As cat lovers, the thought of visiting places devoted to, or home to many of, our favourite animals sounds exciting. In the cities and towns we live in, ‘cat spectacles’ might not be a common occurrence. To get your feline fill, visiting or volunteering at a local shelter might be the best way.
But for the traveller, visiting some ‘cat hotspots’ might just be what the doctor ordered. While you’re out jet-setting across the globe, build some time in to interact with some of the best cat-inspired locations the world has to offer. To help, we’ve put together a list of interesting places to visit, worldwide, for the cat lover in your family.
Kuching Cat Museum in Sarawak, Malaysia
From the museum: “The World’s first Cat Museum, devoted to all things feline, is in Petra Jaya in the Kuching City North City Hall. Cat lovers will find a range of exhibits, photos, feline art and cat souvenirs; over 4,000 of them. The museum is housed on the ground on the City Hall building, spread over four galleries covering a total area of 1,035 sq meter.”
If you find yourself in Malaysia, check out the Kuching Cat Museum, if only just to walk through the big kitty arch.
The Stray Cat Hostel in Istanbul, Turkey
If travelling through Turkey, consider staying at the stray cat hostel. This hostel is largely similar to others in the area, save for the fact that stray cats have the run of the place! Their appreciation for the feline species is shown through the fact they safely allow them to reside on the premises and interact with guests. Because they are strays, a good way to make friends would be to bring a bag full of treats during your stay.
Cat Town Café in Oakland, California
Cat Town Café is a café built into a local shelter in Oakland, where cats can freely roam, nap, or interact with diners. They’ve been open for ten years now and are always in need of donations and patrons alike. One of the nicest parts is if you fall in love with a kitty, you have the option to adopt them!
Ranthambore National Park in India
We all love a big cat, and it doesn’t get much bigger than lions and tigers. Perhaps a liger? Either way, Ranthambore National Park offers guests the ability to spot wild tigers, among other wildlife, and since the park is full of tigers and other animals, the chances of spotting them are quite high!
The Hermitage in St. Petersburg, Russia
Since 1745, cats have lived out of the basement of The Hermitage in St. Petersburg, Russia. Initially welcomed to keep rats and mice out of the space, their legacy has lived on for almost 3 centuries. The furry felines can be seen roaming both inside and out, taking in the artwork adorning the walls, or interacting with passers-by.
The Cat Islands of Japan
As detailed in a previous blog, the cat islands of Japan are fascinating places where large herds of cats roam and live freely on the land. The residents help provide for them, as they were originally introduced to keep the rodents at bay in local fishing villages, but when the fishermen left, the cats stayed. With a bit of love and some friendly pats, these populations have thrived for decades.
Torre Argentina Cat Sanctuary in Rome
As Rome is one of the classic destinations for anyone on a world tour, we had to mention the Torre Argentina Cat Sanctuary. Rome is a city full of stray cats, but the sanctuary hosts over 300 alone, caring for them against the backdrop of one of the most beautiful places from the ancient world. Volunteers are always welcomed and spending a day there could make your trip to Rome extra special.
Poezenboot in Amsterdam
Poezenboot is a floating cat shelter and sanctuary where kitties can gently bob up and down on the waters surrounding the city, while safely tucked into baskets, beds, and other fun places on the barge. Poezenboot offers guests the chance to walk through and interact with the cats on the shores of beautiful Holland. They are also looking for volunteers to help care for their residents, and you can help them out if you’re in the area!