Aoshima Cat Island: A Wonderful Zone Of The Cats

Cat Island

Interesting Facts about the Aoshima Cat Island

There is a wonderful island called ‘Cat Island’ in the middle of the ocean. When you reach there, you will find a group of cats around you. After this, the group of cats will get excited and start chasing you. Finally, it seems that if you don’t open your bag and throw some food for them, they might snatch your bag.

It seems that all these cats have been hungry and thirsty for many days. But even if all these cats chase you, there is no need to worry. Because these cats know that outside guests are like gods to them, they keep bringing them delicious food, even on that wild island.
That is why the tribal cats of that remote island appear loving towards people.

Hi Friends.
Let's read this interesting article and get amazing information about this cat kingdom.
After all, where is that rare island where so many cats live? And why that island would be creating an empire of rare cats, even in modern times, is a mysterious story.

Where is Cat Island?

In the southern part of Japan, in Ehime Prefecture, there is a beautiful and peaceful small island called Aoshima in the middle of the ocean. Due to the abundance of cats, this island is also known as Cat Island. Because there are so many cats there, their number is said to be forty times more than the population of people living there.

respect and love for cats

The interesting thing is that in this place, the cat is seen as a very respected animal. And there is also a belief that cats should not be hurt or harassed in any way.

Not only this, in such cat-friendly Japanese islands, memorial structures have also been built in memory of the cats killed in the accident. People who get there remember the dead cat and pray for the peace of the soul.

The respect shown by human society towards animals in Japanese culture is extremely precious and world-famous. Therefore, we thought it appropriate to write this article regarding the human feeling of devotion towards animals, which is so rare in the world.

Now, you may be curious to know why so many cats evolved on the island of Aoshima. For what purpose have so many cats been preserved?

And Why did all the people of that village move to the city? Also, why do people here have so much respect for cats?
Let us talk about all these topics now.

Aoshima, cat island
2021-01-07 Aoshima Island (Miyazaki)青島 (宮崎県)DJI 0255 (2)空撮” by 松岡明芳 is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

Sad History Of Aoshima Cat Island

Along with the modern human and material development of Japan, the island of Aoshima was also teeming with people in the past. In 1945, there was a beautiful village on the island of Aoshima with a population of about 900. It was small in area, about one and a half kilometers long, and on average only half a kilometer wide.

It can also be considered that at that time, the population was so high that the fishing business was successful even though it was a small island in the middle of the ocean.

Why did all the villagers migrate from Aoshima, and the island became the kingdom of cats?

The island of Aoshima was once a famous fishing village, as the fish caught there could be sold in the nearest town on the peninsula.
But when fishing continued like this, the number of wild and domestic rats also started increasing, and it became surprising. The rats, thus born, started hiding in fishing boats and domestic fish stores, causing a lot of damage and misery.

After this, fish traders adopted the method of controlling rats by keeping cats in every house. Along with this tradition, this tradition of loving cats also spread among the people there, and everyone started respecting cats.

But with time, the popular sardine fish started disappearing from the coast, so people doing fish farming business started fleeing to the city.
Not only this, but Japan’s increasing modernization, education development, and urbanization also affected the island of Aoshima. As a result, people there moved to convenient cities to do work or business or settled in the city itself.

As this practice gained momentum, by 2013, the number of residents on the island of Aoshima had dropped to only 50 households. By 2018, this population had reduced so much that it was said that only 13 elderly people lived in that village. Not only this, but it is also said that there are only 5 permanent residents in 3 houses on that island, and all of them are more than 70 years old.

Aoshima, cat island
File:Cats in aoshima island 1.JPG” by 暇・カキコ is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

Concern about abandoned cats and their population growth

However, the number of cats on this island, which was becoming uninhabited, continued to increase. Since it was an island in the middle of the ocean, its resident cats could neither run away nor migrate elsewhere.

For this reason, more than 200 feral cats still live on Aoshima Island, but the village is now mostly surrounded by forest and devoid of human habitation, consisting only of old houses and a small section of ruins

Many animal rights activists, locals, and cat lovers are concerned about the future of the wild animals living there after the island becomes devoid of human habitation.

Keeping this problem in mind that the number of cats should not decrease in the future, and they should not be seen dying of hunger, the local government allocated a budget for the infertility of cats last year. Meanwhile, 210 feral cats present or found there were neutered, and small parts of their ears were cut off to make them easier to identify and that they had been neutered.

But still, it came to light that someone who was against this family planning program had already hidden some cats in his room. Therefore, the neutering program was not completely successful, and the threat of cat breeding remains.

What do so many cats eat in Aoshima?

After the population decline, the problem of food for cats became so serious that this island was also becoming uninhabited.

Not only this, but due to reasons like male cats harassing female cats, killing cubs randomly, and fighting between male cats during the breeding season, some elders living there were also getting upset.

However, as time passed, the cats also found relief as the number of tourists coming from outside increased despite the departure of residents.

Also, this place became famous for the name ‘Cat Island’, and now tourists have also started bringing some food items for the cats living there. Due to this, the cats there got relief.

Cats, Cat Island
Island Cat” by hiphopmilk is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

The cats here seem to show a straightforward and calm attitude towards the guests. And when they see tourists, they approach them and ask for food.

Furthermore, visitors can enjoy taking pictures with them or petting them.
It is also said that animal lovers collect food from various places in Japan for the cat of Aoshima.

Apart from this, only 5 people are left here, and these elderly people also deserve pity. hence, tourists like to help them.

Rules of Aoshima Cat Island

Tourists going to Ashima also have to follow some rules.
For example, there is a specific place made for feeding cats, so giving food outside except in that place is prohibited.

Similarly, there is also a rule that any waste products taken from outside cannot be left on the island, or they must be brought back with them.

There is also a rule that this is a cat-friendly area, so you can’t take a dog with you.

Furthermore, tourists visiting the island have to carry some food and water not only for the cat but also for themselves as there are currently no hotels, shops, or restaurants at the place.
Since this place is not a tourist area created by the government, when cat lovers started going there, the place became famous on its own.

However, there is no need to worry about food and accommodation in this area because there is a tourist town about half an hour away from here where all kinds of facilities are available.

cat island
竹富島コンドイ浜の猫 / Cat at Kondoi Beach in Taketomi Island, Okinawa, Japan” by kimtetsu is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Is Aoshima the only cat Island in Japan?

You may be curious whether Aoshima is the only Cat Island in Japan. No, It is said that 11 different types of cat islands exist in Japan. But all of them, Aoshima Cat Island is one of the most famous for tourists.

It is also important to know that Japan’s next cat island, Tashirojima in the Miami province of northern Japan, is also more important from a tourism point of view. Because Tashirojima Cat Island has resorts and shops for tourist facilities. There are also monuments built in memory of the cat. But we will discuss it in another article.

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That’s all for now.
May all your moments be wonderful. Namaste! pamit!!

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