St. Louis area’s first-ever cat cafe on the brink of going out of business


MAPLEWOOD, Mo. – Mauhaus Cat Cafe and Lounge is one of the most unique cafes in the city and a Maplewood staple, but the pandemic has taken a large toll on them financially. They don’t know how much longer they will be able to last.

“It’s been a really rough few months. About four months now, we’ve been pretty much losing money every month, but we are in this for the long haul. We are not closing our doors,” said Dana Valenti, co-owner Mauhaus.

This charming spot planted on the corner of Sutton Boulevard and Elm Street has been in business since November of 2016. Here you can pick up your favorite cup of coffee, baked goods made from local ingredients and baked fresh every day, and if you’re up to it – maybe even a cat.

You see, Mauhaus is not just your average local cafe. They are a cat adoption center as well. They work with their rescue partner Stray Haven to house up to 18 adoptable cats in a cozy, cat-friendly lounge that is connected to their coffee and bakeshop.

Before the pandemic guests could come in and sip on a cup of hot joe and spend time with the cats, but of course, things have changed.

Mauhaus made a large portion of their earnings from lounge reservations. Now that more customers are staying home the cafe has taken a large financial hit. They have started a fundraiser to help raise money that will keep their staff employed and help cater to the cats they care for.

As of now, they have raised a little of $12,000. Their goal is to raise $15,000, but depending on how long this pandemic lingers, they will need much more than that.

“We’re back open now,” said Valenti. “We have reservations on the weekends and on Thursdays. If you’d like to come in and visit the cats, you can. You can still be with your small network that you trust and you get to be with the cats because they really miss people.”

Although business isn’t as booming as they’d like, cat adoptions are the exact opposite. Since the pandemic began Mauhaus has given 25 cats up for adoption. They have found homes for 80 cats total for the year thus far.

If you aren’t a fan of cats, you can still support by purchasing food drinks to-go or through UberEats.

“If we had to close it would break my heart knowing that there are so many animals that were helping find homes that wouldn’t be able to find homes anymore,” Valenti said. “We’ve been part of this community for four years and to have that taken away I just feel like would be such a hole.”

For more information on how to donate, how to adopt a cat, store hours and operation, you can visit their website here.

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