The Cat Lover’s Guide to Iceland

The Cat Lover’s Guide to Iceland

In our Meowtel newsletter Question of the Week, we asked subscribers about their dream travel destination for 2024. One of the most popular answers was Iceland! Known for its stunning landscapes and unique culture, Iceland is also a paradise for cat lovers. With a rich history of iconic Icelandic cats and plenty of friendly felines roaming around, it's the perfect place to visit. We've put together a travel guide with everything you need to know about enjoying Iceland with a feline focus.

Icelandic Language Guide for Cat People:

As you brush up on your Icelandic in preparation for your next visit, here’s a few words essential for any cat lover:  

  • Köttur = Cat
  • Variations include: Kött, Ketti and Kattar. 
  • Kettir, Ketti, Köttum and Kattar = Plural of cat
  • Kisa = Kitty
  • Kettlingur = Kitten
  • Högni = Male cat
  • Læða = Female cat
  • mjá- mjá = Meow-Meow

Cat-Themed Landmarks

1. Exploring the Capital 

When you roam the charming streets of Reykjavik, keep your eyes peeled for the furry inhabitants that call this city home. With an estimated 20,000 cats gracefully prowling the greater Reykjavik area, you're bound to encounter these adorable creatures around every corner. There’s even a local facebook group where you can post paparazzi style pics of the cats you come across in the city. Meowtel's Founder couldn't resist and joined in on the fun back in 2012.

Iceland’s love for cats is evident in its numerous cat-friendly establishments and the many feline residents who have become local celebrities. Some of these cats even have their own social media accounts, where they share their daily adventures with followers from around the world.

2. The Reykjavik Cat Walk 

If you don’t feel like wandering around and would prefer instead to be directed directly to all of the cat's favorite spots around town, consider taking the Reykjavik Cat Walk tour. This guided tour educates visitors on the history of cats in Reykjavik, famous feline residents, and the best spots to see cats lounging around. You'll also get the chance to shop at local shops and bookstores with cat-related merchandise, perfect for bringing home souvenirs—and maybe something for your kitty enjoying a staycation.

3. Kattholt - Cat Shelter

For those looking to make a difference in the lives of Iceland's cats, a visit to Kattholt Skýsúr is a must. This shelter provides a safe haven for stray and abandoned cats, offering them a chance at a loving forever home. You can spend quality time with these vulnerable kitties, and depending on when you visit, the shelter hosts various fundraising events. Peep their Instagram for more details.  


Kattakaffihúsið - The Cat Café

Located in the heart of Reykjavik, Kattakaffihúsið, which translates to "The Cat Coffee House” is Iceland’s first cat cafe. Visitors can enjoy a cup of coffee or tea while spending time with the cats and even adopt one if they fall in love. They also host fun events such as cat yoga and adoption days, making it a must-visit spot for any cat enthusiast.

Whether you're in need of a feline fix or simply craving some kitty cuddles, this charming café offers the purr-fect respite from your adventures.

Grái Kötturinn - The Grey Cat

While you may not see any real-life kitties in this cafe, the Grey Cat is a popular restaurant with a charming hand-drawn cat mascot. Their name comes from an Icelandic saying about how lingering in one spot for a long time makes you like a little grey cat. They proudly offer 'the best coffee in town and a breakfast/lunch that will keep your tummy full all day.'

Famous Icelandic Cats

  • Baktus is a white and black, dare we say, slightly chonky boy who can be found around town. He’s amassed quite a bit of fans with over 14k instagram followers! If you see him during your trip, be sure to tag him on social meowdia! 
  • Ofelia is a stunning white and gray longhaired cat with blue eyes that is affectionately known as the “snobby cat at Skolavordustigur Iceland”. She’s known for falling asleep in local shops. 
  • The Yule Cat - Jólakötturinn

While this isn’t a real life kitty you can visit, the Yule Cat is a terrifying yet iconic figure in Icelandic Christmas folklore. Described as a monstrous feline, the Yule Cat is said to stalk the countryside during Christmas time, devouring anyone who hasn't received new clothes to wear before Christmas Eve. This legend has been passed down through generations and serves as a reminder to finish all your holiday preparations on time. The Yule Cat is often depicted in festive decorations and plays a significant role in Iceland's unique holiday traditions.

A Purr-fect Getaway

The island of fire and ice offers a unique and unforgettable experience for cat lovers. Where else can you find breathtaking views and roaming cats? So pack your bags, Iceland awaits with open paws and endless possibilities.

While you're having the time of your life visiting with the Icelandic cats, you can have peace of mind knowing that your fur baby is comfortable at home with their favorite Meowtel sitter. Our experienced and insured pet sitters undergo thorough background checks and will send you pics and updates daily to keep you informed and while you're away. Book a professional cat sitter with Meowtel.

Categories: How To/DIY