Cat Rating – Scale of 1 – 5
Kotor, Montenegro, the “City of Cats”. You would think this would be a slam dunk, all-time favorite for cat worshipers, but we had mixed emotions about our time there. It gets a “5 cat” rating, but definitely with some reservations.
It started off beautifully. Our arrival to Kotor, Montenegro was by cruise ship, and I can’t think of a more picturesque and strikingly beautiful port arrival anywhere other than possibly Malta. The natural beauty of the Adriatic Sea and Bay of Kotor takes your breath away as the ship enters the narrow port area and dock.
Entering the Bay of Kotor, or Boka
Giant Lamp - one of a few oversized pieces in the city
Water for sale along the hike
The views are incredible…
Views from the Castle of San Giovanni
It was a cornucopia of cats of all different shapes and colors. All very calm, and all very hungry. We had purchased some dry cat food as we always do, and soon Mimi was like the Pied Piper with a couple little friends following her halfway up the mountain. So cute….
Back in town after the hike, we were finding a cat or two on literally every small street or alley we walked down. There was a constant “Cat, cat, cat?” coming from us everywhere we went. We even saw a few long haired strays which is uncommon for the Mediterranean area. A few seemed to have eye infections, but the general health seemed on par with Athens, Rhodes, Matera and other cat inhabited cities. At least it seemed so until we rounded a corner and came upon a very small park with a cart in the corner and a few benches placed haphazardly around the area. Our initial thought was that we’d hit the jackpot. Cats everywhere. Within the first 10′ we had probably seen 10-25 cats, and that number grew as we got closer to the center of the park.
More than two dozen cats in this small park
In another area there was a cart and it has a healthy looking group of very handsome cats playing on it. We got close to take photos and saw that unfortunately there was another group lying in the bottom of the cart who didn’t look as good.
After that, we visited a few of the small churches, Saint Nicholas being the most prominent, and then headed towards the Square of the Arms for lunch at one of the sidewalk cafes. Lunch was great. We like tables with a view – we’d rather eat OK food in the best spot in town rather than fantastic food in some hole in the wall, but that’s just us. No judgment against those who don’t get it. Lunch was affordable at about $16 US for two sandwiches and two very good local beers, and the service was great. Tipping isn’t expected – everyone knows that, but it’s pretty hard not to tip for Americans and we’re no exception so we left some extra Euro for good service.
So, all in all it was a mixed bag for us personally. For the average traveler I would have no issues highly recommending Kotor. It is physically beautiful, has superb medieval architecture and is compact and easy to love. For cat lovers, just be prepared to be a little shocked and saddened. There are several shops selling cat only souvenirs so my hope is that someone will step in and remedy this pretty pathetic situation with the cats. After all, it is the “City of Cats”.
DO try to learn a few Montenegrin phrases like hello (Zdravo) and thank you (Hvala), but DON’T stress if you can’t remember since there are many languages spoken and the people are wonderful.
DO try the local Niksicko Piva lager beer, it’s tasty and very affordable, but don’t overdo it because I didn’t see any public toilets.
DO try to visit the cats in the park, keep going to the left after you enter the gate, but DON’T forget to visit our Support the Cats page if you feel like helping them out.