Kuching The City of Cats

Updated: Jan 31

Kuching in Malay means "cat" and this capital city of Kuching, Sarawak lives up to its namesake by featuring cats everywhere! Museums, fountains, landscaping, restaurants are all feline themed! If you are a cat lover then this is the place for you. In this video and article we will be exploring two of the many cat-crazed activities in this unique town: the DBKU Kuching Cat Museum and the Kuching Meow Meow Cat Cafe.

How did this Malaysian city get its meow-tastic name? No one knows for sure, but there are many theories. In 1827, during the administration of the Bruneian Empire, settler James Brooke named the city Kuching. One theory is that when James Brooke asked locals about the town, he pointed to a cat and the locals mistook this action as a desire to learn the name of the fluffy creature. Another theory speculates that the town could be named after the delicious lychee-like fruit that grows nearby called mata kucing which translates to "cat eyes." The most likely theory is that the town's name comes from the Chinese word cochin, meaning "trade-port." In the 19th century, the British often visited the Indian port city Cochin and often used this term to refer to any trading port.


Although the origin story is debated, their love of cats is not! The locals are proud to show off their cat history. So much so that they utilized the lobby of the Kuching North City Hall (DBKU) to create the world's first entirely cat devoted museum! The Kuching Cat Museum traces the history of cats back 5,000 years with items ranging from a mummified Egyptian cat, cat headstones and ancient cat artwork. In total, there are over 4,000 cat artifacts including cultural memorabilia (like a poster of the cast members of the musical CATS), town history, sculptures and souvenirs. Plus, there are plenty of structures for photo opportunities.


Kuching Cat Museum

Hours: Mon-Sun 9am-5pm (Except public holidays)

Admission: Free Entry / RM 3 camera fee / RM5 video camera fee


If you're itching to scratch the ears of real kittens then you can make your way to the Meow Meow Cat Cafe which is about 3 miles south of the Cat Museum near the Sarawak River. This café was founded next to a pet store in 2014 and was Kuching's first cat eatery. We had a great time playing with all the friendly cats.


Meow Meow Cat Cafe

Hours: Tues - Sat 11am-6 pm / Sunday 11am-3pm / Mondays are closed

Admission: Entry is RM10.00 or $2.50 USD per person and includes a free beverage.


Which cat experience would you prefer: the cozy kitty corner or the historical feline exhibit? Comment your answer on this blog post or the Malaysia Cat City YouTube Video. For more Malaysia and other Southeast Asia travel tips, subscribe to my YouTube Channel and subscribe to this blog.