Amsterdam, Europe, The Netherlands, Weird & Offbeat

Weird And Offbeat Museums: The Katten Kabinet in Amsterdam.

December 30, 2011
Katten Kabinet

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.

Katten Kabinet

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.

Katten Kabinet

Katten Kabinet

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.

Katten Kabinet

Katten Kabinet

Katten Kabinet

Katten Kabinet

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.

Katten Kabinet

Katten Kabinet

Katten Kabinet

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.

Katten Kabinet

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.

Katten Kabinet

Katten Kabinet

Katten Kabinet

Katten Kabinet

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.

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  • Reply Sherry December 31, 2011 at 2:15 am

    A museum for cat art – that is bizzare! What will they think of next 🙂 It seems they love their black ones best, hmmm?

  • Reply fotoeins | Henry December 31, 2011 at 3:28 am

    kittEH kittEH kittEH! I’m still trying to wrap my head around the Chettalin poster with “So wirkt Schuhputz” …

  • Reply Andrea December 31, 2011 at 4:33 am

    How do you find this stuff?? Haha! Looks like an interesting museum – I’m sure there is enough cat stuff out there to fill a few of them…

  • Reply Lauren December 31, 2011 at 5:01 am

    Hahahaha, that’s insane! I wish I’d known about this when I went to Amsterdam earlier this year!

    • Reply Cheryl Howard December 31, 2011 at 2:40 pm

      @Sherry – It’s very bizarre! I’m scared of what they’ll think of next. 😉

      @Henry – believe it just means shoeshine.

      @Andrea – I’m on a mission for all things weird now.

      @Lauren – It’s def a good laugh. More fun than the sex museum! 🙂

  • Reply fotoeins | Henry January 1, 2012 at 6:47 pm

    Thanks, Cheryl! But what I was really trying to wrap my head was that either the boots have eyes, that it’s simply a reflection from the very shiny material of the boots, or that the cat is standing military-style with boots … and yet, I cannot look away … ack! 😛

    • Reply Cheryl Howard January 1, 2012 at 10:49 pm

      @Henry – LOL! Not quite sure myself, it’s a very strange print indeed.

  • Reply Stephanie - The Travel Chica January 1, 2012 at 7:26 pm

    Good find! But shocking they can charge that much for a tiny cat art museum.

    • Reply Cheryl Howard January 1, 2012 at 10:50 pm

      @Stephanie – Yes, for sure. Amsterdam while totally cool and very fun is not a cheap city! That’s why I’m headed to Poland next. 🙂

  • Reply Jade - January 2, 2012 at 12:16 pm

    i SO want to go there. SO MUCH

    • Reply Cheryl Howard January 2, 2012 at 9:04 pm

      @Jade – ha ha! It’s definitely an offbeat experience. You can always depend on Europe to offer up weird museums of all sorts.

  • Reply Christy @ Technosyncratic January 3, 2012 at 9:11 am

    “Perhaps there are some mean looking Persian cats with messy hair named “The Donald“.” — LOL! Now I want to get a mean looking Persian just so I can steal this idea. 😛

    • Reply Cheryl Howard January 3, 2012 at 6:39 pm

      @Christy – Glad I could make you laugh! Please do this and share your angry cat photos. 🙂

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  • Reply Laurel January 5, 2012 at 8:01 pm

    I think I qualify as one of those “crazy cat ladies” so would love to check this out.

    • Reply Cheryl Howard January 5, 2012 at 8:14 pm

      @Laurel – my next post also happens to be cat related! You can follow my foot steps and have a crazy ct lady day like I did. 😉

  • Reply Margaret Antkowski January 6, 2012 at 5:09 pm

    I passed by this museum on my last day in Amsterdam. Almost went inside but my feet were completely destroyed from four days of non-stop walking about the city. My fiance loves cats, and I figure that someday I’ll have to show him Amsterdam. This will definitely be on the list of cool museums to check out – the cat memorabilia is so catty!

    • Reply Cheryl Howard January 6, 2012 at 11:39 pm

      @Margaret – I walked and walked through Amsterdam too! Don’t blame you for not going in when you were so tired. Hope you make it there, it’s quiete cute. =)

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  • Reply Laura @Travelocafe October 4, 2013 at 2:58 pm

    I’ve just got to this post from your “De Poezenboot” post. Amazing. This is such a great idea of a museum. And when I think that I almost made it again to Amsterdam this year… I really have to go back. Thanks for the tip.

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      Laura – Yes, I had quite the car themed time in Amsterdam. The musuem is a lot of fun too! 🙂

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