That’s exactly the idea behind the newest trend in coffeehouses around the world!  The concept behind cat cafes is that patrons can watch and play with a bevy of feline hosts and hostesses while they enjoy a cup of joe.  We’re not sure how that works around local health regulations, but that’s not really our concern.  We think this is a great idea!  This is a great way for people to be around cats when they are kitty-starved.  It is also a very clever way of allowing local shelter cats or friendly strays have contact with humans.  It really is a win-win!

In countries like Taiwan and Japan, there’s nothing new about cat cafes.  The first Taiwanese cat café opened in 1998.  In 2004, a Japanese café owner followed suit and opened one in Osaka.  (As a side note, Japan offers tons of options like this.  They think of it as a form of “pet rental”, since most Japanese apartment communities won’t allow urbanites to own pets.  Along these same lines, various Japanese cities offer bunny cafes, penguin bars, owl cafes, and squirrel gardens.)  The concept has become so popular that Japan is now home to about 40 different cat cafes.

So, now these cafes are cropping up all over the world.  You can finds cat cafes in places such as Austria, France, Hungary, Spain, Germany, and Canada.  The most exciting part?  Cat Cafes have officially come to the United States!

San Francisco will soon be welcoming its first cat café, “KitTea”, later this year.  “Cat Town Café” is also expected to open in Oakland, CA in 2014.  Both cafes are still in planning, but be sure to watch for their grand openings if you’re in the San Francisco Bay area!  Let’s make sure cat cafes are a hit in the United States!  (…because we want one in our town, too!)