Photos and Article by Sophie Jeffery, Editor
Strong coffee, scrumptious desserts, a comfortable chair near a warm, sunny window, and 18 adorable cats lounging around in a cozy room…is there any better way to spend a Saturday afternoon? Recently, I spent an hour visiting the cats at Mauhaus, the first cat café in the St. Louis metropolitan area. Located at 3101 Sutton Blvd in Maplewood, Mauhaus opened its doors in November 2016 and has been busy ever since. This is great news for the cats, since Mauhaus works directly with Stray Haven Rescue, a no-kill shelter dedicated to finding homes for St Louis’ stray and feral cats. In addition to helping stray cats, the shelter also rescues cats from high-kill shelters, giving them another chance at finding a loving home. The adoption process involves an application and interview in hopes to finding a forever home, so don’t expect to go to the café and come home with a cat the same day. The café recently celebrated their 100th adoption, and at the time of my visit, that number had already risen to 104 successful adoptions.
My family and I made a reservation for Saturday at 5 p.m. and were welcomed warmly when we arrived by the café manager, Liz. We ordered drinks (I recommend the nitro cold brew), signed waivers (“So you can’t sue us if one of the cats eats you,” Liz joked), and walked through the double doors to kitty cat heaven. My daughter and I headed right for a ginger cat, Chaos, who was snoozing on a pillow on the floor, and gave him a few snuggles before moving onto Lorelai, who was napping on a cat bed inside one of the long cat tunnels. Lorelai and her brother Taylor, who was sprawled luxuriously across the top of a large cat cage, are Mauhaus’ only permanent residents.
Including Lorelai and Taylor, Mauhaus typically has around 18 cats hanging around the lounge. With no shortage of cat beds, pillows, and kitty towers, the cats clearly reign in the lounge. For the humans, there are a couple tables to sit at, benches around the edge of the room, and a couple comfortable chairs, although the cats frequently claim them as their own as well. They have access to the basement through a cat door, and there are also plenty of places for the cats to hide from visitors’ eyes if they want to be left alone. In fact, one cat remained hidden for our entire visit up in the corner of one of the high walkways; I knew she was up there but could only glimpse the tiniest bit of fur.
Mauhaus is open Thursday-Saturday from 9 a.m.-8 p.m. and Sunday from 9 a.m.-6 p.m., and reservations are highly recommended. Reservations can be made on their website, and are $10 for adults, $5 for kids. Your reservation fee gets you an hour in the lounge with the cats and a $5 credit to spend at the café on a drink. You also get 20% off any additional purchases from the café with your reservation. We ordered two flavored steamers, a nitro cold brew, and a caffe mocha, and all were delicious!
Mauhaus highly recommends making a reservation in order to secure your spot in the lounge, as they do get busy and walk-in times can be long at times since they limit the amount of people in the cat lounge at any one time for the cats’ well-being. I recommend trying to visit Thursday or Friday, as it seemed some of the cats were a bit skittish by Saturday evening. The lounge manager on duty told me some of the cats do tend to get a bit disinterested in visitors towards the end of the week, but that they are “practically starved for attention by Thursday morning.”
Mauhaus is a great chance to get some cat snuggles if you’re missing your own cat from home or can’t commit to adopting a cat at this time. It’s also great for anyone who is looking for a cat to adopt! The cat lounge is a wonderful environment to really get to know the temperament of the cats; after just one hour it was clear which cats were the playful ones, which were feisty, and which were aloof. If you are interested in adopting one of the cats at Mauhaus, they can direct you through the application process. They, along with Stray Haven Rescue, are committed to finding the right home for each cat, and each cat is up to date on all vaccines and tests and is microchipped.