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Why Are Feral Cats Allowed to Roam Around Disneyland?

Feral cats are a unique aspect of Disneyland's ecosystem, serving as natural pest control by keeping the rodent population in check. This symbiotic relationship benefits the park, ensuring a more pleasant experience for guests. But how does this impact the cats' welfare and the environment? Join us as we examine the intricate balance Disneyland maintains with its feline inhabitants.

Disneyland is a magical place enjoyed by kids and adults alike. With so many unique sights, unforgettable characters, and fun-filled rides, Disneyland offers its guests an amazing experience. However, humans aren’t the only guests at the theme park. Disneyland is also home to a group of feral cats that roam the park keeping rodents at bay – with the notable exceptions of Mickey and Minnie Mouse.

It all began in 1955, when an invasion of felines took over Sleeping Beauty’s castle. Today, it is estimated that around a dozen feral cats live in the park. While guests and cast members are prohibited from feeding the cats (there's no need, as there are feeding stations set up throughout the park) and told not to approach them, this hasn’t prevented the Disneyland Cats from becoming an Internet sensation, with over 100,000 Instagram followers.

Disneyland is home to a group of feral cats who roam the park, mostly at night, keeping rodents at bay – they have gained a huge following on social media.
Disneyland is home to a group of feral cats who roam the park, mostly at night, keeping rodents at bay – they have gained a huge following on social media.

While some of the feral cats stay hidden throughout the day and only venture out at night, others can be spotted wandering around during the daylight hours. If a cat gets too comfortable being around guests, they are adopted out of the park by a Disneyland cast member.

Cats in the Houe of Mouse:

  • Disneyland’s cats have a large fan base, including some famous fans. Actor and former Mouseketeer Ryan Gosling talked about the feral cats in a 2011 interview with Conan O’Brien.

  • One of the biggest feline celebrities at Disneyland is known as Nutmeg. Considered the "queen" of the Disneyland cats, she can be seen hanging around Grizzly Peak in Disney California Adventure.

  • The felines of Disneyland have a large Instagram following. In 2014, the Disneyland Cats Instagram page began with the hashtag #FranciscoFriday. As the hashtag suggests, pictures of Francisco, one of the park's better-known cats, flood the Instagram page every Friday.

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    • Disneyland is home to a group of feral cats who roam the park, mostly at night, keeping rodents at bay – they have gained a huge following on social media.
      By: Rachelle Haun
      Disneyland is home to a group of feral cats who roam the park, mostly at night, keeping rodents at bay – they have gained a huge following on social media.