Opening Up Pets Food+Drink

CATS & COFFEE: Mr. Kitty’s Cat Café is Coming to Downtown Eau Claire

in partnership with E.C. Humane Association, the cat lounge will host 10-15 adoptable felines at all times

Sawyer Hoff |

WELCOME TO THE CATFE. Mr. Kitty's Cat Café & Boutique is hoping to open its doors in downtown Eau Claire at the end of March. (Background photo via Facebook, Cat photos by Andrea Paulseth)
WELCOME TO THE CATFE. Mr. Kitty's Cat Café & Boutique is hoping to open its doors in downtown Eau Claire at the end of March. (Background photo via Facebook, cat photos by Andrea Paulseth)

The cat is out of the bag: A new cat café called Mr. Kitty’s Cat Café & Boutique will be opening in downtown Eau Claire, within a former church that most recently housed the Eau Claire Community Haven House (now located at 412 Washington St., Eau Claire). In collaboration with the Eau Claire County Humane Association, Mr. Kitty’s Cat Café will house 10-15 cats for patrons to meet, lounge with, and ultimately adopt.

The new establishment will be owned by Shelli Schuppel, who has been a self-proclaimed “cat person” since she was a child. “I lost my father when I was a little girl and that summer my mom let me have a cat,” Schuppel said. “That cat brought me so much joy. I think everybody should have that kind of love from an animal.”

After discovering a cat café in Tennessee while visiting her son, Schuppel knew she wanted to bring something similar to Eau Claire, where she has lived with her family since 2011. She then approached the ECCHA about a partnership in which they would supply some cats to live at the cat lounge alongside the café.

"We get in over 1,500 animals a year, and about 70% of those are cats, so we would hope that we would be able to adopt out more cats because of the exposure ..."


executive director of eccha

“(Mr. Kitty’s Cat Café) will essentially be a foster home for us,” explained Shelly Janke, executive director of the ECCHA. “So we’ll be taking cats up to them to reside there until they’re adopted. So as long as the cats are getting along and are healthy and everything’s good, they’ll stay there until they’re adopted.”

Care for the cats will also be handled by the ECCHA, which plans to extend its usual volunteer system to Mr. Kitty’s. Anyone looking to volunteer at Mr. Kitty’s Cat Café must apply through the ECCHA website, pay the orientation fee of $20, and complete the training on how to care for the cats. Volunteers will handle tasks such as feeding, litter box cleaning, and attending to any other needs the cats may have.

Adopting of the cats will also run through the ECCHA at first, which requires an adoption application through their website, payment, and a few days of application processing. Though you won’t be able to take home your cat immediately at first, Schuppel is hoping to be able to offer an immediate adoption process once the business finds its footing.

Inside of the soon-to-be cat café. (Photo via Facebook)
Inside of the soon-to-be cat café. (Photo via Facebook)

“We get in over 1,500 animals a year, and about 70% of those are cats,” Janke explained. “So we would hope that we would be able to adopt out more cats because of the exposure that they would have and that our cats maybe wouldn’t have as long in the shelter because right now, our length of stay for a cat coming into the shelter is anywhere between 30 and 45 days, which is a long time to not live in a home.”

The church-turned-café will be split into two areas: the cat café and boutique, and the cat lounge. The café will be located in the church’s sanctuary area and have a modest menu, since there is no commercial kitchen in the building. They will serve coffee, teas, hot chocolate, and canned beverages, with desserts and other savory snacks available to nosh on including a few gluten-free options. The boutique will sell anything and everything cat-themed, including jewelry, T-shirts, purses, and Mr. Kitty’s Cat Café merchandise.

Separated by a windowed wall and an entrance with two doors (to prevent cats from escaping) will be the cat lounge, which will have seating options for visits with the cats as well as a wide-open space and different fixtures for the cats to roam and play. Patrons can choose to bring their refreshments into the cat lounge with them, but no food or drinks will be served within the lounge. Mr. Kitty’s Cat Café will also be fully wheel-chair accessible.

The Cats
The Cafe Meow in Roseville, Minnesota. (Photo via Facebook)

Cat visits in the lounge will be $15 for an hour, which will include a beverage of your choice. At the top of every hour, groups will be allowed to socialize with the cats in the lounge. The group sizes will vary as the number of cats available varies, making sure that there is a 1:1 human and cat ratio. Appointments will be made on Mr. Kitty’s website, where patrons also will find a waiver they must sign. Walk-ins are also welcome if there is space in the group. Reservations for birthday parties and other get-togethers will be available.

Schuppel says they hope to host different events at Mr. Kitty’s Cat Café & Boutique, including cat movie nights, crafts with cats, and games with cats, as well as possibly bringing some food trucks outside for patrons to enjoy while at the café.

To give the cats some time to recharge after visits, Mr. Kitty’s Cat Café will be open Tuesday-Saturday from 7am-1pm, will close 1-3pm, and then will open again from 3-7pm. There will also be a small room attached to the cat lounge that is only accessible to the cats where they can go if they need a break from the humans.

The space is currently under heavy construction, but Schuppel is hoping to have the café open by the end of March. Right now the largest focus is the plumbing (specifically moving it from the basement to the main level) and patching up the original flooring they found underneath the carpet. Schuppel says they want to refurbish everything they can from the original building, which includes an old organ (which will become a hideout in the cat lounge), the altar (which will become the check-in desk), and the original wooden pocket doors. 

Schuppel is looking for vintage furniture donations for the cat lounge, inviting anyone with gently used tables, chairs, and couches to reach out through Mr. Kitty’s Cat Café’s Facebook page or website. Many people have already contacted her about employment opportunities at the café, and Schuppel says she will be hiring a few more part-time associates towards the end of February. More information about positions will be on the website in the future.

“We're very excited,” Schuppel said. “I really think it’s gonna be a great thing for the community – and what’s more peaceful place than to just hang out with a purring cat, right?”

Follow along on the construction updates and learn more about Mr. Kitty’s Cat Café & Boutique at and on their Facebook.