Smoky Mountain Cat House: Shop, relax, play with cats in Pigeon Forge

Smoky Mountain Cat House

Live cats run around the store while you shop at the Smoky Mountain Cat House (photo by Kimberly Grayson/TheSmokies.com)

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We mock what we don’t understand. Or at least I do.

I am, in many ways, a product of the era in which I was raised. From my sense of humor to the way I process the world, the amalgamation of personality traits that make me who I am is very much the result of nurture, not nature.

And so, when I come across a passion project like the Smoky Mountain Cat House, the first things I see are the things I was made to poke fun at.

And the well here is deep.  

Cat socks. Cat jewelry. And lots of puns.

Honestly, the fact that I haven’t peppered this thing with cat puns so far is a testament to my own will power, but be forewarned at some point the dam will break, and the cat puns will rain down like hail.

The phone number ends in MEOW, for goodness sake.

But I’m trying harder now, as I grow older, to see past the cursory scan for easily mockable targets.

And so when I look at the Smoky Mountain Cat House, a passion project approaching 40 years in business on a little side street in Pigeon Forge, I see more than the things I can make fun of.

I see genius, and something of a miracle.

Imagine, taking a hobby, an interest or something you love and turning it into – not just a successful business – but a haven for like-minded people who share your passion.

Inside the Smoky Mountain Cat House
The Cat House was created for cat lovers around the world (photo by Kimberly Grayson/TheSmokies.com)

Is there a cat cafe in Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge?

The Smoky Mountain Cat House is located in Pigeon Forge, roughly 20-30 minutes from Gatlinburg. It’s not a cat cafe per se, but it is a place where you can shop, relax and pet some cats in the Great Smoky Mountains.

In 1985, Cheryl and Phil Anderson created the Cat House in the Smokies for cat lovers around the world.

The Cat House is a home away from home for “cat people” and an interesting curio for shoppers looking for unique gifts or souvenirs.

The Andersons, it seems, were generations ahead of their time. Long before Twitter and Instagram and TikTok were aflame with cat content, the Cat House welcomed visitors to share their cat pictures and stories with like-minded individuals.

“We feature the things that make us and our cats happy,” the store’s website reads, “but most of all we hope to be your home away from home where you can pet and play with a cat when you’re away from your own!”

The fact that the Cat House exists in a former residential home adds to the feeling that this is about something more than shopping. It feels like you’re visiting a friend who shares your feline passions.

There are currently six cats that reside at the Smoky Mountain Cat House (photo by Kimberly Grayson/TheSmokies.com)

Can you pet cats at the Smoky Mountain Cat House?

It’s also something of a cat sanctuary.

There are currently six cats that reside at the house, interacting with customers and doing cat things. And yes, you may pet them.

So what can you expect when you enter the Cat House or do a little cat shopping online?

I find it’s best not to expect anything, just to let the joyous cat cacophony wash over you in all its splendor.

Read Also: Best mom and pop shops in Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge

Smoky Mountain Cat House
Cats run around the store at the Smoky Mountain Cat House in Pigeon Forge, Tenn. (photo by Kimberly Grayson/TheSmokies.com)

What does the Smoky Mountain Cat House sell?

There are the aforementioned cat themed socks and cat jewelry. There are cat clothing lines and cat tights. 

You can find the “crazy cat lady” lunchboxes for those who embrace the stereotype as well as several lines of purses, handbooks and checkbook covers.

There are cat clocks, cat wind chimes and cat bells.

For the culinarily brave, there’s a Fat Cat line of hot sauces, cat books and cat-themed art.

They have cat-themed rugs, pillows and flags as well as cat-themed items for your garden.

But they don’t stop at cat things for people. They have cat stuff for actual cats as well, like toys, cat grass, premium catnip, cat beds and supplies.

Items even include drinking fountains to keep your kitty’s water from getting stale in the bowl.

It is a catopia. The cat’s meow. This Cat House is purr-fectly created to meet every whim of your cat fancy. I’m not kitten, it’s pawsitively awesome.

Sorry, I couldn’t hold off any longer.

The Cat House is located at 3327 Old Mill Street in Pigeon Forge. The hours vary by season. To learn more, visit their website.

Have you been to the Smoky Mountain Cat House? Let us know in the comments.

Disclaimer: While we do our best to bring you the most up-to-date information, attractions or prices mentioned in this article may vary by season and are subject to change. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any mentioned business, and have not been reviewed or endorsed these entities. Contact us at info@thesmokies.com for questions or comments.

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6 thoughts on “Smoky Mountain Cat House: Shop, relax, play with cats in Pigeon Forge”

  1. I have been visiting the Smokey Mountain Cat house for over 30 years. I don’t visit Pigeon Forge with stopping by. Love my visits! Us cats people are a special and very loyal breed! Proudly owned by 2 rescued house cats in Ky.

  2. My husband and myself have been visiting your cat house for so many yrs.,I can’t remember.I remember some of your cats being polydactyl.Don’t remember their names thought Congratulations on your thriving business.

  3. Love the cat house! My grandson loves the shirts and never leaves without one or two new ones! Love getting to pet the fur babies! Always buy cookies to take come for the dog! Something for everyone!

  4. My husband and I have been to The Cat House twice now and will continue to go back. We have 2 rescue cats and we love finding new toys and treats that they will love. I also love checking out the home decor items and always pick up a tee shirt or piece of jewelry for myself.

  5. I started visiting the CatHouse from the time that I was a little girl growing up in the 80s and 90s. It has always been a special treat to stop and visit and was always my happy place in the mountains. I continue to visit and love that I can now share the Cat House with my husband and our nieces and nephews. It truly is the cat’s meow and is a delightful place for all animal lovers to visit.

  6. I am a crazy cat lady and my favorite place to shop is at the Smoky Mountain Cat House! Besides having gifts for cat lovers they have cat toys, catnip cat toys, cat clothing, people clothing with cats on it, some dog gifts, books, calendars, beautiful jewelry: you could spend hours looking at all the items they carry! Then you would want to pet their sweet resident kitties! You can also go online and order their merchandise! But whatever you do, get your kitty a catnip stuffed banana or catnip stuffed carrot or catnip rainbow! They will forgive you for leaving them home alone if you take them a gift from Smoky Mountain Cat House!

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