This Island In Japan Is Home To Hundreds Of Cats, Significantly Outnumbering The Island’s Population Of Only Six Humans

gormakuma - - illustrative purposes only, not the actual cat

If you are a cat person through and through, I’m sure you’ll find this slice of heaven on earth worth visiting. On Aoshima Island, hundreds of cats prowl the area, earning it the title of “Cat Island.”

Currently, Aoshima is home to only six humans, so they’re greatly outnumbered by all the feline residents. In recent years, the island has become a popular tourist attraction.

Visitors can take a ferry from Ozu, Japan, and arrive on Aoshima Island in less than 20 minutes. The cats are accustomed to humans and will happily play with people.

You can even bring treats to offer to the cats. But how did Aoshima become overrun with cats in the first place?

Believe it or not, Japan has 10 other cat islands. Cats were brought over to these islands by fishermen in an effort to reduce rodent populations. Since the felines have no known predators on the islands, they were able to reproduce freely.

Aoshima was once a thriving fishing village. In the mid-1940s, it had a population of 900. After World War Two, most people relocated.

Now, just a few elderly residents remain on the island. As of 2019, six permanent residents were recorded.

Some cat researchers claim that the large groups of felines on Aoshima pose a problem for the animals’ well-being. The environment can be stressful with the constant competition for territory and food.

Many kittens do not make it to adulthood because of disease, starvation, and a type of infanticide that had previously only been observed in lions.

gormakuma – – illustrative purposes only, not the actual cat

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