Anyone who knows us, knows that we absolutely adore cats. Yes, we admit it – we are crazy cat people. So, every time we visit a city we always look for opportunities to spend time with some furry feline friends. When we were researching Amsterdam, we were very excited to learn about De Poezenboot (The Cat Boat) – a houseboat on the Singel Canal which provides a sanctuary for some of the city’s stray and abandoned cats.

Most cats hate water. But ours learn to love living on it. After all, we have been keeping their feet dry since 1966 – De Poezenboot

The Cat Boat in Amsterdam, De Poezenboot

The goal of the Cat Boat is simple – to help as many cats as possible.  This includes taking in stray and unwanted cats, sterilising and neutering cats to prevent unwanted litters, giving cats essential vaccinations and finding cats new, loving homes.  For those than can’t be rehomed, The Cat Boat will look after them for the rest of their lives.

The History of the Cat Boat

The Cat Boat started in 1966, when a lady named Henriette van Weelde took in a family of stray cats. She continued taking in cats until she had no more room in her house.  She needed to find a more long term solution; so, she Henriette bought a barge that her kitties could call home. 50 years later, and the Cat Boat is still floating on the Singel canal; and has become a rather unexpected tourist attraction.

The Cat Boat in Amsterdam, De Poezenboot

Today, The Cat Boat houses around 40 cats. The cats are not confined to inside; there is an outdoor area along the canal where the cats can walk and enjoy the sun. Some cats are also allowed to roam around outside under close supervision of staff.

Our Visit to De Poezenboot

Although The Cat Boat is primarily an adoption centre, it receives no municipal funding and relies solely on donations. Therefore, tourists are welcome to visit and donations are highly appreciated.  We were missing our little fur ball from home so we very happy to spend an hour among the Cat Boat’s residents.

Some of the cats were happy to play with us, while others were content sleeping in their beds or watching the world go by from the windows.

The Cat Boat in Amsterdam, De Poezenboot

After we had spent time with the cats, we left a donation and bought a few bits for our own cat at home from the gift shop.

Our visit to the Cat Boat was a great opportunity for us to get our kitty fix while supporting the amazing work that De Poezenboot does in rehoming and looking after abandoned and stray cats in Amsterdam. If you are a cat lover in the city, we highly recommend a visit.

What can you do to help The Cat Boat?

Donate – you can donate towards the work of The Cat Boat in person at the boat itself, or via PayPal. For more information about donations and bequests to The Cat Boat, please click here.

Buy something from the gift shop – there is a small gift shop at the reception of The Cat Boat which sells promotional items and gifts for cats.

Financial adoption – for cats that cannot be rehomed, you can ‘financially adopt’ them. This helps The Cat Boat fun their ongoing care. You will receive updates about your cat and get a photo every December.  See the list of cats who need financial adoption here.

Help with wanted items – De Poezenboot always welcome donations of cat toys and scratching posts for the cats.

Volunteer – volunteer your time to help the staff clean litter trays and keep The Cat Boat clean.

Further information

Address: Singel 38 /G, 1015 AB Amsterdam, Netherlands

Opening times: Daily 1pm – 3pm (closed Wednesday and Sunday)


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The Cat Boat in Amsterdam, De Poezenboot, The world's only floating cat shelter
The Cat Boat in Amsterdam, De Poezenboot, The world's only floating cat shelter

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