Traveling Cats - Travel Pictures of Cats

Cat from Limpopo {South Africa}

cute baby rhino pictures

Happy Valentine's Day!

Let's celebrate with a series of pictures of a heartwarming friendship between a baby rhino and a rescue cat. Nandy the baby rhino and Mewie the rescue cat live at the Rhino Orphanage in Limpopo, South Africa. The caretaker for the orphaned rhinos rescued Mewie from a township when he was a kitten and nursed him back to health.

Then came Nandi. She arrived at the Rhino Orphanage when she was only two months old. Her mother was tragically lost to poaching and was left wandering alone for days. The little, orphaned rhino was so hungry she ate sand which caused damage to her tummy. She was saved and taken into the Rhino orphanage.

baby rhino sleeping
baby rhino drinking

The friendship between Nandi and Mewie began when the caretaker started to sleep in the same room as Nandi. Mewie didn't want to be left out, so he curled up on the bed with them. It didn't take long before their curiosity turned into a friendship. Both grew up without a mother, but now they are each other's family.

baby rhino pics
rhino and cat

They are so fond of each other they always want to be in each other's company. What Mewie and Nandi really enjoy is their twice-daily walks together. When one of them runs, the other one always tags along.

Though Mewie purrs and Nandi snorts and squeaks, they share the same language of love.

baby rhino pictures
baby rhino cute story animals cats

Cats from Istanbul {Turkey}

documentary kedi cats

A new cat documentary is hitting theaters today: Kedi (aka Nine Lives: Cats in Istanbul).

Istanbul is widely known as a city of cats. Hundreds of thousands roam the metropolis freely. They are neither wild nor tame. Though they claim no "owners," they bring joy and purpose to those people they choose to adopt. In Istanbul, cats are the mirrors to the people, allowing them to reflect on their lives in ways nothing else could.

"Every year that I returned to the city, I saw it change in ways that made it less and less recognizable, except for the cats; they were the one constant element, becoming synonymous with the city itself and ultimately, embodying its soul," says Kedi director Ceyda Torun, who grew up in Istanbul in the early 1980s. "This film is, in many ways, a love letter to those cats and the city."

kedi documentary
fighting cats istanbul
kedi cats in istanbul documentary

In their effort to capture as much of the cats' individual lives and secrets as possible, director Ceyda Torun and cinematographer/producer Charlie Wuppermann experimented with various "cat-cameras" to follow the animals into dark alleys and deserted basements and they flew drones over the rooftops for a more general view of Istanbul and its feline inhabitants. They pretty much stalked the cats in Istanbul for several months which resulted in many over-the-shoulder shots as the cats navigated the city streets.

The filmmakers also talked to locals that had extensive knowledge of the street cats and had bonded with them in sometimes unusual ways.

cats in istanbul documentary
kedi cats

Turns out each cat has its own unique personality and "goal" in life. Some cats only live for love while others have nothing but food on their minds. There's the psycho, the social butterfly, the player, and the thief. With backgrounds as varied as their human counterparts, the street cats in Istanbul experience the city in ways totally unknown to people.

"Everyone who had allowed themselves to form a meaningful relationship with these creatures had come to experience life and their part in it differently," says Ceyda Torun. "The degree of this profound change in perspective varied from person to person, but one thing remained constant, it was brought on by having the opportunity to co-exist with an animal with charm, intellect, and self-sufficiency."

yellow kittens
documentary cats in istanbul
sunset cats istanbul

We haven't seen Kedi yet, but judging from the trailer, the film looks both stunning and touching. Have a look and let us know what you think.

Is Kedi (aka Nine Lives: Cats in Istanbul) a documentary you would consider watching?

