Feline Resort in Simpsonville Is Truly the Cat's Meow

The sign on New Harrison Bridge Road in Simpsonville that reads “Maui Meow Resort for Cats” has, no doubt, intrigued many a passerby. Drivers must have had their curiosity piqued after passing the unassuming white house boasting a cat resort inside. 

Sandra and Gary Guenther’s business lives up to its name. Eight years ago they converted the downstairs of their home into a cat’s paradise, complete with roomy cat condos and an indoor cat playground, accented by a Hawaiian theme. Every furry guest gets a view of the Guenther’s ample backyard, home to an array of birds and cat-themed knick-knacks. 

Maui Meow Resort for Cats opened in 2008. Sandra said the idea for a cat resort came to her one day when she was debating how to redo the downstairs of their home. This was quite the unexpected business prospect, considering the Guenthers were primarily dog people up to that point. As Sandra began researching the idea she discovered two things: there were very few cat-only kennels on the East coast, and the majority of enclosures in these kennels were too small. The Guenthers enlisted the help of a friend who designed the spacious 60x30 suites, giving the furry guests plenty of room to lie about, while allowing for enough space between the cat’s food and litter box. 

There are ten cat suites, but Sandra says people are constantly asking her to expand. During the summers and holidays she often has a full house, and last-minute callers are often disappointed that she is unable to accommodate their cats. Currently, the Guenthers have no plans to expand, despite the demand. They feel ten cats and two caretakers is the perfect blend. Sandra always has the cats’ best interests foremost in her mind, which is another reason they don’t want to expand. “It’s not fair to them [the cats], they need their space,” Sandra said. “That’s why I designed it this way, for their comfort.” 

The resort is sunny, meticulously clean, and climate-controlled. Litter boxes are scooped multiple times a day, and all the suites are cleaned out daily. “The major things people like about us is that it smells good, that they have a wide open space to play in the cages and it’s light,” Sandra said. “Not to mention the fact that I’m here 24 hours a day, seven days a week and holidays.” Another significant benefit of a feline-only boarding facility is there are no barking dogs to stress out the cats, and the Guenthers allow the boarding cats “play time” in the main area of the room for one to two hours a day, longer if there are only a few cats boarding. Cats from the same family are even allowed to have play time together. 

The cat-friendly accommodations and spacious condos are some of the aspects that keep clients bringing their cats back. “The people that love their cats don’t want to leave them in tiny places,” Sandra said. One current guest, Chloe, a talkative, brown shorthair cat, is boarding for three months while her family is in Turkey. The live-in aspect of the owners in a key attraction for cat owners. Sandra and Gary are attentive to the cats’ needs both day and night. They know all their cat guests by name and know all their individual personalities and quirks. 

At a wallet-friendly rate of $11 a night, clients love the live-in owners, which is a rare advantage for most kennels. There is no additional charge if your cat needs medication, and every cat gets one-on-one attention from both Sandra and Gary. Ready to board your feline family member at Maui Meow? You can reach Sandra and Gary at (864) 409-1011.

Article and photos by Deb Peluso.