Weird And Offbeat Museums: The Katten Kabinet in Amsterdam.

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.

Founder of cherylhoward.com. Canadian in Berlin. Frequent traveller now at 43 countries and counting.

20 Comments

  1. 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…

  2. @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! 🙂

  3. 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! 😛

  4. @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. 🙂

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

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

  7. @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. 😉

  8. 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!

  9. @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. =)

  10. 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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