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Junior Taamas
, Nigeria.
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Japan is known for its love of animal themed
attractions, from rabbit cafes in Tokyo, to the
tame deer that wander around Nara and the
snow monkeys of Jigokudani, that bathe in hot

It has also become popular to give cats job
roles, such as appointing cats as Lords of
castles and managers of train stations to
attract tourism.

But there is one furry attraction in particular
that tops them all. That is the “Cat Islands” or
“Neko-Shima” in Japanese.

That is correct, whole islands that are
inhabited by the furry felines. The Island of
Aoshima, which is located in the Ehime
prefecture, is the most well-known cat island,
although there are multiple “Cat Islands” off
Japan’s coastline and even on inland salt water

Tashiro-jima is the second best known island
for cats, but now the concept is becoming a
popular tourist attraction, more islands are
becoming cat havens.

The 11 Islands are also known as “Cat Island” or “Neko-Shima”.

The names for the 11 cat islands are listed
below, with the prefecture each island is
located in.

1. Okishima (Shiga prefecture)

2. Sanagishima (Kagawa prefecture)

3. Aoshima (Ehime prefecture)

4. Muzukijima (Ehime prefecture)

5. Manabeshima (Okayama prefecture)

6. Iwaishima (Yamaguchi prefecture)

7. Aijima (Fukuoka prefecture)

8. Aishima (Fukuoka prefecture)

9. Genkaishima (Fukuoka prefecture)

10. Kadarashima (Saga prefecture)

11. Tashiro-jima (Miyagi prefecture)

What is the Ratio of cats to humans
on Cat Island?

The ratio of cats to humans varies from island
to island, and as it develops to be a popular
tourist attraction, islands are competing to
have the most cats.

The island of Aoshima has an approximate
ratio of 10 cats to every 1 human, with the
island having only 13 human residents, it has
over 150 felines.

Whilst the island of Tashiro-jima has a human
population of 100 and over 100 cats, so their
ratio is more like 1:1.

Manabeshima Island has the largest population
of both humans and cats, with just under 300
humans and is said to have around the same
number of cats to humans.

How did all the cats get there?

The stories of how all the cats got to these
islands are unique depending on its location.
Most have a story revolving around rodent
problems, but some have developed from
myths and legends.

Aoshima, has so many cats because it was a
fishing hot-spot back in the 1900’s and
fishermen repeatedly had problems with mice
on their boats, so would often adopt cats as a
solution. Over time the cats would venture
onto the islands and this has led to their mass
population now.

The island of Tashiro-jima however has a
different story behind their cats. The island
was used to raise silkworms and which
naturally attracted mice, therefore cats were
introduction to help keep the mice population

Although there is no specific reason for the
excessive amount of cats on Genakaishima
Island, it was once the largest cat island, but it
was hit hard by an earthquake in 2005.
This destroyed most of the island, but
positively the number of felines has been
rising since.

On the island of Kadarashima, legends tells
that a dog had disobeyed it’s master and so
the Yasakajinja Shrine (located on the island)
put its wrath on all dogs, resulting in the
species being driven from the island. To this
day no canines live on the island; therefore it
is a cat’s paradise.

How the Cat Islands help with tourism in Japan.

The Cat Islands attract tourists all year round,
and some of the islanders and tourism boards
have been working to develop these as

The island of Tashiro-jima has even built a cat
shrine, honoring the cats of the island for
their service and work. This has now become a
popular shrine to visit by tourists.

Japan has always been affected by bad weather
and earthquakes, so cat tourism is becoming a
method of bringing tourists into areas that
have been devastated.

By bringing in tourism, the islands are now
receiving funds to restore some of the affected

So if you are a cat lover, then Japan is the
place to visit. Although the majority of the cat
islands were not purpose built tourist
attractions, they are becoming increasingly
popular to visit.

By visiting one of the cat islands you could be
helping out a community by supporting its
tourism and you get to hang out with cats all day.

Why Are There Cat Islands In Japan? (with Photos) - Books/Literature/WritingWhy Are There Cat Islands In Japan? (with Photos) - Books/Literature/WritingWhy Are There Cat Islands In Japan? (with Photos) - Books/Literature/WritingWhy Are There Cat Islands In Japan? (with Photos) - Books/Literature/WritingWhy Are There Cat Islands In Japan? (with Photos) - Books/Literature/Writing

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