#THAT: A Haven for Cats

Mew Haven offers gourmet drinks, place to adopt cats

Mat Fortin, Associate Producer, #THAT

You’ve heard of espresso bars, book cafes and Internet cafes.

But the concept of a cat café may be new to you.

Mew Haven in Westville is hoping to change that. They offer all the accommodations of your typical coffeehouse, but with one important twist.

“We’re one part coffee shop, one part cat foster home,” owner Angela Pullo said. “There are no places for cat lovers to hang out. This is kind of that place.”

Pullo opened Mew Haven last November with her husband Mike. Ever since, they’ve been offering customers gourmet treats and the opportunity to interact with feline friends– all of whom are in need of a home.

“Cat adoption is the first goal you have when you open a cat café,” Pullo said. “You definitely want to get good homes. There is no end to being able to help animals find homes. There are tons of cats out on the streets.”

Since opening, the Pullos have helped over 40 cats find new owners through their cat café.

The pair found inspiration for Mew Haven in the several cat cafes that have opened in New York City, and decided it was time to open the first one here in Connecticut.

To ensure there would be an interest amongst the public, the Pullos opened a pop-up location downtown.

“Over 700 people stopped by and all five cats got adopted,” Pullo said. “That really gave us the confidence to be able to move forward and do this permanently.”

Moving forward, the duo had to receive special zoning from the Westville neighborhood to open their Cat Café– no other area in New Haven can host one.

Fast forward a year and a half, and Mew Haven has become a hotspot for families looking for a new pet.

“A lot of people do come here with the mindset that they’re ready to adopt and if they do find someone that they fall in love with they’ll come and fill out an application,” Pullo said. “But some people, they just fall in love. They didn’t expect that they’d fall in love with these cats. And we really provide that environment where you can be comfortable.”

But you don’t have to adopt to enjoy visiting Mew Haven.

“I think a lot of people they just want to get away from the world for a bit,” Pullo said. “It’s really difficult to think about anything else other than cats when you’re here. And I think that’s amazing. All the human problems of the world, that goes away when you enter the room.”

If human problems are something you need to forget about, you can buy time slots with the cats for an hour at a time. But if you’re going on a weekend, Pullo recommends making reservations because they’ve been getting busier by the week.