Lonely Planet Writer

Discover where to find adorable cats that are permanent fixtures in the eclectic shops of New York

Once you’ve travelled through New York and stopped by all of the city’s most famous attractions, why not take a tour of the many shops that house adorable felines?

Cats are a part of many shops in New York.
Cats are a part of many shops in New York. Image by Andrew Marttila/Shop Cats of New York

The humble store cat has been immortalized in a book called Shop Cats of New York, in which readers can learn more about New York’s iconic felines and their stories.

Cats are a part of many shops in New York.
Cats are a part of many shops in New York. Image by Andrew Marttila/Shop Cats of New York

The book is written by cat blogger Tamar Arslanian with photographs by Andrew Marttila. Arslanian told Lonely Planet that the idea for the book started when she began posting on social media about several shop cats in her neighborhood, and others began sharing their local business cats too.

Cats are a part of many shops in New York.
Cats are a part of many shops in New York. Image by Andrew Marttila/Shop Cats of New York

“I was surprised to find that while there were a few articles about NYC shop cats, there weren’t any current books that told their story and portrayed them as the beloved members of the community they are”.

Cats are a part of many shops in New York.
Cats are a part of many shops in New York. Image by Andrew Marttila/Shop Cats of New York

Some of the cats live in well-known spots like the Algonquin Hotel, and the book delves into the unique stories of two meat-eating cats who live in a vegan shoe shop, a pharmacy cat named Allegra – an allergy medicine – whose owner is highly allergic to cats, and a wine store cat with his own chiropractor.

Cats are a part of many shops in New York.
Cats are a part of many shops in New York. Image by Andrew Marttila/Shop Cats of New York

Arslanian says that part of the fun of cat-spotting in New York is that you never know where they’ll turn up. “The types of businesses with cats are incredibly varied – and often surprising – ranging from an occult store to a pilates studio, bike shop, real estate office, pharmacy and everyplace in-between”.

Cats are a part of many shops in New York.
Cats are a part of many shops in New York. Image by Andrew Marttila/Shop Cats of New York

If you want to track down some of the adorable felines yourself, more information can be found in the book or on the official Facebook pageAnd if you’re a cat-lover travelling in London, a different book called London Pubcats will help you not only find local felines, but a good place to stop for a pint.  

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