City life can be less than ideal for cats -- higher traffic makes going outside risky, but staying cooped up in a dinky apartment is no picnic either. Many people see cats as a pet far more suited to city life than dogs, though, so the majority of pet owners in metropolitan areas have cats. Check out these cities that are dealing with the climbing cat population in some cool ways.
Note: Most major cities have a large number of veterinary clinics and animal shelters working hard every day; we've tried to give special mention to some cities doing something revolutionary.
New York. The Big Apple. With the NYC fast-paced, upper-crust lifestyle, it comes as no surprise that this city would boast such a large amount of cat spas, cat sitters, and even luxury hotels that accommodate cats (for those out-of-towners who can’t bear to be without their fuzzy compatriot). Also, like many cities, NYC is the home to thousands of feral cats, left behind by lazy owners. But New York is dealing with this population in a number of great ways -- the Feral Cat Initiative, a trap-neuter-return-program is working on curbing the city's feral cat problem in humane ways, as well as a number of areas pseudo-designated for these homeless kitties (i.e., parts of Morningside Park).
With such a dense population, and the cost of raising a child constantly increasing, Tokyo residents are more often adopting cats than having children, giving them the highest cat population, per capita, in the world. Beyond the simply staggering number of cats, Tokyo is also the origin of the cat cafe trend, which is slowly spreading across the globe. Also (while less directly related to actual cats) they have a Hello Kitty theme park. Tokyo <3 Cats!
Philadelphia is a city on a big upswing, and with an influx of young people moving in, many cats are in tow. Thanks to the growing cat population, a number of high end pet supply stores are cropping up. Also, Philly is the home to internet sensation Rudi Saldia and his cat companion who goes along for bike rides, comfortably sitting atop his shoulder.
Philly is also the home of the revolutionary product, Kitten Mittens. You'll be smitten.
This Icelandic city is positively swarming with cats, but the feral population of this city is more like a collective of house cats for the entire downtown area. These cats tend to be well looked after and generally amicable with the townspeople (although many of them have not been vaccinated, so pet with care). Also, since it is technically illegal to own a dog in Reykjavik, it's pretty much cat heaven.
One of the few cities to follow Tokyo’s model, London just got government approval for their first cat cafe, Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium, and while it's not yet open, the buzz surrounding it grows every day. The city is also home to the Catcuddles Cat Sanctuary, which, unlike other shelters, makes their first priority the comfort of their kittens by giving them home-like living conditions -- each cat gets their own room, complete with furnishings like sofas, pillows, plants, radios playing music 16 hours a day, and a staff that not only looks after these cats, but also takes a lot of pride in what they call “cuddle time.”
Already the owner of its own cat cafe, Paris is making quite a stir in the cat community. Sporting a waiting list a month long, Le Cafe des Chats is getting loads of press online, making people start to see Paris as a feline safe haven. Also the home to lots of famous cat-themed art (Le Chat Noir Cabaret, a number of Picasso paintings, A Cat in Paris animated movie), Paris is certainly not slacking in the cat appreciation department.
Los Angeles is a city that very much plays by its own set of rules, in large part due to its bedrock industry being entertainment. This bend toward celebrity and glamor translates very well for cats when it comes to the availability of high end pampering -- LA is home to a number of kitty day spas, deluxe groomers, and high end pet supply stores. Also, being the home of Hollywood, if you have any aspirations of making your cat the next feline celebrity, there is no better place to be.
Know of other cat-friendly cities that didn’t make our list?
Let us know in the comments below!
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