Purr-fectly Afloat: The Charming Tale of Amsterdam's Cat Boat

Purr-fectly Afloat: The Charming Tale of Amsterdam's Cat Boat

Nestled in the heart of Amsterdam's iconic canals lies a remarkable floating haven for cats, known as the Cat Boat or "De Poezenboot" in Dutch. This sanctuary is not just a testament to the city's love for animals but also stands as a unique and beloved aspect of Amsterdam's cultural landscape.

Historical Beginnings: A Story of Compassion

The Cat Boat's journey began in 1966 with Henriette van Weelde, a compassionate Amsterdam resident, who started by rescuing a family of stray cats. Her home soon became a refuge for numerous felines. Facing space constraints, Henriette creatively converted a houseboat into a sanctuary, establishing the world's first floating cat rescue.

De Poezenboot Today: Embracing Modernity

In keeping with the times, De Poezenboot has undergone significant changes. The introduction of a new, more modern Poezenboot, as detailed on their website, marks a significant enhancement in the living conditions for the cats. This updated boat features better insulation, ventilation, and heating, ensuring a comfortable and secure environment for the cats all year round.

A Prime Location in Amsterdam

De Poezenboot is situated on the Singel canal, close to the city center, making it an easily accessible and notable landmark. The boat is thoughtfully designed to provide a stimulating and safe habitat for its feline occupants, offering both indoor and outdoor spaces tailored to their needs.

The Feline Residents

The Cat Boat is a sanctuary for various cats – some are permanent residents, while others await adoption. Special attention is given to older cats and those requiring special care, ensuring a life of comfort and affection.

Henriette van Weelde's Enduring Legacy

Founded by Henriette van Weelde, who passed away in 2005, De Poezenboot continues to honor her mission of providing refuge for Amsterdam's stray and abandoned cats. Her vision and compassion remain the driving force behind the sanctuary.

A Symbol of Innovative Animal Welfare

More than a tourist spot, De Poezenboot is a pioneering example of animal welfare and community empathy. It showcases Amsterdam's commitment to caring for animals and serves as an inspiration for similar initiatives globally.

Visiting the Cat Boat

De Poezenboot offers a unique experience, blending animal welfare with Amsterdam's urban charm. For animal lovers and curious visitors alike, this floating cat sanctuary is a must-visit, offering a glimpse into the compassionate heart of Amsterdam. It’s a place where the love for animals meets the city’s creative and caring spirit, creating an unforgettable experience.

De Poezenboot is open to visitors, offering an exclusive chance to interact with the cats and learn about their care.




The sanctuary is moored at Singel 38.G, 1015 AB Amsterdam.

Visiting Hours:

Open to the public on weekdays from 1 PM to 3 PM, except on Wednesdays and weekends. Visitors are encouraged to check the website for the latest visiting schedule.

Entry is free, but donations are heartily welcomed. These contributions are crucial for the maintenance of the boat and the well-being of the cats.

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