The Catboat Amsterdam: an exclusive peek behind the scenes

The Catboat Amsterdam: an exclusive peek behind the scenes

Four cute kittens in a cage looking into the camera

We regularly visit various cat homes, shelters and cat cafés, but few of these locations are as special as the Catboat in Amsterdam. In the shadow of the picturesque canal houses on the Singel lies, as you might have guessed, a boat full of cats. This foundation received a number of scratching barrels as a gift from us. In this blog we describe our trip, so read on!

Petrebels Charity            

Many cat homes, shelters, stray cat organisations and cat hotels receive little or no subsidy and rely mainly on donations from cat lovers. To help some of these organisations, we have developed Petrebels Charity. Every now and then we donate scratching posts or cat litter to organisations that desperately need it. The Catboat was one of the lucky winners of this charity action, with a number of sturdy scratching barrels as prize.

The Amsterdam driving experience

On our way in our recognisable Petrebels bus, we traversed the narrow roads of 020. Avoiding all the tourists and cycling Amsterdammers was quite a task, but eventually we found our way without hitting a single iconic Amsterdam pole. The Catboat is a cosy place, with little room for storage. So we dropped some of our scratching barrels in their little warehouse before we left for the boat again. Anyone who has ever been to Amsterdam knows how difficult it is to find a good parking space. Especially a van is difficult to park. Fortunately a nice spot was reserved for us at the Singel.

The interior of the Catboat

Introduction to the Catboat

The Municipality of Amsterdam does not subsidise the Catboat, so they are dependent on gifts and donations. The Catboat is a non profit run by volunteers who “help dumped, abandoned and relinquished cats to get healthy, sterile, vaccinated and microchipped so they can find a suitable and loving home for them.”

We were greeted by a friendly volunteer called Judith. She helped us to lift the Superdome 120 over the narrow bridge. Fortunately, we did not get seasick, and we are glad that we did not drop the scratching box into the water.

As soon as you enter, you are overwhelmed by charming cat drawings, fun photos and all sorts of cat gadgets. Although it was tempting to buy all these nice things, we knew that we had to complete our mission first: to introduce the scratching post to the cats.

Even before the Superdome was taken out of the box, we were inspected by a wide variety of cats who couldn’t wait to see what was inside. It took less than a second for a number of cats to climb up the scratching box. It was safe to say we passed with flying colours.

Kasumi, the elegant cat who finds her way back to the Catboat after every re-homing, immediately claimed the top of the scratching barrel. Beyaz, a blind cat, also navigated the floors of the scratching barrel without any problem. You would not say that this cat is blind, because without a single gram of doubt he found his place. Beyaz and Kasumi are two of the cats that you can financially adopt, or sponsor. Some cats are impossible to rehome, so the Catboat gives people the opportunity to help these cats from a distance.

Cats on the Petrebels scratching post Superdome 120


Judith from the Catboat gave us an extensive tour, complete with history and personal stories about the cats. Of course we filmed this, as you can see below:

The history of the boat

The Catboat was founded by Mrs. v. Weelde. What started with one stray cat with kittens, grew into a large family of cats. So big in fact, that there was no room left in Mrs. v. Weelde’s building. Looking out over the houseboats on the Singel, an idea soon surfaced: a shelter for cats. In 1968 this project became reality. Curious about the complete history of the Catboat? Of course you can read it on their website.


It’s not often you come across a boat full of cats, and that made our trip to the capital very memorable. The characteristic location, hospitable reception and sweet cats made sure we had a great day. We would like to thank the Catboat for a nice cooperation. And hopefully the Rebels will enjoy their beautiful scratching post for a long time to come!

A volunteer from the Catboat

Disclaimer: Petrebels does not consist of veterinarians or behavioral experts: all content, information and tips on this blog are intended to inspire and inform you. Does your cat have complaints or problems and do you have doubts about your cat’s health? Then always go to the vet or a behavioral expert.

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Katten slapen gemiddeld 16 uur per dag en doen dat vol overgave: er wordt gerekt, gestrekt en schaamteloos gegaapt. Heerlijk. De Luie Rebel is er wel héél goed in. Die laat rennen en spelen liever aan een ander over en ploft met gemak overal neer voor een overheerlijk dutje. Maar het liefst ligt deze Rebel in een lekker zacht mandje of hangmatje.

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Katten hebben van nature de behoefte om hun nagels te scherpen. Ze markeren daarmee hun territorium en worden er ontspannen en blij van. De Krabbel Rebel weet van geen ophouden als het om krabbelen gaat. Maak van je huis daarom een feestje voor deze Rebel en zet één (of meer) goede krabpalen neer.

