Cat – themed Street Art: Penang’s 101 Lost Kittens Project

While the street art of Ernest Zacharevic has become an iconic feature of Penang, the cat art trail is less well known. If cats are your thing, or you’re looking for something different and a little quirky to do in Penang, check out the street art dedicated to the feline species.

The annual Georgetown Festival inspires creative types, and 2014’s 101 Lost Kittens Project, left a distinctly feline flavour to Georgetown. The inspirational project was created by Artists for Stray Animals (ASA) to raise awareness of the plight of strays and encourage people to help animals.

There are 12 artworks in the series, each painted with environmentally friendly paint, which will wash off eventually, so if this is something that interests you, hurry up and visit! Whether you prefer your art traditional in style or are a bit of a modernist, enjoy paintings or have a soft spot for sculpture, there is a piece of ‘cat art’ for you, and heading out to discover it is a great way to explore Georgetown.

No animal discrimination please

Behind Edelweiss café on Armenian Street

Tucked away behind a busy café is an almost private piece of art. Images of cats and a dog bring the animals together and promotes equal treatment of all species.

No Animal Discrimination please, street art, Penang, Malaysia

I can help catch rats

In a small alley along Armenian Street

This bright and colourful artwork reminds us that pets can be as useful as they are fun. It aims to generate a desire to keep cats as useful pets

Cats and humans happily together

Cheah Kongsi (enter from Armenian Street)

This large and rather fanciful painting depicts a procession of Taoist deities represented by cats, indicating the harmony that can exist between species.

Cats and humans happily together, Penang, Malaysia

The real Bruce Lee would never do this

Behind Ah Quee Street (behind Boy on Motorbike)

While initially seeming a bit at odds with the principle of the project, the title of this work remind us that it is using Bruce Lee’s fame (and famous pose) to bring attention to the issue of animal harm. Image at the top of this page).

Cats walking for animal awareness

Back lane walls of Beach Street Fire Station<

Small black cats are stencilled on a white wall at the back of Beach Street Fire Station, and around the corner to Victoria Street. They remind us that animals do not have a voice and, while they walk along this wall for awareness, they need our help.

Even if handicapped, still love me

Victoria Street – in front of Victoria House

This statue is also known as ‘mama cat’. It depicts a disabled cat positioned on a trolley and is intended to raise awareness of stray animals and their troubles, and encourage people to take them off the streets and care for them.

Handicapped cat sculpture, Penang, Malaysia

Take time to sit with your pet

Victoria Street, in front of Sekeping Victoria

A small model of a cat walks across the back of a chicken wire couch, in the same way pets often do. This unassuming work reminds pet owners that an important part of pet ownership is the commitment to spend time with pets, and let them enjoy company.

Fine 500 for littering. Sterilise instead

Victoria Street, near the corner with Armenian Street

This work shows two small model cats left in an abandoned three-wheel cart. It’s message is to discourage people from abandoning animals and hammer home the importance of sterilising pets to prevent unwanted litters being abandoned in the future.

Shade me if you love me

Victoria Street, near CF food court

A colourful umbrella stands out against a wall that has cats painted on it. The work aims to create awareness of stray animals and encourage people to adopt animals in need of shelter.

Fortune cat street art, Penang, Malaysia

Love me like your fortune cat

A silver tabby looks wistfully towards a dangling rat in a scene that could be painted at a window, but is in fact painted on the side of a building. Apparently the cat is wishing for a better fortune for himself and his species.

Skippy cat street art, Penang, Malaysia

Skippy comes to Penang – and rat lurking around corner

Armenian Street Ghaut

Perhaps the ultimate of the cat art, Skippy is a giant mural of a ginger cat sitting watching the world go by. It was inspired by a real stray ginger cat (yes, called Skippy!) who had a bad leg. Skippy’s story ended well though, as Skippy was adopted. Perhaps Skippy’s fate makes this the most hopeful of the artworks?

The rat lurking around the corner adds a touch of fun and humour. If you stand at the rat-end of the Skippy painting, it looks as if they are each aware of the other’s presence.

Care for cats street art, Penang, Malaysia

Please care and bathe me

Armenian Street Ghaut – around corner from Skippy and rat

This painting depicts two cats that look rather sorry for themselves, in the way that soggy cats do. The work aims to reminding humans that even animals perceived to be independent, like cats, still need to be cared for sometimes.

How do you feel about art projects with a serious message? Do you think they work? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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