Thirty cats free-roaming on a train

Yes, Reuters tells us that in Ogaki, Japan, thirty cats were allowed to roam freely on a local train amongst the passengers. That sounds like a recipe for a disaster to me but it appears to have been a success and its purpose was to highlight the ‘culling’ of stray cats. By this I presume that they mean the euthanasia of unwanted community cats on the streets of Japan at rescue centres.

There has been great success in reducing the number of cats ‘culled’ in Japan. I’m told that the number of cats admitted to shelters has dropped by about seventy percent over the period 2004 to 2016. In 2016, 72,624 cats were admitted to shelters. There has been an associated dramatic drop in the number of cats euthanised (“culled”). In 2004, 238,929 cats were euthanised while in 2016 the number had dropped to 45,574 against a background of 9.8 million cats in the country. I think these are remarkable figures but please read the associated page at the base of this article.

Passengers on the train mingling with the thirty freeroaming cats were perfectly happy to share the train with them. The event was hosted by Yoro Railway Co Ltd working with a non-governmental organisation called Kitten Cafe Sanctuary.

Japanese Attitudes Towards Cats and Dogs




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