You know when you see a feral cat in a public place, looking well fed, and you’re like, “Does anyone know if this cat lives here? DO I NEED TO ADOPT THIS CAT AND GIVE IT A LOVING HOME?!”
At Disneyland, the answer is, “Yes, the staff knows they live there, and no, you don’t need to adopt one because they already live in the happiest place on earth!” Like, damn, who doesn’t want to live there?
Feral cats first appeared at Disneyland in 1955. Soon after the park opened, Walt Disney walked through Sleeping Beauty’s Castle with the intention of transforming the inside into an attraction. There, he found a community of feral cats thriving—because Disneyland had a bit of a rodent problem. After sending the Sleeping Beauty's Castle kitties home with staff members, Disney decided to allow the other feral cats he found in the amusement park to stay—as long as they worked, of course. In exchange for a home, they hunted for rodents that weren’t cartoon shaped.
Today, there are still roughly 200 feral cats living at Disneyland. Everyone loves them and takes care of them. There are feeding stations set up around the property to keep them well fed when they can’t subsist on hunting alone. And the cast members at Circle D Ranch take care of their medical needs and general wellbeing.
The cats stay out of sight during the day, but occasionally, guests spot them. Generally, Disneyland doesn’t encourage interacting with them. If a cat seems particularly in need of human attention, a cast member will adopt him or her. Otherwise—as adorable as they may be—they’re ultimately part of the staff and need to get back to work, human!
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