I love cats. This is a detailed guide to my beloved Amsterdam with the best places to meet cats in Amsterdam, officially and unofficially, with my favorite cats. If you're a fan of Catspotting, you're going to love this guide to Amsterdam.
I'm a crazy cat lady and meeting cats when traveling is one of my favorite hobbies. While living in Amsterdam, my husband and I hunted down the locations of cats in Amsterdam because we are that cat crazy. We found cats living at one of the cat cafes in Amsterdam, roaming the halls of a historic canal house/cat museum filled with cat art, cozying up to potential owners on de Poezenboot (the Catboat), sleeping in various shops, or even breaking into museum gardens. This also includes coffeeshops with cats.... That said, I was not successful in petting them all. Keep reading for our favorite cat locations in Amsterdam with a map.
The cat lover's guide to Amsterdam is sorted into sections:
You might have one question: why are cats so popular in Amsterdam / why is this post so long!? Amsterdam and cats go together as the city is full of water--and many of the old buildings are prone to mice issues. Having a cat is the best way to keep the mice issue down while having a cuddly companion. Similarly, many cat owners in the Netherlands believe that cats should be able to roam freely, which is why you see so many healthy cats on the streets of Amsterdam.
The BEST places to find cats in Amsterdam: Official cat places in Amsterdam
De Poezenboot is a cat shelter on a boat. Yes, you read that correctly. De Poezenboot is a floating cat shelter in the middle of the canals of Amsterdam. A cat lover established this cat sanctuary on a boat in the 1960s, and it can hold up to 50 cats (although they rarely have that many). The Catboat is technically free to visit although it has limited hours. Plan your visit to the Poezenboot carefully between 1-3pm on days besides Wednesday and Sunday.
They do accept donations, and I encourage you to buy a postcard to support their good work helping strays find a home. A number of the cats in the shelter vary as most are permanent residents who stay on the boat year-round (unless they happen to find a permanent home!) If you live in the area and you can foster, you can also help them by fostering/adopting the cats on the Catboat.
Most are very affectionate although the knowledgeable volunteers are happy to tell you about each cat at the floating cat shelter. On my last visit, they had a kitten. To be clear, they sometimes have kittens, but many are fostered at home, so you may not see one when you visit. We melted at the sight of so many cute cats and spent at least two hours playing with various cats.
Kattenkabinet (aka The Amsterdam cat museum.)
This cat museum in Amsterdam is unique as it holds only cat-related artwork. Admission is a bit pricey at 7 euros. However, the experience of walking through this historic canal house on Herengracht (one of the most beautiful canals in Amsterdam) makes it more worthwhile. You'll meet some very friendly, well-socialized cats who sleep wherever they want (even on the historic furniture). That said, keep an eye out for the Picasso painting of the cat. This cat museum is open 10-5 on weekdays and 12-5 on weekends.
The famous Amsterdam cat cafe: Kattencafe Kopjes
This cat cafe in Amsterdam (Kattencafe Kopjes) is in the Japanese style. You pay for entry into the cat cafe (3 euros per person) plus whatever you spend on food and drinks. Kattenencafe Kopjes is very popular, so you need to make a reservation ahead if you want to go as there's no guarantee that you'll get inside if it's a busy day. The food and coffee are tasty and vegan-friendly; albeit a bit pricey. Worth it though.
I went here with a friend, and I never felt rushed as we sat for a few hours petting various cats although you should be aware that the hours for this cat cafe in Amsterdam are more limited (10-7pm), so the cats aren't that active for most of the day.
Cats & Things
This cat furnishings store is paradise for cat lovers or maybe the perfect place to buy gifts for your cat-obsessed friends. Not surprising, there are some adorable kitties living in this shop for your cat viewing pleasure. ;)
Semi-official places that happen to have a cat
There are so many cafes with cats in Amsterdam, so you don't need to look very hard to find cats. The Dutch believe that cats are happier roaming outside with coming home when they feel like it. That makes catspotting very normal in Amsterdam although I have a few key spots that I look for cats. I've organized it by TYPE of establishment from hotel/hostel, cafe, store, supermarket to coffeeshops (yes, that kind of coffeeshop in Amsterdam).
Hotels/hostels with cats in Amsterdam
Hostel Cosmos Amsterdam.
This hostel in Amsterdam has a furry welcomer named Simba. If you love cats and you're looking for a hostel in Amsterdam with a cat, it roams the hostel....so don't let your allergic friends stay here.
This hostel is consistently said to be one of the best hostels in Amsterdam, and I've had friends stay here who loved it. They also have a cuddly hostel cat..
Cafes with cats in amsterdam
This sleepy brown bar in Amsterdam with a chill atmosphere has a large black cat who loves to sleep on the second floor or on the tables outside. Come for a good Dutch beer and stay for some pets.
This quiet bar with a great beer selection is home to a friendly cat named Claus that likes to run along the feet of customers. Its litterbox is next to the shelf of board games and you might also have a fit if he decided to sit on the Settlers of Catan board game.
Bagels & Beans on Haarlemmerdijk.
This friendly Amsterdam breakfast place makes a great affordable breakfast, but if you sit outside, you might spot a fluffy cat that loves to fall asleep in the potted plant. You'll often spot this giant friendly cat begging for pets.
