Tips on getting a cat in the Netherlands

Tips on getting a cat in the Netherlands

Any reasonably observant person will notice that the Netherlands is full of cats. You can find them in Dutch cities, residential streets, cafes, bars and even some boutique shops have their resident feline friends.

Things to consider when getting a cat

Cats are popular as pets in the Netherlands for so many reasons, from being relatively independent to hunting pests. Still, there are plenty of expenses and responsibilities to keep in mind when buying one, from pet supplies to vaccinations.

A sustainable way to keep mice away

Are you having mouse trouble? Tired of setting traps or feeling averse to using chemical methods of ridding your house of mice? Consider getting a cat! Not only are cats amongst the most popular pets in the Netherlands, but they are also useful in chasing away mice.

Where there’s water – think canals and rivers in almost every square kilometre in cities – there are rats and mice. Having a cat can do wonders for keeping the rodents away – even if your cat is lazy and unwilling to chase away pests, the scent of a cat will most likely deter mice and rats.

Cat inside window old Dutch house

Adopting a cat or buying a cat

You can decide to rescue a cat from an animal shelter, which gives an otherwise homeless cat a secure home, or you can pay a cat breeder for a newborn kitten.

Animal shelters, or dierenasielen in Dutch, are well-run establishments where many cat-owners in the Netherlands have had the experience of adopting a stray cat and giving it a welcoming place to live. Animal shelters are mindful of each cat and their individual needs. They take into account a cat’s personality, in an attempt to find the best common ground between cats and their new owners: whether a cat is self-sufficient or needs lots of attention, or whether a cat is gentle or bad-tempered.

On the other hand, if you have a particular breed of cat in mind and want a thorough-bred cat, you can pay a cat breeder anything from 250 euros to thousands of euros, depending on the breed.

Taking your cat to the vet

Vet consultations start at around 44 to 52 euros and a vet house call during practice hours can start at 96 euros. Vaccinations are of high importance when a kitten is born. The standard vaccination that each kitten needs to go through at 6 weeks of age costs about 68 euros, whilst other injections cost between 57 and 70 euros.

Surgical procedures to prevent future litters of kittens are also extremely important: castrating a male cat is about 85 euros and neutering a female cat about 170 euros – both costs depend on the cat’s size and weight and include pain medication. And don't forget, tooth care can also become a vital part of a cat’s life. 

Buying cat supplies

Unless you have an exceptionally large garden or live in the countryside, your cat will need a litter tray for its sanitary needs. These trays or boxes are filled with fine grit, which you'll need to have in constant supply. This grit can be bought in large quantities online to save you lots of money and effort.

A cat’s nutritional expenses depend on how you’d like to feed your cat: some owners prepare the finest fish they can find for their cat whilst others want their cat to live the paleo lifestyle, but it doesn’t have to cost too much to keep your cat well fed.

Dry cat food comes in massive quantities, so buying a super-size pack every few months will cost you a lot less. Canned cat food has such a long shelf-life that you can also buy this in bulk and save lots of money. If you buy cat food, or kattenvoer, in bulk online, it can save you a lot too.

Cat sitters for when you’re away

You can arrange to have your pet stay at a cat boarding house or “cattery” (dierenhotel or dierenpension in Dutch) when you go away on holidays. It’s always a good idea to research the quality of the cattery to ensure your cat will be well treated.

Cats are so famously self-sufficient that asking a friend to look after your cat for a week or two can also be an option! And if you can't convince your friend to look after your furry friend, there is no need to worry. Nowadays, it is easy to find a pet sitter online. 

Bringing your cat to the Netherlands from abroad

No unvaccinated kittens are allowed into the Netherlands from abroad. As long as your cat has its pet passport, rabies vaccination and health certificate, then it will not need to be quarantined on entering the country. On the Dutch government website, there is an explanation on how to bring your cat into the Netherlands.

Getting a cat passport

The passport for pets consists of a booklet with information about the animals' origin, its previous owners and its medical information.

Your pet will also need a microchip, which is a tiny digital device that is inserted into the cat’s subcutaneous tissue with a 15-digit identification number on it. You can get the chip inserted at the vet’s clinic, which could cost between 68 and 90 euros.

Be prepared for becoming a cat-owner in the Netherlands

There are plenty of important aspects to consider before getting a cat, however, many cat owners in the Netherlands will tell you that having a cat is a rewarding experience. Turn your house into a home with a fluffy pet and enjoy the cat-owner's life.

Rachel Deloughry


Rachel Deloughry

Rachel is a writer, editor and digital content creator, passionate about the arts, culture and lifestyle.

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