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Shrine honors cats at Japan island where they outnumber humans

21 Comments
By HIRO KOMAE

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21 Comments
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Neko culture in Japan is amazing..

Coolest and frikiest country of the world..

-10 ( +3 / -13 )

On a small island off Japan’s northeastern coast, visitors make offerings at a shrine for unlikely local guardians: cats.

Following in the footsteps of the Pharaohs.

Tourists are expected to walk up and down the island's hills while visiting.

With a little promotion this could be a must visit and boost the local island economy from the ground up.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

I can't stand feral cats, and the people who perpetuate the problem by going out of their way to feed them because they feel sorry for the poor cute kitties instead of contributing to Sakura Neko programs to spay/neuter them. I bet the avian population on this island is close to zero...

-3 ( +8 / -11 )

TNR, rescue or adopt, don't buy.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

I imagine that a Cat Island would be much more civilized than a Dog Island.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Lots of good looking kitties in the images.

13 ( +13 / -0 )

Must be a slow news day for this to be the Top Story. I suppose that's a good thing. Better than war or Biden. Plus, I love cats.

-6 ( +4 / -10 )

Feels Like Heaven.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Stray cats outnumber humans in my neighbourhood - 15 to 12.

Those 15 congregate across the road, fed by the house owner (who denies feeding them) and never takes care of their health.

Stretch to a wider 500+m radius and the number is much greater, probably still out numbering people.

Funny how no crowds flock here to see the cats. Maybe I should open a weekend ice cream stand out front.

On a more serious note, my areas cats are often in terrible condition reflecting their tough existence.

Hope the Tashirojima cats are well looked after.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

I guess there will be no birds or frogs or lizards or small mammals on that island then. Just dumb cats.

-13 ( +5 / -18 )

Japanese don't seem to care about native and wild animals, they let feral cats roam free to hunt the birds, lizards, frogs and anything else that moves.

-8 ( +4 / -12 )

I guess there will be no birds or frogs or lizards or small mammals on that island then. Just dumb cats.

Japanese don't seem to care about native and wild animals, they let feral cats roam free to hunt the birds, lizards, frogs and anything else that moves.

If you remember the full story, the cats were brought in to keep the mouse and rat population under control to protect the silkworms grown there. Looking at images of the cats they appear well fed and you can see images of locals feeding groups of cats. I don't think they have much need to forage today.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

This story reminds me of when I went cycling along the Shimanami kaido (between Honshu and Shikoku), I took a detour and went to a rabbit island called Okunoshima. There were rabbits everywhere and when I shook my plastic bag full of trail mix, they all hop towards me, it was surely memorable.

The history of the island was a surprise, it used to produce poison gas decades back

6 ( +6 / -0 )

WiseOne - yes Rabbit Island is an interesting place, although overshadowed by it's dark history of chemical weapons production.

More than likely that some of today's rabbits are descendants from the war era test bunnies.

Cat Island's history is much more likeable.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Cats are great, I’ve rescued 4 cats since I lived in Japan and 3 dogs. Mind you I did like in the sticks and have plenty of room there.

This place looks interesting, bit far for me to visit though as I reside in Osaka

2 ( +8 / -6 )

Cats kill everything around whether fed or not. Maybe you don't know much about cats, Desert Tortoise. Even if the urge to kill were reduced by 90%, with that kind of population density not much else will survive. Most cat owners are probably more irresponsible about their animals effect on the environment than most dog owners, and that says a lot.

-10 ( +4 / -14 )

’frikiest’… lol… how very, very sad.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Moonraker

Absolutely. Cats don't forage for food, they hunt from instinct whether they're hungry or not, that's why cat owners who let their cats out are really irresponsible. Unlike indoor cats, feral cats crap everywhere and anywhere and are absolutely unsanitary.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

What is the topic of this discussion thread? Isn't it about cats? isn't it about the attitude of humans towards cats in Japan and in general? Isn't it about the attitude towards animals in general?

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Cats kill everything around whether fed or not. Maybe you don't know much about cats, Desert Tortoise. Even if the urge to kill were reduced by 90%, with that kind of population density not much else will survive. Most cat owners are probably more irresponsible about their animals effect on the environment than most dog owners, and that says a lot.

There are a lot of factors causing a decline in some bird species but in nearly every species affected it is not cats that are killing them. Most of the bird species in decline today are not in contact with domestic cats unless you think the mountain forests, the desert or the steppe are teaming with domestic cats. What is killing birds are climate change, habitat loss and loss of apex predators that eat the critters that eat the birds (think lack of wolves in much of the US to keep the coyote population down. If you look at populations of bird species commonly found in household gardens, none of these are in decline. Some are growing in numbers.

The places where domestic cats have decimated a native bird species are small islands where the bird species evolved in a predator less environment and lost the ability to fly or any sense to defend themselves.

The average household cat is too fat and slow to hunt birds. The studies I have read show that owned cats kill maybe two birds a year. The cats I or family members have had killed a lot more small rodents than birds. Our old Persian killed mice constantly but I can only remember this one blue jay who used to dive on Blackie and peck his head ending up a meal for him. Rats and mice were much easier prey and are the bulk of a feral cat's diet.

The studies of bird predatation by cats are all done poorly. They make wild assumptions about feral cat populations and the studies simply guess at how many birds per year a feral cat eats. Worse yet are the studies based on prior studies that simply repeat the same mistaken assumptions of the earlier studies. When cameras are strapped to cats and their actual kills per week observed owned cats, meaning cats someone owns, kill a lot fewer birds than most of the studies assume. Two per year on average for an owned cat.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Absolutely. Cats don't forage for food, they hunt from instinct whether they're hungry or not, that's why cat owners who let their cats out are really irresponsible. Unlike indoor cats, feral cats crap everywhere and anywhere and are absolutely unsanitary.

Female cats who have not been spayed hunt out of instinct. If they are owned cats they bring their kills back to their owners much as they would bring their kills back to their clowder to share. Spaying greatly reduces their urge to hunt. Neutered males who are owned cats, meaning they are fed regularly, generally do not hunt. They are more like Garfield. They lay around all day (and watch Catflix)

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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