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The Algonquin Hotel Times Square, Autograph Collection

59 West 44th Street · New York, New York 10036 USA

Algonquin Cat

  • +1-212-840-6800

Hamlet, the resident cat of The Algonquin Hotel, Times Square was found scrounging for food in Long Island; he was quickly scooped up by Bideawee's Director of Adoptions, who noticed something special about him. Little "Hammy" was quite the social butterfly, cozying up to everyone!


History of the Algonquin Cat

The Algonquin Cat has an iconic and storied history; it was first believed to have debuted in the 1930s, when a stray cat came wandering into our hotel searching for food and water. After acquiring an out-of-print book written by our hotel's first general manager, Frank Case, discovered a chapter about a cat named Billy. Based on the timeline of the book, its now clear that The Algonquin Cat dates back to the early 1920s! Shockingly, two days after Billy passed, another stray cat wandered into the hotel and The Algonquin welcomed Rusty. The famous classical actor, John Barrymore, was a hotel resident during the early 1930s; Rusty was renamed Hamlet in his honor, as Hamlet was arguably Barrymore's greatest stage role. Since that time, our hotel has welcomed 12 cats. In addition to Billy, there have been seven Hamlets and three Matildas; each has been a rescue. Matilda III has recently retired after seven years of service. We now welcome Hamlet VIII, who began his residence in August of 2017 and is the first male cat at our hotel in 30 years.

In Popular Culture

In 1980, author Hilary Knight immortalized The Algonquin Cat with his cartoons for a children's book by Val Schaffer. As part of our hotel's celebrated cat tradition, a large fund-raising event is held each summer to benefit the Mayor's Alliance for NYC's Animals, with festivities including a cat fashion show.

Recently Retired Matilda the Algonquin Cat

Author Leslie Martini wrote a children's book about Matilda, the female Algonquin Cat, which was published in the fall of 2016. Matilda: The Algonquin Cat can be purchased at our hotel.

Chief Cat Officer

Chief Cat Officer Alice De Almeida watches Hamlet VIII, while our executive chef cooks special meals for him on holidays. He constantly receives fan mail and gifts from around the world, including Japan, Australia and Russia.

Contact Hamlet VIII

Hamlet VIII, the current Algonquin Cat, can be found on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Drop him a line!

Pet-Friendly Amenities

A historic four-star hotel, The Algonquin is proud to be a pet-friendly destination. Every year, we host a cat fashion show, a beloved tradition at our hotel. 

Dogs over 60 pounds may be allowed at the discretion of the General Manager. 

Please contact us for details.

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