If cats and cafes are two of your favorite things, then St. Louis’ Mauhaus Cat Cafe and Lounge should definitely be at the top of your to-do list!
As someone who loves both cats and coffee, it should come as no surprise that I’ve been keeping an eye on the cat cafe phenomenon since it first arrived in the U.S. It was one of those things I couldn’t wait to do someday.
However, living in St. Louis, I figured the only way I’d ever get the chance to do that was by visiting one of the larger more touristy cities. STL is great, but being in the Midwest, it’s always just a little bit behind on trends.
So when I heard that Mauhaus Cat Cafe and Lounge was opening its doors, I was beyond excited! But as excited as I was, it still took me a couple of years to finally visit. I wasn’t living permanently in St. Louis when it first opened, so I had to come back home from my travels before I could go.
One thing I’ve always worried about with cat cafes (and other animal cafes) is the safety and care of the animals. I’m very cautious to visit any animal-centered attraction, including a simple cafe. Now that I’ve been, I feel confident that the animals are well-taken care of and truly loved.
What is a Cat Café?
A cat cafe is pretty much what it sounds like: a cafe, but with cats.
Most are typical cafe settings where you can order coffee, tea, snacks, and other food. The difference is that there are cats hanging around for you to pet and play with; they’re the main attraction.
The first official cat cafe opened in Taiwan in the late ’90s, and the idea quickly spread to Japan, where it quickly became popular. The concept first arrived in the U.S. around 2014 and became trendy in the following years.
Mauhaus Cat Café
Mauhaus Cat Cafe is the first cat cafe in St. Louis, Missouri. It opened in 2016 and it’s located in the Maplewood neighborhood. (Another cat cafe, called The Cheshire Grin, opened in 2019.)
The cats stay in a big open room filled with benches, tables, seating, big windows, and plenty of climbing options (for the cats only). The room is blocked off from the front of the cafe where you enter and order. This is to keep the cats from escaping and to adhere by standard cafe regulations.
While this is a fun thing to do as a tourist, I think my St. Louis locals will appreciate it most. Can’t have a cat at home? Come visit, have a coffee/tea, and see the cats!
How it Works
- Walk in, step up to the counter, and let the employees know how many are in your group.
- Order your drinks and snacks and wait for your order. There is a $5 minimum spend per person. This will buy a drink and get you about 30 minutes. $10 will buy you an hour of time.
- An employee will let you know when it’s time to enter the cat area. There is timing involved since they limit how many customers can be in the cafe at one time.
- Hang out in the cat cafe with your drink and interact (gently) with the cats.
That’s the basics of it, but there are a few more things you should know:
- Make reservations. Walk-ins are allowed, however there will usually be a wait. When I went, we had to give them our name and come back about 30 minutes to an hour later.
- There is a limit to how many customers can be in the cafe at a time. They don’t want to overwhelm the cats, so that’s why there is typically a wait time.
- Be gentle with the cats. Do not pick them up or be rough with them.
- You will get about 30 minutes to 1 hour in the cat area. Your time will be monitored and an employee will let you know when you’re time is coming to an end.
- Kids are allowed but there needs to be 1 adult for every 2 children.
I really appreciate the rules that are put into place to insure the cats are protected and taken care of. Mauhaus definitely has the cats’ best interest in mind.
Adopt the cats
Being able to get a coffee and hang out with cats is fun, but what I really love about this place is that you can adopt the cats.
Mauhaus Cat Cafe & Lounge is run in partnership with Stray Haven Rescue. All cats are up for adoption, so if you live in the area and meet one you bond with, you might be able to take it home (not right away; it’s a process).
You can see pictures of all the cute cats currently in the cafe on their website.
Address: 3101 Sutton Boulevard, Maplewood, MO
Hours: Wed-Sat 9 am – 8 pm; Sun 9 am – 6 pm
Price: $5 minimum spend per person (this gets you a hot drink & entrance)
Have you ever been to a cat cafe? Where was it and how was your experience?