Kedi movie poster

kedi cats in istanbul poster

Cats from Key West {USA}

I have been fortunate to be able to travel frequently as a travel writer and I love seeing cats in all the places I visit. One of the most memorable places so far has been my visit to The Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum in Key West. In fact, the only place I definitely wanted to visit on my trip to the Florida Keys was the Hemingway Home. Partially because I enjoy Hemingway’s work but mainly because the property is home to about 45 cats!

hemingway house florida keys cats
hemingway house swimming pool

The Spanish Colonial home was Hemingway’s home in the 1930’s and 1940’s and has since been made into a museum. We were able to take an interesting guided tour of the inside of the house and Hemingway’s studio, and then explore the gardens on our own. Throughout the house and gardens, you’ll find cats perched here and there. During our tour, one of the cats followed the guide around and jumped around on the furniture and another was sleeping on one of the beds. While the allure of the celebrated 20th-century American writer draws many of the visitors, a large number seem to come simply to see the cats!

ernest hemingway home and museum key west
ernest hemingway home and museum

Outside we were able to get a bit more one-on-one time with some sleepy kitties perched on benches and wandering around the flowers. The cats are believed to be descendants of Hemingway’s own cat Snow White (or Snowball as sources differ on the cat’s name), a white domesticated cat with 6 toes! The story goes that he was given the cat by a sea captain and that cats with 6 toes were believed to be particularly lucky aboard a ship. Normal cats have five front toes and four back toes, but polydactyl cats often have six toes on their front feet and sometimes extra toes on their back feet as well. While only about half of the cats at the Hemingway home have the 6 toes, they are all believed to carry the polydactyl gene. Six-toed or five-toed they were all beautiful to watch them wandering around as if they owned the place!

hemingway cats
ernest hemingway cats
ernest hemingway house cats

The cats are a variety of breeds, shapes, and colors. Hemingway named his cats after famous people, and so that tradition is carried on today at the Ernest Hemingway Home & Museum with the cats either carrying names of famous people (e.g., Clark Gable, Joe DiMaggio, Rudolph Valentino) or of the Hemingway family members (e.g., Martha Gellhorn, Bumby).

We were a little concerned about the care of so many cats and were told that the cats are well looked after with regular screening and treatments, such as ear mite treatments, flea spraying, and worming by a veterinarian who comes to the house. The Pfizer Company has also donated medicine to the museum to be used to protect the cats from fleas, heartworms, and other parasites. The cats are also provided with areas where they can always go to be away from visitors. The cats we saw certainly looked very content and healthy.

polydactyl cats ernest hemingway

We visited on a wonderful sunny day and enjoyed both the house tour and the gardens, and especially meeting the house’s feline guardians! We definitely recommend a visit here if you visit Key West, Florida.


Jessica Norah is a full-time travel blogger at Independent Travel Cats who currently lives in Edinburgh, Scotland, with her husband Laurence. Sadly she had to leave her own two cats (Dodger and Dash) in the US when she moved to the UK, but she goes back to visit them as much as she can, and adopts kitty friends throughout her travels around the world.

six toed cats ernest hemingway

Cats from Paris {France}

paris café des chats

When I was in Paris earlier this month, I had the chance to test out its two cat cafés: Le Chat Mallows (which you can read about here) and Le Café des Chats.

Le Café des Chats

Whereas Le Chat Mallows is decorated with bright colors and is totally cat-obsessed, Le Café des Chats goes for a more moderate approach with warm shades and few cat-themed decorations. In fact, Le Café des Chats looks very much like a normal café, except that you have a dozen cats roaming the premises. You can easily take your cat-hating friends here and they wouldn't mind.

paris le café des chats
le café des chats rue sedaine

The cats

All the cats were adopted at cat shelters and have been given a second chance at the cat café. Le Café des Chats is now their permanent home. They stay here day and night.

Unfortunately, though the cats were chosen based on their sociable behavior towards humans and other animals, it was obvious some of them were unhappy.

The problem is the staff was too busy serving the many customers rather than making sure the cats were well treated. This resulted in the cats being picked up against their will, poked in the face with toys, and chased by children.

