Why do cats get all the best rooms?

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Fa-Raon at Le Bristol

Paris' historic, 5-star Le Bristol hotel is the kind of elegant establishment that you would expect to raise an eyebrow, or two, at the thought of letting a four-legged friend in over the threshold. But the introduction of Fa-Raon, a Burmese kitten as the hotel's new ambassador and resident moggy - is perhaps the final confirmation of what we've been seeing for a while now - that the way to a guest's wallet is through their pet.

A room at Le Bristol would usually set you back around €700, but Fa-Raon gets the run of the grounds for gratis, paying her way in winning-over guests with her feline charms.

So is Fa-Raon about to be the most pampered pet in Paris? Pet hotels are nothing new, but when does the common or garden dog kennel become a boutique bolthole? Is there a price we wouldn't pay to ensure our pets get the best treatment?

The Japanese have been on to the idea for years - the Calicio Cat Café charges people by the hour to come in and play with a kitten over lunch, while a new concept Dining with Dogs is a novel idea that puts people who can't bear to be parted with their pets in touch with dog-friendly cafes and restaurants in the US.

Walt Disney introduced the Best Friends Pet Care Resort at their park in Florida back in September – ensuring that no family ever need be too far away from that beloved extra member (they can even keep an eye on them via on the online web-cam). And earlier this year the Hyatt Regency Mission Bay Spa and Marina in San Diego also launched their 'Gold Pawsport' scheme – where pets win points for the frequency of their visits.

The Sniff Dog Hotel in Portland takes the concept of a boutique hotel and turns it over to pooches - where they can stay the whole night, or just for a few hours to get pampered, while owners wait it out in the café. The hotel's décor owes more to a hip guesthouse than typical poodle parlour, any day.

Pipping Le Bristol to the post however, is London's legendary Savoy hotel who has had a cat in residence since its 1920s heyday. Kaspar – a 3-ft black statue - has been the hotel's most famous, and enduring, guest. It being deemed unlucky to dine with 13 guests at your table, Kaspar's role was to make up the numbers, taking the place of the unofficial 14th member.