De Poezenboot, or roughly, “The Cat Boat,” began helping stray, injured, and abandoned cats in 1968! Two years prior, a cat lover, Mrs. Henriette V. Weelde, started caring for one mama cat and kittens. When she ran out of room in her home, she bought a houseboat for the needed space in a city known for thousands of such boats.
De Poezenboot’s All-Volunteer Cat Crew
A volunteer “Cat Crew” came aboard the floating cat shelter, which moved to a new Ark in 1979, the same one around today. In addition to caring for and finding homes for cats, they help control the cat population with affordable spaying and neutering. They also hold educational events for the community.
The rescue is truly one-of-a-kind, “the one and only animal shelter that is literally in the water,” their website states. Since then, it’s become a landmark (watermark?) and world-famous. All these years, donations have kept De Poezenboot afloat. Indoors, it looks like a well-designed cat shelter, with open play areas for kitties and kennels where cats which may have behavioral issues are kept safe (see video below).
The city also has an incredible museum called The Cat Cabinet dedicated to feline-inspired art, including artists like Picasso, Rembrandt, and Henri de Toulouse L’Autrec.
Video about De Poezenboot by Tom Papworth:
Below, a cat meets a regal aquatic visitor via Instagram.