Shop Cats of China

Marcel Heijnen, Catharine Nicol, Ian Row

A charming look at felines photographed in a range of quirky and atmospheric shops across China, reflecting the country’s unique culture and the good fortune these cats bring their owners.

Cats are an adorable feature of daily life in China. Countless stores keep cats, and many store owners believe the enigmatic animals bring good luck to their establishments. Each cat is an essential part of the shops in which they live and hunt and reign as little emperors of their retail kingdoms. In this delightful and intriguing book, these frisky felines are photographed in their store environments with their owners. A one-of-a-kind publication, this book pairs captivating photographs with light-hearted haiku on shop life.

When photographer Marcel Heijnen moved to China he was immediately drawn to these photogenic mousers. And while the cats are undoubtedly the furry celebrities of his photographs, each shot delivers an insightful glimpse into China’s busy retail life. From dried sh and rice to paper sellers and tea merchants, the photographs’ backgrounds present traditional Chinese retail culture in all its colorful glory.


Equal parts street photography, cat portraiture and whimsical poetry…[Shop Cats of China] will delight and entertain anyone who is fascinated by the relationship between humans and their cats, while the surrounding textures and colors offer a slice of Chinese shop culture and street life.

— BookPage

This collection of photographs and haiku is a wonderful glimpse into the world of Chinese commerce… These intimate photos don't just make me want to travel to Beijing—they make me, a lifelong dog owner, want to get a cat.

— StarTribune


Marcel Heijnen


Marcel Heijnen is a Dutch photographer and designer who has lived in Asia for over twenty years. He currently lives in Hong Kong.

Catharine Nicol

Foreword By

Ian Row

Text By