The Best European Destinations for Cat-Lovers to Prowl
When we think of a kitty-centric country, our thoughts might turn to ancient Egypt, where cats were worshipped, or Japan where on the island of Aoshima, cats outnumber humans six to one.
But, of course, Europe is also a haven for cat lovers, which is great news if you’re planning an extended break on the continent for work or study – and want to take your feline along too. Melissa Lyras from mid to long-term rental specialist Spotahome, has scoured the continent for the purrr-fect cities where you’ll both feel at home.
In 1933, the Torre Argentina was created in the heart of Rome, a cat sanctuary with a goal to take in any stray, feed it, care for it and raise its quality of life. With a stunning open location around the ancient ruins where Julius Caesar fell, the sanctuary is a brilliant place where cats can lay about and feel like royalty.
Debunking old myths (sort of!)
Contrary to popular belief, cats do not hate water – or at least it seems that way when you step onto the cat boat on one of Amsterdam’s canals. This sanctuary takes in any abandoned or donated cats and gives them a loving home where they can get all the affection they need from passing visitors – all while keeping their feet nice and dry.
As we all know, it’s easy to lose hours looking at cat pictures online or sharing hilarious videos and memes. But if you want to experience some real-life cat-themed fun, stop off at the Cat Cabinet, a museum with the greatest cat-themed art you could imagine.
Clue’s in the name
Dogs are a common sight in the ‘Cat-alonian’ capital – but take a closer look and you’ll see that Barcelona is also head-over-heels with kitties.
Cat themed bars and cat cafés aren’t the only must see stops though. Any art and culture fan should take a trip to El Raval to see the famous El Gato statue, created by Fernando Botero. Whether you want to admire his childish, adorable face, or climb on top of his rotund body, this ‘Gato Gordo’ acts as the best prop for a quick selfie.
If you fancy a hike up the Park Güell or Bunkers del Carmel, you will most likely stumble across a hidden community of kitties going about their business and occasionally coming up for a quick brush against your legs. Even so, strays are rare in the city, as abandoning a cat is a punishable offence. Instead of being left on the street, residents are encouraged to set up pocket communities for them in their neighbourhoods, so no matter where you turn you’re bound to find a group of cats cuddled up in make-shift sanctuaries.
A coffee to go with your cat
Like Barcelona, Berlin might feel like a dog-loving city, but cats are also well ‘cat-ered’ for here. When you’re in need of a relaxing coffee after a long day of exploring or sitting in front your laptop, stop off at Pee Pees Cat Café, Berlin’s first cat café, and tuck into delicious cakes while admiring the two resident European shorthairs. Venture just outside the city centre and you’ll find Barista Cats, a cosy café where you can cuddle the best kittens while tucking into breakfast – just remember that it’s for you, not the cats.
To browse Spotahome properties in these cat-friendly cities, visit the website here. Don’t forget to check with the owner that you’re allowed to bring your kitty along before booking.