelter.

Co-founders Courtney Hatt and David Braginsky were inspired to launch the café after reading about the concept, which is a big hit in Japan, where crowded living spaces can make having pets impractical.

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The trend has since spread to Europe, with cafés opening up in London, Paris and Vienna. The most recent country to get on board the trend was Australia, which could see its first cat café opening this year in Melbourne.

However, launching a cat café is not always a straightforward process. In February 2013 entrepreneur Melissa Asiamah unveiled plans to open the USA’s first cat café in Boston but was reportedly met with resistance from public health authorities regarding the presence of animals on the premises of a food establishment.

Yet according to trendspotters at the gaming website Kotaku, Japan’s animal lovers are already bored with cats and are turning their attention towards cafés featuring owls and rabbits.