Japan’s most famous cat island moving towards plan to spay, neuter all of its kitty inhabitants

Aging, shrinking human population says it can no longer take care of all of the frisky felines.

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Japan’s Cat Island tweets a plea for cat food, gets so much they can barely store it all

Cat caretaker asks for cat food on Twitter, gets way more than she bargained for!

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Japan’s “cat island” Aoshima is being overwhelmed by tourists

Aoshima (青島), which is incorporated into Ozu City, Ehime Prefecture, is a small, unpretentious island in the Seto Inland Sea of Japan (which one of our English-language correspondents has covered extensively). However, the 0.5 km² island does have one unique claim to fame–it’s known as a paradise for cats and cat lovers.

We actually featured Aoshima on our list of the 11 top cat islands in Japan back in April. After one Japanese Twitter user shared photos of the island’s hordes of cats online, Aoshima has experienced an unprecedented influx of tourists, leaving the local residents baffled and unprepared to deal with the flood of people streaming in.

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Aoshima Island has 100 cats, and we photographed almost all of them

Recently, we sent our intrepid reporter Meg to Ehime Prefecture’s Aoshima, also known as Cat Island or even Cat Paradise. We’d heard rumors that the island’s packs of free-roaming kitties were facing an obesity crisis from the snacks given to them by their numerous animal-loving visitors, and wanted to check up on our little friends.

When Meg came back, she reported that the cats were fine, thanks to their active, calorie-burning lifestyle. But how could she be sure? Did she check every cat on Aoshima?

She certainly came close, and we’ve got the photo collection to prove it.

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This Japanese island is filled to the brim with felines!

About eight miles off the coast of Ozu City in Japan’s Ehime Prefecture, there lies a tiny landmass, less than a mile wide, which is completely overrun by cats! This little island is home to only 15 human residents, all of retirement age, but houses more than 100 kitties! These frisky felines have been multiplying like mad over the past 10 years or so, but only in the past couple weeks has the island caught the attention of the Internet, immediately becoming a hit tourist attraction, in spite of not having any hotels, restaurants, or even vending machines! Keep reading to see what locals and visitors alike have to say about the island’s “catty” conditions.

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