There are many theories as to how Kuching got its name – according to one of them, our furry feline friends, known as kucing in Malay, was the influence behind it. To be honest, no one’s entirely sure.
But that hasn’t stopped Kuching from capitalizing on the cat love – all around the city, you’ll see cat-inspired motifs and symbols, from statues to murals. And of course you’ll find plenty of well-fed stray cats hanging around. So for all you cat enthusiasts, here are 6 things you should do in Kuching:
1. Be welcomed by the Great Cat of Kuching
Next to the Padungan Roundabout near the city center stands the 2½ meter-high statue of a rather dashing white cat. Its front left paw is raised as though it’s waving ‘hi’ to visitors, so be sure to wave back and ask “What’s new, pussycat?”
During festive seasons or special celebrations such as Chinese New Year, the Great Cat of Kuching will dress up for the occasion.
2. Go cat-crazy at the Kuching Cat Museum
You can’t call yourself a bona fide feline fanatic if you haven’t visited the Kuching Cat Museum. Located inside the Kuching City North City Hall building on top of a lofty hill, the museum is filled with all sorts of cat-related paraphernalia, from porcelain statues to posters of the Broadway musical “Cats!”
As you stroll through the museum, you’ll learn about the role and influence of cats throughout history and culture. (You can also brush up on your knowledge of catty Malay proverbs: the next time your friends can’t decide where they want to eat, just tell them they’re “bagai kucing di atas tembok”, or like a cat on a wall – indecisive.)
Opening hours: 9.00am – 5.00pm | Camera Fee: RM3 (camera phones) and RM5 (video camera)
3. Pose for a selfie with the famous Cat Statue
The iconic Cat Statue, which sits at where the busy streets of Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman and Jalan Abell meet, is one of the most-photographed spots in Kuching. And it’s not just a statue of one cat, but a family!
While Papa Cat proudly gazes straight ahead, Mama Cat is looking at him like “Are you not going to control your naughty children?” At their feet, there are three smaller cats playfully wrestling with each other. It looks a lot like your typical family photo, no?
4. Drop by for playtime at Meow Meow Cat Cafe
No “Cat City” is complete without a cat cafe, so of course Kuching has one, namely Meow Meow Cat Cafe in Sin Yen Garden. About a 10-minute drive from Kuching Waterfront, the cafe is on the first floor, above a pet store. The entry fee costs RM10 per person, which includes a drink. You can also order some snacks from the menu.
While you’re waiting for your drinks and nibbles, you can spend time with the cats in the playroom – there are currently 8 furbabies which call the cafe home, and you can use the toys to entice them or simply sit on the couch and wait for them to come to you. Being a popular hangout spot for local and visiting cat lovers, the cafe can get crowded over the weekend, but if you visit on a weekday like I did, you can have the cats all to yourself!
5. Seek out Kuching’s other cat statues
What, you don’t think Kuching stopped at just having two cat monuments, right? Of course not – there are plenty of other ones scattered around the heart of the city, especially in public spaces and roundabouts… See if you can spot all of them!
(Psst, one of our favorite ones is off Lebuh Java near Jalan Gambir, pictured above. 😸)
6. Shop for cute cat-themed souvenirs
Don’t forget to share the love – before you leave, be sure to “adopt” some adorable cat souvenirs to take home with you for family and friends!
There are plenty of places in Kuching which sell kitty keepsakes – it is Cat City, after all – but your best bet would be the Main Bazaar, the row of shops facing Kuching Waterfront.
Now that we’ve let the cat out of the bag, you’d better quickly book your trip to Kuching on Traveloka!