Last Updated on June 25, 2023 by Fumipets
Unveiling Amsterdam’s Hidden Gem: The Floating Cat Shelter
Discover De Poezenboot: The Only Floating Cat Shelter in the World
In the heart of Amsterdam, a peculiar attraction awaits feline enthusiasts and animal lovers alike. De Poezenboot, lovingly referred to as “The Cat Boat,” stands as a unique haven for cats, floating gracefully on the city’s canals.
Founded in 1968 by the devoted cat lover Henriette van Weelde, this extraordinary establishment serves as a home to approximately 50 cats, with 14 of them being long-term residents.
From Strays to Sanctuary: A Heartwarming Journey
The incredible story of De Poezenboot began in 1966 when Henriette noticed a family of cats seeking refuge beneath a tree near her home. Driven by her compassion, she couldn’t bear to see them abandoned and decided to take them in.
Over time, more stray cats found their way to her doorstep, and Henriette soon earned the endearing nickname “the cat lady.” As the number of feline companions grew, her house became too small to accommodate them all.
A Dream Afloat: Creating the Floating Cat Shelter
Determined to provide a solution for her beloved feline friends, Henriette came up with a brilliant idea—a boat for her cats. Fortunately, her residence faced a canal, which enabled her to acquire a Dutch sailing barge in 1968. She ingeniously transformed the interior of the boat into a cozy and secure shelter for the feline inhabitants.
Caring Volunteers and Overwhelming Support
As news spread of the unique cat sanctuary, people from all walks of life were compelled to lend a helping hand. The initial barge quickly became overcrowded, leading Henriette to purchase a second one in 1971.
Visitors not only dropped off cats in need but also arrived with the intention of adopting them. What once began with a single mother cat and her kittens in 1966 has blossomed into the world’s most renowned cat sanctuary.
An Official Charity and Continuing Mission
In 1987, the Cat Boat was officially recognized as a charity, establishing the Stichting de Poezenboot (“Catboat Foundation”). Unfortunately, in 2006, one of the barges had to be removed due to city regulations, resulting in a reduction of available space. However, the dedicated volunteers remain steadfast in their commitment to providing the utmost care for the feline residents.
A Sanctuary with a Purpose: Adopting Cats and Spreading Love
While the Cat Boat may limit public access to a few designated hours each day, its core mission remains unchanged—to provide a safe haven for cats and facilitate their adoption into loving forever homes.
The adoption process is thorough and meticulous, ensuring that every cat finds the perfect match. Visitors can witness the genuine care and affection bestowed upon these feline companions by the dedicated team of 25 volunteers.
Joining the Cat Boat Community
While the COVID-19 pandemic has temporarily restricted public visits until at least June 1st, prospective adopters can contact the shelter in advance to arrange a meeting.
This extraordinary floating sanctuary offers a unique opportunity to experience the heartwarming bond between humans and their feline friends, showcasing the remarkable journey of De Poezenboot.
To learn more about De Poezenboot and plan your visit, please visit the source.