Why Montenegro's Cat Museum of Kotor is Purr-fection

Cats Museum Kotor | © francois schnell/Flickr
Cats Museum Kotor | © francois schnell/Flickr
Peanut butter and jam. Movies and popcorn. Kotor and cats. Some things just go together. Kotor has always had a fascination with cats. Now that obsession has been taken to new heights with the opening of Montenegro’s first cat museum. In a tiny corner of Kotor, Montenegro’s cat capital, the Cats Museum of Kotor is an ode to our beloved feline companions.
Kotor cat © Alexandra Zakharova/Flickr

The International Cats’ Adoption Centre ‘Badoer’, based in Venice, had the idea of setting up a museum after they received a donation of a huge collection of period images from the Italian Countess Francesca di Montereale Mantica. And where better to set up the museum than Kotor, a former Venetian stronghold and self-proclaimed ‘cat city’?

Entrance to the museum is just €1, and includes two huge sheets of information about the collection, which covers every wall and many display cases across two rooms and a hallway. Many of the pictures show cats in human-like poses, reading books and even swimming (so much for cats’ notorious disdain for getting wet). There are also medals from international cat shows, portraits of people with their beloved pet cats, antique books, postcards, posters, advertisements and stamps. It’s clear this collection has been lovingly curated and cared for.

Cats Museum Kotor © Sarah Pavlovic/Courtesy of Montenegro Pulse

One particular collection aptly shows cats’ uncanny ability to cause trouble and survive. These illustrations show cats causing car accidents, a cat hitching a ride on a dog to save itself from a river, and cats using any opportunity to snag a meal. Other pictures capture cats’ endearing ‘if it fits, I sits’ philosophy.

Although a sign on the wall clarifies that a museum by definition doesn’t have live exhibits, it’s obvious that the live exhibits are the stars of the show here.

Cats Museum Kotor © Sarah Pavlovic / Courtesy of Montenegro Pulse
Cats Museum Kotor © Sarah Pavlovic/Courtesy of Montenegro Pulse

Visitors line up for the chance to stroke the resident cats, who graciously receive the affection of the adoring public.

The museum has a huge collection of cat-themed magnets on sale, the perfect souvenir to take home from Kotor. There’s even one with a picture of notorious strongman, Vladimir Putin, holding a kitten.

There’s also a collection point for wet and dry food donations for the town’s resident cats. The nearest place to buy cat food is in Kamelia Shopping Centre, just across the Skurda River.

Although four-legged companions left at home can’t visit this shrine to their feline fabulousness, for just €2 they can become official Cats Museum of Kotor members and receive a printable membership certificate.

For cat fans, Cats Museum of Kotor offers a fascinating look into the history of our long love affair with cats… and the irresistible chance to snuggle with one too.