While the cats can go downstairs to the “cats only” area, it was obvious that some of them just wanted to be left alone in “their” home instead of having to hide. The white and ginger kitty tried to get away from the children at all cost, but his attempts were in vain. If he were up for adoption, I would have probably taken him home.

plus beau chat de paris
chat blanc et roux paris

The food

The food portions are ginormous and the prices normal. This makes Le Café des Chats a better place to have brunch or dinner than Le Chat Mallows. On the other hand, because Le Café des Chats is so crowded and much bigger, you'll have less direct contact with the cats.

Good to know is that part of the revenue of Le Café des Chats goes to animal welfare organizations.

café des chats paris
café des chats rue sedaine

Practical information:

Address: 9, rue Sedaine, 11ième arrondissement, Paris.

Nearest metro station: Bastille or Bréguet-Sabin

Open from Tuesday to Sunday from 12 pm to 10:30 pm (Fridays and Saturdays until 11 pm).

Reserving a spot isn't necessary, but on busy days you can have long queues outside of the café.

paris le café des chats bastille
le café des chats bastille
café with cats in paris

Cats from Paris {France}

le chat mallows paris

“It's not just coffee; it's an immersion.”

When you visit the cat café Le Chat Mallows in Paris, you've entered the world of cats.

This place (named after the sweets Chamallows) is full to the brim with cat homes, luxury cat beds, cat art, cat cushions, and, of course, real cats - 17 cats, to be exact.

cat café in paris
paris cat café
bar à chats à paris

It's a motley crew of breeds: British Shorthair, Cornish Rex, Sphynx, Oriental, Ragdoll, European, British Longhair. Some were bought, some were adopted. The sphynx cat Yoda once belonged to a foreigner who wanted Le Chat Mallows to adopt his cat when he left Paris.

yoda sphynx cat

My favorites were Jerico and Jade.

british shorthair paris
british shorthair france
le chat mallows

The menu cover of Le Chat Mallows states: “Un lieu dédié au chats, où vous n'êtes que l'invité!” (A place dedicated to cats where you are only a guest!)

There's no better way to describe Le Chat Mallows.

Cats are treated like royalty here. Their wellbeing comes before that of the customers. Rules are therefore important: disinfect your hands before entering the café, don't pick up the cats, don't wake them while they sleep, make sure your children don't bother them, etc.

bar à chat le chat mallows paris
le chat mallows
le chat mallows cat café paris

The staff of Le Chat Mallows consists of veterinary assistants and cat specialists so they can easily deal with the cats' medication, the clipping of the claws, etc. They are continually fawning over the cats.

This may come across as silly to some, but it's obvious that the cats here are so much happier than at Le café des chats where the well-being of customers is put before that of the cats.

british longhair paris
cat wisdom
paris café with cats

However, Le Chat Mallows has two main problems.

The first problem is the food. The portions are extremely small and the taste uninspired (my friend and I tried the Tête de Chat, which are head-shaped tortillas with salad).

They do have some cute specialties in the drinks department, though, such as Dream of Cats (strawberry-flavored milk with cotton candy, Chantilly, almonds, and marshmallows) and Choco Sangria (hot chocolate-flavored sangria, cinnamon, and Chantilly).

The second problem is the price of everything. You pay $7,80 for a simple cup of hot cocoa and $9,80 for flavored milk.

paris bar à chats

Nevertheless, Le Chat Mallows truly is a café unlike any other. It's not a cat café where you just go to have a drink; it's one that you have to experience.

paris cat café le chat mallows
bar à chats paris rue des volontaires
paris best cat café
chats paris

Practical information:

Address: 30, rue des Volontaires, 15ième arrondissement, Paris

Closest metro station: Volontaires

Le Chat Mallows is open between Wednesday and Sunday between 12 pm and 9 pm.

Reservation is obligatory.

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le chat mallows cat café in paris

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