SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) — There’s a new way to find a pet all while getting your caffeine fix, and it’s likely to be available soon in San Francisco.
“It’s needed, it’s wanted,” said founder Courtney Hatt. “It’s not just for the people, but for the cats.”
When Hatt grew tired of her marketing job, she learned about a trend in Asia and Europe: cafes where adoptable kitties mingle with cafe customers.
“Many people were like, that’s crazy,” Hatt said.
A pop-up cat cafe opened April in New York, but only for a week. It was the first in the U.S. and proved a success.
Lisa Quattrini’s rescue organization is one of two that will provide adoptable cats for the San Francisco venture called “KitTea.”
“It allows us to bring out cats in a non-cage setting that really can give them an environment to showcase their personalities and show what a great cat they’re going to be,” Quattrini said.
But the San Francisco Health Department wasn’t sold on the idea.
“They said absolutely not,” Hatt said. “Cats, tea, tea is food — it’s not going to work.”
The solution, as they did in New York, is to close off the cats from the area where the food is doled out.
In a city with skyrocketing rents, it’s also been a challenge finding an affordable space and landlords who were also on board.
“We’ve had this issue with a couple where they just want pure retail,” Hatt said. “Or they just want a cafe, not a cat cafe.”
But today, she’s very close to a deal and hoping to make the announcement on July 1. Opening day is still to be announced, but her vision is clear.
“A very Japanese-styled zen space that’s not just going to be a sanctuary for people,” Hatt said. “It will also be more than anything a sanctuary for the cats.”