Cat Statues of Kuching

Wooden cats

Wooden cats in one of the shops on Main Bazaar

What? Cat Statues

Where? Kuching, Sarawak

Ratings *** because it’s the thing to do

It’s kitsch, it’s embarrassing, and you know the Japanese girls will pose in front of it with a ‘V’ sign. But you can’t help yourself anyway, so you join the 99.9% of tourists who say cheese and have their photo(s) taken in front of the cat statues. This is after all, Kuching, the city of cats, and taking a photo with the cat statues is obligatory. Like Paris and Eiffel Tower, Pisa and its leaning tower, this is the thing to do in Kuching.

“Kuching” means cat in Malay. Actually, it’s spelt “kucing” now. “Kuching” is the old spelling. Although the truth is, the name of the capital city of Sarawak probably has nothing to do with cats. Some say the name comes from the Mata Kuching tree (a tree with fruits like longan), which grew abundantly along the river that used to flow through Kuching. Some say, it’s from the Chinese word “Cochin” which means port since Chinese traders were here way back then. But hey, why let a little technicality spoil the fun. Cat City it is.
There are 3 big cat statues in the city centre I think (please let me know if there are more). So for those of you kiasu people who want it all, this is where you can see them.

1. Cat Statue in front of Holiday Inn

Perhaps the most photographed cat statue, since this is near the Kuching Waterfront and is easy to find. This statue has the most cats with father and mother cat and I think 7 kittens. You might want to take photos from all 4 angles since some kittens are hidden from view. Officially this is the Kuching North City Council statue.

2. Cat Statue near Soho

Another round-about with a cat statue. There are 4 white cats, and there are rafflesia flowers on the top of the pole. I think this statue is near Soho (a popular pub). For those of you who must have road names, it’s at one end of Jalan Padungan. Quite near the earlier statue.

3. Great Cat of Kuching

Finally, the most famous of them all. The first cat statue built in the 1990s. The 1.5m tall statue was created by local artist Yong Kee Yet and is located at the other end of Jalan Padungan. Officially, this is the Kuching South City Council cat statue, but otherwise known as the Great Cat of Kuching. It is normally naked like in the photo above, but is sometimes dressed up for festivals. (Eg. A santa outfit at Christmas, red Chinese shirt during Chinese New Year, etc).

Still not enough of cats? Visit the cat museum!


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