First St. Louis Cat Cafe Opens to Public

By Maddie Mitchell, Maddie Callewart, Shannon Lane, Hannah Davis

Mauhaus is the very first cat cafe in Missouri run by co-owners Ben Triola and Dana Huth. Mauhaus first opened to the public on Nov. 12, 2016, and it has been catching the public’s eye ever since.

“Dana and I visited a cat cafe in Thailand in 2014,” Triola said. “[We] knew almost instantly we wanted to do it in St. Louis.”

To make that dream a reality, the couple opened a Kickstarter campaign to raise money for the project. A year and a half later, the campaign ended with a total of $36,147 in donated funds. With these funds, they began to bring the idea to life. Triola and Huth already had the perfect place in mind for their cat-friendly cafe: Maplewood.

“We love the community in Maplewood,” Triola said. “Also we live and work in the area, so it was a perfect fit.”

After Mauhaus was finally built, it was time to bring the cats there to roam around in their new foster home. Mauhaus has a wonderful partnership with Tenth Life, an adoption agency providing cats to the cafe in the hopes that people will decide to adopt them.

“Currently we have ten cats,” lounge manager Clayton Hankamer said. “The main point of this place is to have them adopted and already four cats got adopted, so it’s working.”

Mauhaus isn’t just home to many cats, it’s also home to unique food and drink options. Triola and Huth decided to bring back different cultural dishes from their travels and based the menu on their experiences. From gluten-free options to vegan ones, Mauhaus has dishes for everyone.

“The most popular item on our menu is the Babka; it’s a cinnamon cardamon bread,” cafe manager and barista Caleb Sawyer said. “As for drinks it’s our mochas and hot chocolate.”

Mauhaus definitely tries to give customers a memorable experience with the presence of cats and genuine food. The atmosphere is truly relaxing for the customers and gives them plenty of time to enjoy everything with reservations in advance.

“Other cafes in the states charge an hourly fee . . . we felt like that was too restrictive,” Triola said. “We do take reservations, but the fee goes toward your food and drink.”

Mauhaus is truly a different place in St. Louis. Many different people are stopping by, from cat lovers to ones that can’t have a cat. Mauhaus’s main goal right now is to get the cats adopted one by one.

“I think people should come to Mauhaus if they really love cats or just want to spend time with animals,” Triola said. “It’s not going to be for everyone, but the people that like it, love it.”

Here are social media posts of visitors to the cafe.