Feral Cat Island

A few months ago I did an article showcasing the amazing Territorio de Zaguates, a privately funded, volunteer run island dog shelter. The entire island is home to hundreds of cute and friendly dogs just waiting for a new home. You can read all about it here. That’s all fine and dandy for the canines but what about our other 4 legged friend? Is there a place  just for cats? Turns out there is!

Tashirojima is a small island in the Miyagi Prefecture of Japan. From above it looks like any other pacific island off the coast of Japan but don’t let appearances fool you, it’s actually quite unique. You see, Tashirojima is home to about 100 mostly elderly caretakers, and thousands of stray feral cats. Inhabitants believe the cats bring good luck and go out of their way to treat them like royalty. It’s actually considered a little rude to keep any of the cats as pets so in general they have the run of the place. Needless to say, dogs are forbidden from setting foot here.

Cats make up the majority of foot..err…paw traffic on the island.
They have become used to a certain level of pampering.
Getting fish straight from the fisherman’s net. Delicious.
About 80% of the islands human inhabitants are elderly. Seems like a good fit.
Treating the cats well is supposed to bring good fortune. And it does (at least for the cats).
And you thought your pets were demanding.
I can say for certain that this island is like no other place on Earth.
Here cats always have the right of way.
I think I need to see this place for myself.

It looks like the cats may indeed be bringing good fortune as the island has developed into quite the tourist attraction. Next time you’re in Japan I recommend checking it out. If you’d like to take a virtual tour instead check out the video below.


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