OMG, There Are 12 Cat Islands In Japan!

One of the island is also home to a Shinto cat shrine.

Cover image via Thomas Peter/Reuters

A while back, the Internet re-discovered Aoshima in Ehime Prefecture, a Japanese 'Cat Island' where cats outnumber humans

First made famous in 2013 after someone shared photos of the cats inhabiting the mile-long island, each year following that has seen the Internet erupt in a sort of feral feline foofaraw over this mysterious 'Cat Island', where cats outnumber the island's 20 mainly elderly residents six to one.

Back in 2016, it was reported that there are more than 120 feral cats on the island.

Cats crowd the harbor on Aoshima Island in the Ehime prefecture of southern Japan on February 25, 2015.

Image via Thomas Peter/Reuters

The cats, that were introduced to Aoshima to deal with rats that plagued fishermen's boats, now rules the remote island, curling up in abandoned houses or strutting about in a fishing village

However, Aoshima is not the only 'Cat Island' in Japan.


Brace yourself, in addition to Aoshima, Japan has 11 other 'Cat Islands'.

YES, you read that right! There are 11 other 'Cat Islands' in Japan, and one of them is called Tashirojima, it is perhaps the most well-known of them all.

There, in the 1950s, over a thousand people lived. Now, only a hundred human remain, with the majority being in their 70s. But cats you will find there in several hundred.

Currently, dogs are not allowed on the island to protect the well-being of the cats.

The island is also home to a Shinto cat shrine and there's an area of Tashirojima called "Manga Island" which houses manga art and has a gift shop.

Image via atlasobscura

Names of the other cat islands are listed below:

1. Enoshima, Kanagawa Prefecture
2. Okishima, Shiga Prefecture
3. Sanagishima, Kagawa Prefecture
4. Muzukijima, Ehime Prefecture
5. Manabeshima, Okayama Prefecture
6. Iwaishima, Yamaguchi Prefecture
7. Aijima, Fukuoka Prefecture
8. Aishima, Fukuoka Prefecture
9. Kadarashima, Saga Prefecture
10. Genkaishima, Fukuoka Prefecture

The Genkaishima 'Cat Island' has long been home to Japan's largest island-based cat population. Its numbers, however, took a hit during a 2005 earthquake.

A Photographer has spent years taking photos of the cats on this island:
Image via hatena
Image via hatena
Image via hatena
Image via hatena
Image via hatena

Speaking of cat islands, did you know there's a hotel named 'The Purrfection Suites' in Singapore? It happens to be THE ultimate luxury getaway destination for fussy felines:

Japan, on the other hand, just seems like a perfect country:

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