Kenny came up with the idea for me to make a blog post with pictures of cats from around the town. I normally see 5-6 cats a day (at least) while I’m out jogging. I’m an aspiring crazy cat lady, so you’d think that would make me happy. The reason I see so many cats is I’m sure largely because it’s very uncommon to spay and neuter your pets in Japan. It’s also very common to let your un-spayed and un-neutered pets roam free outdoors. As a result, there are tons of strays. I’m particularly sad about this now as this winter has been particularly harsh, and I’m sure a lot of the strays around our apartment haven’t survived it.
Additionally, Japan is not big on animal shelters. There are pounds everywhere that euthanize animals after holding them for a short period of time, but that’s about it. I know there’s a big shelter in Tokyo, and not surprisingly, it’s run by a foreigner, but there really aren’t too many. Lots of puppy mills, though. We went to a pet store just for fun a couple months ago, and the cheapest puppies and kittens they had were about $1000. They also didn’t look like real cats and dogs. They were too perfect.
Moral of the story, please spay and neuter your pets. Also, adopt instead of buy (I’m talking to you, Mom and Dad!).
Here is a small fraction of some of the many, many strays in the neighborhood: