Searching for the Hidden Cats of Paris

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Searching for the Hidden Cats of Paris
There are lots of cats in Paris but, as any cat fan knows, they can be elusive. Dogs are seen on streets and in stores as owners take them for walks or to work, but Paris cats are there too. They’re just being cats – evasive and careful as they watch their Paris world and the people in it from hidden or inconspicuous places. In fact, there are more cats in France than dogs. According to Statista, in 2021 there were 15.1 million domesticated cats in France and 7.5 million dogs. Only Germany has a higher cat population at 16.7 million. If Paris currently has 18.3% of France’s population, the calculation could be 2.7 million cats in the City of Light. Where are these mysterious cats? Here are some top spots to sleuth them out. Cat on street, courtesy of Martha Sessums Père-Lachaise Cemetery is known for its cat population of about 50 that wander around the graves and hide in trees and behind bushes. According to Barnaby Conrad III, author of Les Chats de Paris, this is the “best place to see cats” in Paris. “They wander freely among the tombs of Proust, Oscar Wilde and Jim Morrison, among others,” said Conrad. “When we buried my French great-uncle there in the late 1980s, I was cheered up to see, just a few yards from the grave, a half-hidden mother cat feeding her kittens in a nest among the ivy.” Another place to see groups of cats is in the Quartier de la Mouzaïa near the Parc des Buttes-Chaumont. The neighborhood houses were built on a gypsum quarry that was mined from the Middle Ages to the 1860s. The city of Paris authorized housing construction in the district and each house is similar with front porches and small yards. Cats are everywhere: enjoying the sun on those porches, lying along window frames, hiding under bushes or inside windows looking out at curious cat fans. cat seen in the Quartier de la Mouzaia, courtesy of Martha Sessums

Lead photo credit : Photo by Agape Trn on Unsplash

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Intrigued by France since her first stroll along the Seine, Martha and her husband often travel to Paris to explore the city and beyond. She lives part-time on the Île de la Cité and part-time in the San Francisco Bay Area, delighting in its strong Francophone and French culture community. She was a high-tech public relations executive and currently runs a non-profit continuing education organization. She also works as the San Francisco ambassador for France Today magazine.


  • kathy Rowe
    2022-10-27 06:31:28
    kathy Rowe
    I don’t see the cemetery in montmarte mentioned. It has the most visable cat population and is the perfect size. And I would highly recommend Chats Mallow. The cats love to be stroked on their time and the cat themed menu is perfect while being very affordable. It is the perfect cat fix.


    • Martha Sessums
      2022-11-02 08:48:35
      Martha Sessums
      Purrfect. Thanks for the tips of other places to find cats in Paris.