Japan Railway lets Cats Roam to Raise Awareness of Strays

It’s not always easy getting the word out about the many pets that need to find homes. Animal shelters and other organizations work tirelessly trying to care for, and home homeless pets. In Japan, there are issues with homeless cats, just like anywhere else, so a Japanese civic group teamed up with a railway operator, in Ogaki, Japan, on Sunday to let some 30 stray cats roam around on a local train, all for the hopes of raising an awareness of the strays and helping to find homes for the cats.

The event was hosted by Yoro Railway Co Ltd and a non-governmental organization called Kitten Cafe Sanctuary. On the day of the event, the passengers on the local train in Ogaki, in central Japan, got on board and were greeted by lots of meowing companions they would share the ride with. The passengers were encouraged to mingle with the cats; pet them, play with them and snuggle with them, as they rode to their destination. Some passengers did mingle with them, while others enjoyed their lunch.

One of the passengers, who owns two stray cats of his own, Mikiko Hayashi, was interviewed about the ride, and had to say this, “I think it’s great more people are aware about stray kittens through events like this.”

Although the numbers of stray cats that have been taken to shelters has dropped by 70% down to 72,624 from a staggering 237,246 back in 2004, it is still high, according the Cat Sanctuary. The cat population is still high and is around 9.8 million, a number they hope to continue to see a decline in.

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