On Japan’s Aoshima Island, cats outnumber humans six to one; so get ready to pet like you’ve never pet before.
The old fishing village is currently home to only 22 people, who are all dwarfed by the army of 120 felines who unofficially rule the island. Much like Japan’s famed “Rabbit Island” (yes, that actually exists, too), the story behind this strange place has its roots in World War II.
Aoshima Island was once home to hundreds of people. In fact, the cats were originally brought over to deal with mice that were wreaking havoc on fishermen’s boats. But when the war broke out, Aoshima’s population was greatly diminished, and the only people who remain today are mostly pensioners who didn’t seek work elsewhere after the conflict ended.
The cats, however, stayed. And multiplied. (Hey, they got to do something, right?)
Now it’s known as somewhat of a tourist destination (albeit without any real restaurants, cars or shops), but this kind of attraction definitely isn’t for everyone. Here are the pros and cons of visiting an island run by animals:
Welcome to ‘Cat Island’, where felines outnumber humans 5 to 1
Pro:Cat Island is only a 30-minute ferry ride away from the Ehime prefecture!
Con:One step off that boat, and you're in the cat version of Planet of the ApesREUTERS/Thomas Peter
Pro:You'll be surrounded by adorable cats all day long.
Con:Those cats own you now, so bring treats...or else!REUTERS/Thomas Peter
Pro:You'll never feel lonely. Accompaniment is only steps away on Cat Island!
Con:You know that creepy way cats stare at people? Believe us, you'll want to be lonely. REUTERS/Thomas Peter
Pro:You can feed the animals!
Con:As soon as that food runs out, you become the second course. REUTERS/Thomas Peter
Pro:You're even allowed to pick the animals up!
Con:Why would you want to? We hear those claws get pretty sharp... REUTERS/Thomas Peter
Pro:So. Much. Cute.
Con:So. Many. Allergens. REUTERS/Thomas Peter
Pro:This isn't a zoo. There are no cages.
Con:You'll wish there were cages once cats start THROWING THEMSELVES at you. Better pack an eyepatch.REUTERS/Thomas Peter
Pro:Cats are around to enjoy and take in all of the island's experiences with you
Con:Need to use the washroom? Too bad, cat's in there. REUTERS/Thomas Peter
Pro:This is what you'll see, all the time.
Con:Bow to your feline overlords! REUTERS/Thomas Peter