The Catboat, or De Poezenboot, is a refuge for stray and abandoned cats—and it’s free to visit.
Located on a Dutch houseboat, a type appropriately known as an ‘ark’, the Catboat is a unique spot for a sanctuary. And perhaps a surprising one too, given that cats aren’t famous for their love of water.
Open to those who wish to adopt a cat, as well as cat lovers who aren’t able to take one home—this special place along Amsterdam’s canal belt is for everyone to enjoy. Once on the boat, visitors are able to mix and mingle with the cats, with cuddles actively encouraged from the more comfortable felines.
The Catboat opened in 1966 when founder Henriette van Weelde discovered a family of cats sheltering under a tree opposite her houseboat. She took the mother and her kittens in, and soon after another stray joined them, then another, and another. When there was finally no space left in her home for all these cats, she decided to buy them their very own canal boat—and the rest is history. A true Cat Lady, who we have no choice but to stan.
Due to coronavirus, the number of visitors is limited to four at a time for now, and you must book a place in advance. Although De Poezenboot is free to visit, donations are very welcome; either monetary or in the form of treats and toys. The sanctuary is open between 1-3pm (except Wednesdays and Sundays).
For more information and to book, head to De Poezenboot’s website.
[Featured image: Alexander Chizhenok / Shutterstock]