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The cats of Amsterdam

Posted on Jun 29, 2011 by

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For a cat lover, Amsterdam is like heaven: cats are everywhere! Dutch in general and Amsterdamians in particular are big lovers of cats, almost every other home owning one, two or even more. Many shops and restaurants have a few cats roaming around as fearful guardians against mice and lovely entertainers for customers.

I very much enjoy walking through the streets in the morning, when the shops start to open and the cats are very active. They go out and investigate the area, stretch their paws after a long night and search for humans to pet them. In the afternoon, all will be laying on the windowsills sleeping, tired from all the action, and not in the mood for photo sessions. The exception is the cat from the last picture, which is always sleeping on her favourite teddy bear — morning, afternoon or night. I think every tourist that passed by this shop on the Haarlemmerstraat has a picture of the lazy cat.

You can admire cats in the windows or on the streets, when they’re going for a walk, or you can visit the Cat Boat (De Poezenboot), a floating cat shelter that, due to its unique location (a boat house) has become a tourist attraction. Another option can be The Cat Cabinet (Kattenkabinet), a small museum specialised in art representing cats. The museum is located on Herengracht 497, and can be a funny experience as the guides are actually local cats living there.

Here are a few pictures with the cats I met on my walks that were (more or less) willing to pose.


  1. Check out @Cats ‘n Things on Hazenstraat in the Jordaan.

    • Super shop! Thank Melissa, I didn’t know about it. I can’t wait to go there 🙂

  2. It is normal that cats should be of primary importance in a city with many canals. They were essential to control the rodent population. Rats didn’t only spread disease and ruin granaries, they also detroyed ships by eating their rigging.

    In Venice as well, there are cats everywhere. There used to be a serious problem with stray cats there, but the homeless cat population has been reduced through the humane method of sterilize and release, as well as adoption of stray kittens.

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