Travel Tuesday: San Francisco’s First Cat Café

The Bay Area is getting another cat café.

The last time I was in San Francisco was for a writers’ conference. It was three days of panels with other writers, editors and agents. And those days were full. There wasn’t a whole lot of time for exploring the city. I think I was able to get out once, maybe twice. It being an annual conference, if I were to go back this year, I’d definitely make the time for San Francisco’s latest must-see: KitTea – the city’s first cat café.

Officially opening this Wednesday, June 24, 2015, KitTea is offering the things we love about cat cafés: adoptable kitties and tea and pastries. Courtney Hatt is behind the venture after finding her former panic-attack-inducing tech job too stressful, SFGate reports. “[W]hat really helped me were my cats and just kind of seeing their ability to be zen and in the moment. It helped me get out of my funk from being in tech and being so stressed out,” Hatt told SFGate. Hatt was also very familiar with the cat cafés of Japan. Thus the idea of her own cat café was born.

Initially set out to be the first cat café in the U.S., KitTea experienced some delays. Though disappointed, Hatt said she’s glad the cat café wasn’t rushed. Rushing may have led to even bigger disappointments. Instead, Hatt got to create the “oasis for humans and cats” she wanted.

Twelve to 15 rescue cats from Give Me Shelter will call KitTea their oasis, at least until a cat café visitor takes them to their forever home. The cats will all be adoptable, and once they are new shelter cats will be brought in. Think of KitTea as a place where cats will get to socialize with humans and other cats and choose who they want as their pet parent. They’ll be in their own special room in compliance with health regulations, but will be viewable from the café. Visitors to the café can purchase various teas and goodies, including cheesecake (yum!).

KitTea will be open daily from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., except for Mondays, when the café closes at 3 p.m. for staff meetings and cleaning. Reservations for one-hour time slots in the cat room can be made online.

KitTea is located at 96 Gough Street in San Francisco.

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