Have you ever wished you could visit an island full of cats? If this sounds like a cat lover's fantasy island, it isn't. Aoshima, also known as the Cat Island, is a small fishing island off the coast of Ehime prefecture in Japan. Why is it called Cat Island? Because this amazing place is home to over 120 free-roaming felines!
Before the 2000s, Aoshima was a relatively isolated place, with few humans aside from the approximately 20 people who live there. Ever since the cat-loving Internet found out about Aoshima, though, tourism to the island has exploded. While there is a cap on daily visitors, which helps keep the elderly residents from becoming overwhelmed, it is absolutely possible for cat lovers the world over to come and check out the adorableness. If you have a vacation coming up, and you're looking to get swarmed by cats, Japan's cat island of Aoshima might be just the right choice.
Not All Of The Residents Love Their Furry Neighbors
As cute as the fluffy residents of Aoshima might be, they can certainly cause their share of trouble. Imagine, for example, you're into gardening. It's going to be pretty difficult to maintain your vegetable patches if cats appear in your yard to dig them up and pee on them all the time. That's why at least one woman was seen chasing cats away from her garden with a stick.
Population Control Is Key
In an effort to control the burgeoning population, at least 10 of the cats have been neutered. However, this is still an ongoing process.While the high number of cats and the yearly explosions in the kitten population might seem adorable, it's actually better for the cats themselves if their numbers stay small. With fewer cats, diseases are less likely to spread amongst them, and they're less likely to fight over resources. Besides that, spaying and neutering cats can decrease behavioral problems like spraying.