The town centre (dark green) and the statistical district (light green) of Kats in the municipality of Noord-Beveland.
(1 January 2008)
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In 2001, the town of Kats had 286 inhabitants. The built-up area of the town was 0.072 km², and contained 162 residences. The statistical area "Kats", which also can include the surrounding countryside, has a population of around 430.
In the Middle ages Kats originally prospered as Suburchdijke the name alluding to connections with the nearby city of Souburg. The local inhabitants are referred to locally as katsenaers and 150 of them were drowned in flooding caused by a great storm on 5 November 1530, which engulfed the whole island, then in 1532 the Elizabethflood swept away all the remaining buildings. Poldering Noord Beveland (the process the Dutch invented to reclaim land from the sea) did not start again until 1598 - the villages of Colijnsplaat and Kats were both built on estates at right angles to each other.
The name "Kats" originates from the family van Kats/van Cats- a certain Caths was granted the deeds. Kats grew very slowly and was blighted by the plagues of 1603 to 1605 and 1650. By 1629 a windmill had been built and 30 years later in 1659 enough people were living there to establish a reformed church parish. The first minister was Johannes Jones, like other inhabitants of the time he was born in England. The name Jones hints at Welsh ancestry. In 1687 the present day church was built.
In 1922 the mill was demolished. In the thirties discussions were held about redrawing municipal boundaries and in 1941 Kats, Colijnsplaat and Kortgene were joined together as the municipality of Kortgene with its administrative centre in Kortgene, in recent years this has become the municipality of Noord-Beveland, all administration being transferred to the new council building in Wissenkerke. Sections for the suspended road connecting the islands of the massive Neeltje Jans flood prevention scheme were built at Kats.
With art galleries but no shops or cafes, present-day Kats is set in rural environs. It has attracted many resident artists and musicians. Its largely unspoilt dorpstraat (or village street) has won awards for being the prettiest village street in Zeeland. There is a small yachting marina located near the Zeeland Bridge on the Oosterschelde. De Zeeuwse Rozentuin (The Rose garden of Zeeland) is open to the public, growing as it does over 1000 varieties of roses spread over more than 4 hectares. There is a theatre. The nature reserve "De Katseplaat" is to be found nearby in the Oosterschelde and its upkeep is administered by the Dutch natural monument society or Vereniging tot behoud van natuurmonumenten.