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Buitenkatten houden van hun vrijheid en van avontuur. Ze verstoppen zich vaak in struiken en houden de hele buurt in de gaten. Ze kunnen zich uren vermaken met rondvliegende insecten en nemen – als het even meezit – een echte muis voor je mee naar huis. De Outdoor Rebel komt thuis om gezellig met de baasjes te kroelen en rustig te eten. En stelt het op prijs als er een fijn plekje is om uit te rusten voor het volgende avontuur.

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Sommige katten blijven liever binnen. Of het baasje wil dit graag. Indoor Rebels vinden het heerlijk om naar buiten te kijken – naar al het spannends wat zich daar afspeelt. Je maakt deze katten blij door het binnen net zo spannend te maken als buiten. Prikkel hun instincten met speeltjes en krabmeubels waar ze lekker in kunnen klimmen, want dan blijven ze gelukkig en gezond.

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Cats sleep up to 16 hours a day with full commitment: lots of stretching and shameless yawning… Mhmm, delicious. The lazy Rebel masters this trait like no other and prefers to leave the running and playing to someone else. This lazy napper is able to lie down anywhere to take a well-deserved rest, but they prefer a nice and soft hammock or basket.

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Cats naturally have the need to sharpen their nails. This way they mark their territory. It also makes them relaxed and happy. The scratching Rebel will never stop when it comes to this. Transform your house into a “scratching paradise” for this Rebel and supply it with one or several good cat trees.

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Outdoor cats love adventure and freedom. They often hide in bushes to keep an eye on their surroundings. They can entertain themselves for hours with bugs flying around and they might even take home a real mouse for you! The outdoor Rebel will come home to cuddle with its owner and to eat peacefully. This adventurer would appreciate it if there is a nice spot in your house to rest before the next adventure.

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Some cats prefer to stay inside, this can also be a decision made by the owner. Indoor Rebels enjoy watching the outside world – and everything exciting that happens there. You can make these cats happy by making the indoor world just as exciting as the outdoor world. Stimulate their senses with toys and cat furniture in which they can climb. This way they remain healthy and happy.

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Katzen schlafen durchschnittlich 16 Stunden pro Tag und tun dies voller Hingabe. Sie strecken sich, dehnen sich und gähnen unverhohlen. Herrlich! Der faule Rebell ist sehr gut darin. Er überlässt das Toben und Spielen am liebsten jemand anderem und macht stattdessen lieber ein kleines Nickerchen. Am liebsten bevorzugt dieser Schläfer ein weiches Sofa oder ein gepolsterte Liegefläche.

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Katzen haben von Natur aus das Bedürfnis, ihre Nägel zu schärfen. Damit markieren sie zum einen ihr Territorium und verhindern zum anderen, dass die Nägel zu lang werden und einwachsen. Kratzen, wetzen und schärfen macht sie entspannt und glücklich. Der Kratz-Rebell kennt dann auch kein Halten mehr, wenn es ums Wetzen und Kratzen geht. Mach dein Zuhause also zu einer Partyzone für diesen Rebellen und stelle einen (oder mehrere) gute Kratzbäume mit viel Wetzmöglichkeiten auf.

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Freigängerkatzen lieben die Freiheit und das Abenteuer. Oft verstecken sie sich im Gebüsch und behalten die ganze Nachbarschaft im Auge. Sie können sich stundenlang mit fliegenden Insekten vergnügen, streunen herum und bringen im schlimmsten Fall eine Maus als Geschenk mit nach Hause. Der Outdoor-Rebell kommt nur nach Hause, um mit den Besitzern eventuell zu kuscheln und sich sein Fressen servieren zu lassen. Und er schätzt es über alle Maßen, wenn er einen schönen, gemütlichen Platz am liebsten auf einem Kratzbaum zum Ausruhen für das nächste Abenteuer angeboten bekommt.

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Einige Katzen sind reine Indoor-Rebellen. Entweder, weil sie es vorziehen in einem warmen und gefahrlosen Zuhause zu leben oder weil der Besitzer dies so möchte. Indoor-Rebellen lieben es nach draußen zu schauen – und das aufregende Leben draußen aus sicherer Entfernung zu beobachten. Diese Katzen sind glücklich, wenn man drinnen die gleichen Abenteuer simuliert, die sie draußen beobachten können. Stimuliere deren Instinkte mit Spielzeug und Kratzmöbeln, in denen sie herumklettern und toben können, damit sie gesund, agil und glücklich bleiben.

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