These Are the Destinations Every Cat Lover Should Visit at Least Once
The likeness of your feline is celebrated around the world and throughout history at places of interest including museums, wild sanctuaries, and tourist attractions.
If you're a self-identified modern cat lady looking for a one-of-a-kind vacation, you're in luck. There are plenty of places around the country and the world at large where these little four-legged felines are put on a pedestal, showcased, and honored for the noble companions they are.
Cats might act like the king or queen of our households, but its because they come from a royal animal lineage—they have been subjects of cultural significance throughout history and throughout the world. Whether you're looking to travel right here in the United States or across the seas, you'll be pleased to know that there really is a place for cat-lovers everywhere. If you're looking to visit someplace domestic, there are plenty of places to see some of those friendly felines right here in the states—from a cat museum in Ohio to your friendly neighborhood cat cafés in places such as Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles, we've found a number of great spots to put on your travel bucket list. If you're looking to head to a foreign country, both China and Malaysia are just two of the places on this list that are worth visiting if you want to immerse yourself in the world of cats. And if you're interest is sparked by something more than the small household variety, there are big cats—like Bengal and Siberian Tigers—to be seen at the National Tiger Sanctuary in the Midwest.
So, in the spirit of exploration, we have compiled an itinerary of destinations to visit with one-of-a-kind feline wonders to behold. Trust us when we say that each one is, in a word, purr-fect.
Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum in Key West, Florida
At the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum you'll be immersed in the culture and surrounded by 40 to 50 polydactyl (six-toed) cats. This is particularly interesting because cats typically only have five front toes and four back toes. Ernest Hemingway was gifted a six-toed cat, and some of the cats roaming the museum are descendants of his original feline companion.
Torre Argentina Cat Sanctuary in Rome, Italy
The Italians have held a storied love affair with cats ever since they into the secret corridors of the Coliseum, making it their home for hundreds of years. Today, it's known as the Largo di Torre Argentina. This open square is where volunteers join efforts to care for more than 150 cats, many of which suffer from an illness or are disabled. Venture here and you'll find these cats sheltered amongst the oldest temples in Rome (dating back to 400-300 BC)—you can even adopt a cat or "adopt at a distance" by contributing funds to their care.
Cat Mountain Lodge & Roadside Inn in Tucson, Arizona
Take a step out of the Arizona heat and into this charming vintage-style inn for some big cat perusing. At the Cat Mountain Lodge and Roadside Inn, an observatory offers a private patio where you can watch these beautiful animals in peace. It's located next to many different trails in the desert, which are home to many bobcats and mountain lions.
Crumbs & Whiskers in Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles, California
Kanchan Singh first launched the pop-up kitten lounge Crumbs & Whiskers in Georgetown, so that visitors could snuggle with kittens and hopefully adopt them. As of today, they have adopted nearly 1,500 cats with over 3,000 saved from euthanasia in partnership with the local nonprofit Homeward Trails Animal Rescue. If you find yourself at one of their locations, either Los Angeles, California, or Washington, D.C., you can leisurely sip coffee, play with the cats and kittens, and adopt one if you fall in love with a new friend.
Kuching Cat Museum in Kuching, Malaysia
This cat museum is full of all things friendly felines that you want to help kickstart your vacation. The Kuching Cat Museum is located in Petra Jaya in the Kuching City North City Hall. The building features numerous galleries full of things from Cats in Chinese Community, Maneki-Neko (Beckoning Cats), to Uptown Cat Contemporary Exhibition. You're bound to find something that you love.
National Tiger Sanctuary in Branson, Missouri
At just $25 a ticket you can experience all that the National Tiger Sanctuary has to offer. This shelter is large enough to harbor these exquisite animals in a habitat that is nearly identical to their home in the wild. The sanctuary is home to Bengal Tigers, Black Leopards, and multiple Siberian Tigers.
Feline Historical Museum in Alliance, Ohio
For a cat's view of American history, stop by the Feline Historical Museum. Owned by the Cat Fanciers' Association, this museum aims at preserving historical artifacts, collectibles, and artwork related to cats so they can continue to be appreciated for years to come. On display in the museum are many unique objects d'art including an early 1900s wooden cat carrier, a silver collar awarded to Cosey, the winner of the first Madison Square Garden cat show in New York City in 1895, and over 6,000 cat-related books. One of the most prominent possessions is the "Cat House" originally designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1954. Occasionally, the museum will treat visitors to the enjoyment of real live cats—Maine coons and ragdolls, Egyptian maus and Japanese bobtails all included.