This boat found floating along a canal in Amsterdam is packed with cats of all kinds. Here’s the story behind this unusual animal sanctuary. (Spoiler: It’s purr-fect for cat-lovers!)
The Catboat is the world’s only floating animal shelter. It’s home to about 50 stray and abandoned cats. The boat was created about 50 years ago by an animal lover who wanted to help stray cats and give them a safe place to stay.
To begin with, she took the cats into her home. But soon there was not much space left, so her cat sanctuary moved onto a barge that bobs in an Amsterdam canal. And the floating cat home was born!
The floating shelter is designed especially for its feline residents. It has structures that the cats can climb on, scratching posts, cat beds, cat toys and lots more. And, of course, the boat is built to be cat-friendly to make sure no kitties go overboard. It has wooden slats and wire along the outside so that all cats stay safe and sound…and dry!
All of the cats onboard the Catboat are well-cared for by about 25 volunteers. They regularly visit the boat and make sure the felines are happy and healthy. Most of the cats are available for adoption. So cat-lovers can come aboard and find their purr-fect pet.
While the Catboat used to be just a shelter and adoption centre for felines, more and more people heard about it and wanted to climb aboard to visit the kitties for a short while. So the boat is now open to human visitors who can stop in during specific hours and hang out with the cats. There’s no admission charge, but visitors often make a donation to help the Catboat stay afloat.