Best Holiday Destinations For Cat Lovers

By Rebecca Cox

1 week ago

Love cats? we’ve got a feline these places are purrfect for you.

Is your holiday frequently ruined because however beautiful your chosen destination is, you can’t stop pining for your cat at home? Have you ever looked around you and thought, sure, this is paradise, but where are all the cats? You’re not alone. Having just returned from a trip to Morocco, where cats were the surprise highlight of the visit, I got to thinking about all the trips I’ve had where cats have been the star of the show. If you’re looking for the best countries to visit for cat lovers, here are a few global destinations where the feline population have essentially taken over. 

Marrakech, Morocco

The cat population is very well-respected in Morocco, and unfortunately there are not the resources to neuter the feline population, so stray cats (and sweet, sweet kittens) are easy to come by. Weaving through the maze-like medina you’ll find cats darting across streets, curled up in doorways and queueing for street food behind generous locals. It’s not just in Marrakech, either, but all across Morocco, (shout out to Mushka, the resident cat at Kasbah Tamadot, above) I even spotted one cat in the departures lounge at the airport (destination and passport status unknown). Allow extra petting time on all your journeys. 

Istanbul, Turkey 

Often referred to as the ‘city of cats’, it really delivers on the feline front. You’ll find large gatherings of cats in the parks, kitties curled up on public transport barriers, even mogs in mosques. They’re well looked after by locals and tourists, with many people putting food down for them or stopping to show them some love. 

Koh Khai Nai, Thailand

This entry was inspired by seeing a sweet ginger stray confidently boarding a longtail boat on Koh Phi Phi, but since this was over a decade ago, I thought the cat landscape of Thailand may have shifted. Indeed, there is apparently a better island for cat spotting: Koh Khai Nai, a small island (nicknamed ‘Cat Island’) east of Phuket where there are apparently hundreds of cats, as well as picturesque sandy beaches. Sold. 

A Moroccan mog of the Medina

A Moroccan mog of the Medina (c) Rebecca Cox

Ainoshima, Japan

Another on my ‘yet-to-visit’ list is the famous Ainoshima, which is also known as ‘Cat Island’. Here, cats are thought to outnumber people by ten to one, so visitors have no problem finding a feline friend. The cats initially arrived with fishermen to keep the mice under control on their boats, but they’ve become a tourist attraction in their own right for cat lovers, and basically run the place. 

Syros, Greece

Many of the gorgeous Greek islands come with bonus stray cats, but Syros is particularly famous for its kitty collection. There is a dedicated charity to support neutering, feeding and care of the cats, where you can visit to volunteer or sponsor a mog from afar.