When planning my trip to Amsterdam, I went out of my way to look for sites that would be considered weird, offbeat and unusual. Not surprisingly, Amsterdam has plenty of bizarre attractions to entertain those looking for something different or alternative to the mainstream tourist sites like the Ann Frank Huis or Van Gogh Museum.
When I finally stopped looking at street art, the first weird and offbeat place I visited? A museum dedicated entirely to cats! I’m actually not kidding and at the risk of being called a crazy cat lady, I went to the Katten Kabinet (Cat Cabinet) which features artwork depicting nothing else but … cats.
The museum was founded in 1990 by Bob Meijer in honor of his cat John Pierpont Morgan. In case you were wondering, Bob named his cat after the American banker J.P. Morgan! I wonder how many cats out there are named after the rich and famous? Perhaps there are some mean looking Persian cats with messy hair named “The Donald“.
As you wander through the museum, you’ll be surprised to discover that the interior is very grand and stately. This canal house was actually used to shoot scenes for the movie Ocean’s 12. Bob and his family also live on the second floor. Hmmmm, just imagine how much cat art must be on display in their living room?
You might even be lucky enough to come across one of the family cats while you’re visiting. Unfortunately, none of them were around when I was there.
You’ll see all sorts of cat prints, sculptures and memorabilia and may even be surprised to find works by Picasso, Rembrandt and Toulouse-Lautrec.
When it comes to cat memorabilia, there are some really over the top items like this old fashioned pinball machine, colorful pom-pom sculpture and Cats statue.
There’s also a guestbook to sign. One visitor drew a caricature of his cat Bicho whom he feels should be featured in the museum. I vote that Maru, the Internet superstar be included because there is no other cat as hilarious (or as cute) as him.
If you are crazy about cats (they even admit this), there are plenty of posters and prints to buy in their little shop, also online.
The museum is small and can be toured in about 30 minutes. Admission will fetch you 6 €. If you’re anxious to get here (and I know you are), you’ll find the Katten Kabinet located at Herengracht 497, 1017 BT Amsterdam.