It’s just about every child’s dream to take a trip to The Happiest Place on Earth. Disneyland is a magical world where dreams come true and for that to be able to happen, the grounds need to be well taken care of. The thousands of Cast Members — the term used for Disneyland employees — who work there are trained to handle each and every situation. But there is one thing that they are not able to do: Keep ing the “Ratatouilles” out of the park! That’s just when everyone turns to the cats!
The Disneyland Parks are currently home to over 200 feral cats. The wild animals seem to avoid most of the populated areas in the resort during the day, but once the place clears out after dark .. the cats take back what belongs to them. They excel at hunting down rodents, and for that reason, they’ve become an integral part of the parks.
The presence of feral cats was first discovered in the park itself back in 1955, shortly after the Anaheim Disneyland Park opened, according to Disneyland Cats. While the cats that had made a home out of the rarely visited parts of the Sleeping Beauty Castle had to be adopted out, and the others, who lived in less-invasive areas of the resort, were allowed to stay, on the basis that they’d be much better rodent hunters than actual exterminators could ever be.
The cats are seldom seen in broad daylight, because they’re not like our housebroken pets or even like the stray felines you occasionally spot in your neighborhood. Feral cats, by definition, are afraid of most human beings and stay away from them at all costs, Disneyland Cats explains. In other words, Disney cat sightings are fairly uncommon.
Most of these feral cats live in less-traveled parts of the park by day, like in the natural areas near the hotels, and can sometimes only be seen by guests willing to travel off the beaten path.
Once in a while, though, the kitties’ hunger will manifest during the day and they will watch watch the humans as they eat fresh restaurant food, just waiting for an opportunity.
And once in a while, they’ll even go a step further and try to experience life as a happy human child for a awhile, just to see what it’s like.
In an attempt to foster a good partnership — if you can call it that — with the cats, park officials have taken to installing feeding stations in hard-to-find parts of the park, so the feral animals can get a bit of a diet supplement. It’s a win-win situation for everyone.
Though these cats are wild cats, their appearance and health are closely looked after by park officials, so they can always look lovely and presentable should they be sighted by park visitors. While they’re not quite on the level of the Aristocats, most of them appear to be extremely healthy.
The cats each have their own names and have garnered quite a fan base on social media, with nearly 38,000 people following the disneylandcats Instagram account.
The cats are probably the only inhabitants of the park who aren’t too happy that their boss is a mouse!
Photo credits: disneylandcats via Instagram and Disneyland Cats