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Japanese stray cats get VIP treatment on Instagram

cats in japan

Temple cat in Amanohashidate, Japan. Photo by Nevin Thompson.

If you're looking for a new place to discover cats on the Internet, check out the “Backstreet Cats of Japan” (Roji-ura Nyankichi, 路地裏のにゃん吉), an Instagram account with over 100,000 followers.

The anonymous photographer has befriended and taken thousands of snapshots of stray cats from an undisclosed location in Japan.

Happy New Year! We're living in 2019!

The cats are captured in a variety of poses. Some appear to live or hang out underground, underneath a lonely stretch of asphalt.

Alright, alright I'll get the street cleaned up real quick.

Stray cats are very common all over Japan. About 35% of households have a pet and many of them live lives of luxury as pampered members of the family, with Japanese spending about 3.8 trillion yen (US$3.8 billion) a year to keep them happy.

While pets are popular in Japan, many people purchase cats without fully understanding the implications of pet ownership. When they find out what having a bored, adult, sexually mature cat is like, they may abandon the animal. When an animal-keeping elderly person dies or is put in a home, a once-cherished pet may be abandoned as well.

The result is a large number of strays virtually all over the country. Some receive kindness, food and attention from people like this Instagrammer.

Thanks to 2018! […] I hope everyone has a great 2019.

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