Cats have captured the hearts and imaginations of humans since they were first domesticated about ten thousand years ago. They have become more than an animal, but a big part of human culture. So it is no wonder we have had a major international increase in cat destinations. Cat cafes have become more common, but they are just the tip of the cat destination iceberg.
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, about 30 percent of North Americans have a cat as part of their family. That is approximately 36 million households with cats. Keep that in mind as to why these destinations exist.
Here are 10 cat-centered destinations in the United States.
Located in Alliance, Ohio, the nonprofit Cat Fancier's Association runs a small and unique cat museum. Within the museum is a collection of cat books, cat art, cat magazines, and cat show memorabilia. It is just cat stuff everywhere you look. There are whole rooms dedicated to certain collections such as one for Japanese Maneki-Neko and another for siamese cats.
Most of the items were donated. So if you have a collection of cat stuff, maybe you think of donating during your visit.
Tampa Florida is home to a 55-acre sanctuary for large cats. You can pay tickets and tour the land to see all the kinds of cats that they have rescued from circuses and the black market pet trade.
While their goals are mainly to rescue the big cats, it is also to help endangered species. It is definitely a cause worth supporting. Species they take care of include lions, bobcats, cougars, tigers, servals, and caracals. If you can't make the trip, they do have live cams of some of their cats online.
This New York hotel has become famous for its history of resident cats, known as the "Algonquin Cat." The legend goes that a stray cat moved into the hotel during the 1920s and after it passed away, another stray cat came in and lived there!
It has created a tradition of having an Algonquin Cat resident at the hotel. So far, the hotel has welcomed 12 cats and they have all been rescues. Their current Algonquin Cat is Hamlet VIII, who began living there in August of 2017 and is the first male cat at the hotel in 30 years. Hamlet VIII has various social media accounts. He is a pretty famous cat, arguably the most famous in New York.
The hotel, of course, is pet-friendly.
In Key West, Florida is the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum. It has become a cat lover destination, as it is home to between 40 and 60 house-cats, and half of them are six-toed!
That's right, they are all polydactyl. Six-toed cats have gained the nickname of Hemingway cats because Ernest Hemingway was a big fan of them. He had a polydactyl white cat named Snow White, and some of the cats at the home and museum are her descendants.
The Garden State Cat Club Expo is North America's largest cat expo is known as one of the best the country has to offer. It takes place in New Jersey every year and has everything cat you can think of. They have tons of vendors who sell cat-themed art and cat products.
They also have a wealth of events and contests such as a cat agility contest, cat selfies, face painting, meeting different cat breeds, and a fashion contest. If you want to get really involved, you can even enter your cat into their various contests.
This quirky store is located in Downtown Fredericksburg, Virginia. It is a cat lover’s emporium. You can purchase cat-themed clothes, jewelry, and home decor for yourself while also getting toys, catnip, cat trees, beds, bowls, and more for your cat. The items are chosen so that they are not what you find in a typical pet store.
Of course, the store also has resident cats. The Cats Closet did close down in 2016, although another similar shop has taken its place.
In Sylva, North Carolina is a museum that sports a collection of all things related to house cats. You can see household cat picture art that dates back to the 1800s, folk art, posers, glass cats from around the world, vintage cat toys, vintage ads that use cats, modern art, and cat-themed clocks.
The museum is in the North Carolina mountains, less than an hour away from the city of Asheville, so it would be easy to combine it with a mountain trip.
Dominique LeFort has made a name for himself in Key West, Florida as "The Catman." He puts on both comedy and cat shows nightly at the Westin Pier. He has a huge following and is internationally known as both an entertainer and an animal trainer.
LeFort's cats are Oscar, Cossette, Sharky, Sara, Chopin, George, and Mandarine. They are a delight to watch.
Cat cafés have become internationally big. What sets the one in Oakland apart from them all though is that it was the very first cat café to open in the United States. It is a coffee shop and cat shelter, with many adoptable cats.
They are pretty heroic to the cat community, as they typically take in cats that are considered "unadoptable" by many rescue organizations. Cat Town strives to give them an environment they can feel more comfortable and relaxed in.
Tucson, Arizona, has a vintage bed and breakfast that offers the chance to see mountain lions and bobcats in their natural environment. There are a ton of wildlife viewing locations and hiking trails for anyone who loves the outdoors. You can explore 13 acres of desert that the eco-friendly lodge sits on.
If you come here and walk around, be sure to have your camera ready because it is very common to see wildcats in the area.