Parisian love of cats reaches luxury hotel market

Le Bristol Paris, cats

Though the French may be better known for small, yappy pooches that fit in designer handbags, Paris has developed a growing affinity for cats in recent years, first with the opening of a popular cat café, and now with the adoption of a new feline at the luxurious Bristol hotel.

It’s a move that could be construed as a way to stay relevant via the public's favorite attention-getter -- cats -- in a luxury hotel market that’s about to heat up significantly.

On the eve of the opening and reopening of two major hotel rivals, the Bristol introduced the press to its latest family member, a blue-eyed, white Birman cat named Kléopatra who will be allowed to roam the hotel freely as its pet mascot.

On August 1, the long-awaited Peninsula Paris will open its doors, as will the Hotel Plaza Athenee after a nearly year-long renovation, ratcheting up the competition in the city’s luxury hotel market.

Kléopatra will be the female companion for Fa-raon, who has held reign over the hotel over the last few years and took up residence as a companion for the hotel's littlest guests.

Last year, the city became home to its first cat cafe, in which cat lovers can sip their coffee amid roaming felines.

Travel + Leisure magazine named the Bristol the best hotel in France in France last year.