On my trip to Amsterdam, I was hoping to be able to find a Cat Cafe. I have heard only positive things about them and definitely wanted to give it a go; two of my favorite things in life are cats and coffee! While it ultimately was not meant to be this time around, I did come across a wonderful little museum dedicated to all types of cat art!
Visiting the Museum
Situated inside a beautiful canal home on the Herengracht, the Cat Cabinet has a sign that will capture your attention as soon as you pass it; if not, maybe one of the sunbathing cats sitting in the window of the museum will catch your eye (the owners have 5 when I asked). You are fully allowed to pet the cats if they will let you. I can fully attest to them being friendly and loving a good belly rub.
The Herengracht area of Amsterdam was once one of the ritziest neighborhoods in the city where the top lawyers and bankers lived. The canal is part of the central Canal Belt and provides a picturesque area to walk around and soak in the atmosphere. It’s much quieter than the Centraal Station area.
If you are a holder of the I Amsterdam card, admission is 5 Euros. For others it is 7 Euros for adults. 4 Euros for students and children under 12 are free. The museum is open Monday through Friday from 10 to 5 and from 12-5 on the weekend. It is closed on Christmas Day, New Year’s Day and on King’s Day.
The Museum itself is located on the first two floors of the canal house while the upper floors are lived in by the owners of the museum. The ground floor houses the Museum shop and the first floor the art. The house itself, according to the museum website was owned by the van Loon family (who have an excellent museum across the canal) and dates back to 1667! The van Loon family were co-founders of the Dutch East India Company.
Once you go up the stairs to the first floor of the Cat Cabinet, you will find about 3 to 4 rooms showcasing every type of cat art out there. You can even take a virtual tour here. There are posters, paintings, play bills, sculptures, lithographs and more! You will even find works by Rambrandt and Picasso. The collection has been lovingly curated and put together. As you wander from room to room you will find there is not really an order to the art. Photography is allowed so long as there is no flash. Most people spend 30 to 45 minutes in the museum.
The Museum Shop
The Museum shop is a small, but packs a punch with the amount of posters, magnets, postcards and books dedicated to felines. You will find the items pricey, but you are paying for the convenience of having the cat items in front of you in one spot. Watch out for sleeping cats on the merchandise.
If you are not a cat lover, you may find the Cat Cabinet not exactly to your taste. Some people may find it a little pricey, but I think it’s well worth it. I adore taking a break from the hustle and bustle of the city and being able to enjoy a historic house, pet some cats and see some art. Going at your own pace, take your time to enjoy the atmosphere and soak in the art.