Museum of the American House Cat: an Adventure to Sylva.

Welcome to Sylva, NC:
Home of the Museum of the American House Cat!

Visiting the museum has been on my to-do list since I heard the words “CAT” and “MUSEUM” in the same sentence. It’s actually only one of TWO museums dedicated to cats in the entire United States. This seems shocking to me given our collective love of cat videos on the internet!

When you drive up, this is what you will see:


You’ll enter the museum through the old school building. I should have taken a picture of THAT door and of the counter where you buy tickets but honestly I was so overcome that it did not cross my mind. Once you buy your ticket you’ll walk down a hall reminiscent of Replacements Ltd (see THIS link for more about THAT wondrous location). Be sure to allow time to peruse the antique mall when you finish your Cat Tour!

As you approach the end of the hallway, THIS door will appear on your left. You put your raffle ticket in a box and then the door opens, and you will feel like you’ve been transported into the cat version of Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory.

{If you don’t know the movie reference

PS: With your admission ticket there is a monthly raffle for a major prize –that’s the ticket stub you drop off in the box!


Once inside we were greeted by The CatMan2 himself, Dr. Harold W. Sims along with his female associate whose name I immediately forgot. (I am sorry! She was a really nice lady & great tour guide but again, I was OVERCOME.)

The museum is really well organised, well lit, and strangely clean…I don’t think I saw a single cat hair! There are no cat residents on site BUT there are plenty at the shelter that CatMan2 runs with funding from the museum! It is definitely worth noting that almost ALL the items in the museum are things that Harold himself has collected. There are a few donations, but overall it is all him!


I’m basically going to give you a double handful photo dump of my favorite feline finds! I’ll include a little caption telling a bit about what is in the picture. I invite you to click on each picture and really look at all the little bits, almost like a Where’s Waldo!


Black & White vintage cat photographs and tintypes.


Black & White vintage cat photographs and tintypes. Also cat patches.


Wind up toys!

(extreme Grumpy cat on far left)
I think he looks like the famous Grumpy Cat from the internet!


More wind up toys!

I especially like the little hot pink & orange plastic one in the middle on the right.


I think these look a bit like bears, but regardless, they are very cute.

I love how each of them is doing a mundane household task;
ironing, knitting, and even grinding coffee beans!!


And even more wind up toys!


Totoro’s cousin thrice removed?

For some reason, this one reminds me of a character from Studio Ghibili!!!
{Click HERE if you don’t know what I’m talking about!}


Halloween Cats!


Guinness Advertisement from Ireland!

Now for some cat art!


Here are cats involved in drinking!


More cats drinking!


A very floofy cat named Butch!


Cats in advertising…AND WITH STALIN.

Read the zoom in to read more.
{Not sure the truth of this, but I love it as a story!}


A very handsome tabby cat smoking a cigarette!


CatMan2 tee shirts & merch!


Now go ahead and prepare yourself for possibly the raddest part.




To be honest, I’m not 100% sure they are authentic, BUT I DON’T EVEN CARE.
They are so fun as part of the collection!
(And I desperately love Andy and therefore love these paintings.)


And now here is me!
I had on as much cat stuff as possible!
Earrings — thirfted
Stone Necklace — Carolina Renaissance Festival
Shirt — Amazon (a gift!)
Sweater — Target brand via Goodwill
Gray hair highlights — NATURE/my mom 🙂



Admission notes: $7.50 for adults–not sure about children. It shows as $5 several places online but we paid $7.50 as of 4/3/18

HOURS: Open 10am-5pm Tuesday – Saturday.
12noon-5pm on Sundays
Winter months the museum is open by appointment only.

*SIDE NOTE: You might want to pack a little pick-nick lunch and make a day of it. There are no places to eat terribly close by. This trip would be great for a rainy day. You could tour the museum, eat lunch in your car, and go back in and look at the antique mall. This would make an excellent date for adults. If you have smaller kids (ages 5-10ish) the museum will still be great but maybe bypass the antique mall part.

Click HERE for all the info you need about the CatMan2 Shelter!

HERE is an article about the museum from The Smithsonian!

Be sure to tell the folks that CoonSmith Sutlery sent you!



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