Love Cats? Visiting Amsterdam? Stop what you are doing and pay attention or you will regret it for the rest of your life!
Here at Lilly Likes, we often run across feline attractions throughout the city of Amsterdam. Why? Go figure. It seems you cat lovers are all over the place. We report on them, try not to sneeze about it, and pop an antihistamine when we have to, all to bring you the best reports of Amsterdam (kitty) attractions.
The KattenKabinet isn’t outright weird but it has the straight-jacket on standby. It’s a small museum, right, but it’s dedicated to cats. It was inspired by one heartbroken pet owner who wanted to remember his giant ginger tom with fondness. He succeeded, and his ginger tom joined a legion of other ginger cats etched into the memories of our global nation.
So, if you absolutely adore cats and you want some further reading, we reviewed the Cat Cafe not all that long ago, right here at Lilly Likes Amsterdam. If you don’t like cats and don’t have your antihistamine with you, we forgive you. Take a trip to the museum of tiny things and learn about microbes in Micropia. Or read any one of our dozen or so reviews of the Coffeeshops of Amsterdam.
If we are all in the right place, let’s talk about cats, cabinets, and a ginger tom named John Pierpont Morgan.
What is the KattenKabinet?
What exactly is this place? That’s what we are all thinking. Like the mind readers that we are, Lilly’s team are on hand to answer your questions.
So there was this rich patron from Amsterdam who was seriously devoted to his cat… JP Morgan. In 1990, William Meijer – rich Dutchman – opened a museum dedicated to his pet cat that had passed away. The museum doesn’t take itself too seriously, but hosts some of the most thorough collections of cat art and memorabilia that you will ever find, anywhere.
As a result of a rich man’s love for his cat companion, a whole museum was made in the Herengracht area of Amsterdam. It has become a tongue-in-cheek place of worship and devotion to our cat overlords. There are cat books, cat sculptures, and a varied mix of cat paintings. For all things kitty, the KattenKabinet is where you visit.
What’s inside the KattenKabinet?
As you are now realising, the explanation above has left you possibly more baffled than you were a few paragraphs ago, so let’s break it down into exhibits. What’s in the Cat Museum? Let’s talk exhibition space…
(That’s people who paint cats, not cat who paint stuff)
If you want to see the largest collection of feline paintings and even photography, in Europe, then this is where you will find it. Some of the famous painters of cats in the museum include:
- Sal Meijer
- Henriette Ronner-Knip
- Carel Willink
- Hildo Krop
- Han Van Meegeren
… and plenty more.
The Cat Collection
It’s not just the paintings of cats, either, it’s photo’s, it’s sketches, it’s cat-shaped-bookmarks and cat wind chimes. It’s cat candleholders and those creepy cats that aren’t real but that expand a little when you pet them as if they are breathing.
They have cat collections on all manner of feline things here. The aim is to explore the history of cats and their connection to humans. It’s purpose is to celebrate their contribution to our culture. Let’s face it, without cats, who would we have worshipped when the world was younger?
Let’s not forget the whole area of the museum dedicated to JP Morgan. That’s the ginger tom cat, by the way, not the famous Wall Street financier he was named after.
The Real Cats
Oh yeah. They also have real cats wandering around for you to pet.
The Gift shop
A museum wouldn’t be a museum if it didn’t sell trinkets that you could show for your time. The KattenKabinet is no different. They have cat themed posters, sketches, paintings and photos to take away with you. They sell everything you would expect of a museum gift shop, from erasers to pens to tote bags. Anything you can fit the words KattenKabinet on, they have done so.
So go along, have your day of kitty literature and art, then spend the rest of your dough in the gift shop. As if that wasn’t enough for you, they actually offer a virtual tour, too.
The Virtual Tour
Like all good museums at the moment, the only way to stay open and generate interest is to engage in the online tour. Until vaccines are completely rolled out and we can all travel again, we can expect that virtual tours represent the way forward. You get to see everything there is to see except you aren’t rushed, worried about germs, or trying to maintain 2 metres space.
Much like in the real world, you can finish your visit off with a trip to their webshop, where you can pick up all the things that you want to, without even leaving the house. It’s a good way to let your average cat obsessed kid learn a lot in an interesting way. Just imagine their faces when you say there’s a cat museum in the first place. It makes a difference from an art gallery or a transport museum…
How to get there?
The KattenKabinet can be found from Monday to Sunday, 12 pm until 5pm. It is on Herengracht 497 – 1017 BT, Amsterdam. You should book tickets before you show up, just to make sure you are not disappointed on the day. You can book tickets here, but keep in mind that times and dates can change.
The Lilly Likes Verdict
Would we recommend the Kattenkabinet? Of course we would. We love all animals, even if they make our eyes itch. There’s nothing so fluffy that we can either handle it or wholly recommend it to you guys.