La Boutique del Caffe
The beautiful calico kitty named Pipa that lives here is a beauty. A great excuse to get a coffee served with a pet on the side. ;)
This vegan and gluten-free friendly cafe in de Jordaan also has a friendly cat, so if you're looking for the perfect place to brunch with a friend who has food sensitivities...you can get a pet along with your meal.
The fat cat that lives at this convenient cafe right across from Amsterdam Centraal is pretty fat, but very gentle/friendly. I consider Cafe Kobalt one of the better places to wait for someone to meet you close to Centraal and you might even get a pet.
Gollem's Proeflokaal on Overtoom
I've never met this cat at this Amsterdam beer bar as I typically hang out at the OTHER Gollum, but it's one of my favorites for drinking local Dutch beer. (Click for a very important post about the best beer in Amsterdam.)
I consider this little brown bar hidden off Spui to have one of the best lunch specials for pancakes that I've found in Centre Amsterdam. They also have a sleepy cat that likes to sleep on the bar.
Coffeeshops with cats (that kind of coffeeshop)
If you're off to get high off meowijuana, you'll need your ID and be 18+ in order to get pets from these cute cats.
Lost in Amsterdam
This cafe in the middle of the Red Light district is very popular with tourists looking for a chill atmosphere together with some really loud music.
1 E Hulp
This friendly Amsterdam cat lives in a coffeeshop. It enjoys sleeping all day, ignoring reserved tables, and saying hi to the stoned customers. My stoner friends are low-key obsessed with this cat named Rizla.
Dampkring (Handboogstraat 29)
Another favorite of my stoner friends and perfect those cat lovers visiting Amsterdam who want to have a coffee at a coffeeshop in Amsterdam. This kitty at Amsterdam's famous coffeeshop chain is famously adorable and likes to perch on the tables watching the customers. The name's Bowie.
This tiny little cat named Zena is famous for her sweetness and her fluffy tail. You're in luck if you get a pet in!
Amsterdam Stores with cats / other places
This Amsterdam night shop has a friendly feline cashier that accepts pets and does not provide discounts. (You'll often see him in the back.)
Museum Van Loon
This beautiful canal house in Amsterdam has a secret garden... and a fluffy cat in the garden. Technically, the cat does not belong to the museum, but this fluffy Dutch cat loves to break into Museum Van Loon on a daily basis. Visitors often see this beautiful cat at the museum although it's not allowed inside.
Honden en Katten Kapsalon La Chic
There are two cats that live in this pet store in Amsterdam West, next to one of my favorite Moroccan restaurants in Amsterdam. I joke that one them is called Fluff Mountain because it's just so fluffy. You'll often spot it sleeping in the window.
Turks Reisbureau Kiziltepe
This Turkish travel agency has my two favorite cats in Amsterdam. One might even say the softest and friendliest. The owner of this travel agency brought these two beautiful long-hair cats back from Turkey as kittens. Since then, they've moved into his shop and you'll see them sleeping in the adorable wagon in front of the shop during the day.
This pet store in Amsterdam has a shy, but cute fat cat that likes to come out on a rare occasion. Either way, you can get some nice cat toys here.
This eye glass maker on Haarlemmerdijk has some of the craziest cat related displays in Amsterdam. If you're a cat lover, you'll need to walk by this window to try to spot the two cuties that live in the back of this sleepy shop surrounded by weed shops. Their display often changes, so keep an eye out for one of the cats who likes to snooze in the window.
Worldwide Supermarket (Lange Niezel 12)
The cat that lives here is famous among tourists who wander into this very central and convenient supermarket--and discover an adorable kitty.
Supermarkt "De Buurman" - Spuistraat 58
You can never have too many supermarkets with cats. They keep the rats away--and they charm the customers too.
Best streets/neighborhoods to look for cats in Amsterdam (no guarantees!)
This beautiful private hofje, which is a historically walled block of houses with a garden, has set hours (it typically closes at 7 pm to the public). It's full of friendly cats, and it's a local secret. If you come here, please be quiet, considerate, and don't litter. We took our elopement photos here, where we definitely included petting some cats.
Bickerseiland and Prinseneiland
This cozy neighborhood hidden away from Centre is full of adorable cats that roam the street day-time on a good day. My favorite is One Pet Randall (I made this name up)...who surprisingly only enjoys one pet before he bites the sh*t out of you.
Note: there's A LOT more cats in Amsterdam to be found, which is why I love this city so much. These are just my favorites and honestly, I've met COUNTLESS cats just by walking around Amsterdam. I also strongly suggest the book: Pub cats of Amsterdam, which you can find in many Amsterdam shops.
Where else have you spotted a cute cat in Amsterdam?
If you enjoyed this, click for more insider tips about Amsterdam, including where to eat in Amsterdam, a free walking tour of Amsterdam, tips for Amsterdam, and the best photography spots in Amsterdam.
Karen & Jacob. American expats and cat lovers from New York City and Kentucky who lived in Amsterdam.... Then, Paris. (Confusing, we know!) Now, we're back living in The Hague, the Netherlands.
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