You may have heard the tale of the Disney cats. Is this legend or do they really exist? Would a theme park run by a mouse really have felines living there?
It is in fact true! Disneyland is home to a colony of feral cats. Around 200 felines live at Disneyland and help to control the rodent population (don't worry Mickey is safe!).
These kitties were first sighted on Disneyland property as far back at 1955. So lets find out more about these mysterious residents!
When Disneyland was being built it soon became the home to a number of feral cats. Some even took up residence inside Sleeping Beauty Castle!
It was decided that it may become bothersome if the castle was soon run by cats rather than the main mouse himself, so these cats were adopted out to cast members.
Because of the landscape Disneyland developed a rodent problem. Luckily a number of feral cats still lived on the property. They had found the perfect hunting ground and Disney had found a way to control their rodent population. Thus a beautiful symbiotic relationship was born!
Feral cats are entirely self reliant and prefer to stay away from humans. Due to this they are often in the parks out of hours. Occasionally the Disney cats will be captured on camera by some lucky guests! Thank you to Disneyland Cats for these awesome photos!
Disney have set up some feeding stations but these cats are independent and will mostly find their own food.
The cast members at Circle D Ranch, that look after the Disney horses, also help to look after the Disney cats.
Circle D Ranch members keep the food stations filled, keep an eye on the cats and take them for medical treatment if needed.
As cute as these cats are Disneyland encourages guests to keep their distance and not to feed these kitties. These cats are not domesticated and Disney want to ensure they maintain their wild instincts.
Kitties that become too comfortable around guests are adopted out to cast members.
There is some controversy as Disney capture, spayed or neutered the cats to try to control the population.
It can be hard to keep track of who has been spayed or neutered so occasionally a litter of kittens is born. They are then adopted out to Cast Members.
Although these kitties mostly come out when the park is closed you may be fortunate enough to spot one if you keep alert! The best locations to get a glimpse of these Cats Members is by their feeding stations. The best spots for a sighting are near the Hungry Bear Restaurant in Disneyland Park, Taste Pilot Grill at Disney's California Adventure Park, White Water Snacks at the Grand Californian Resort, the Rose Court Garden at Disneyland Hotel and the ditch that runs parallel to the path for the Mickey and Friends Tram.
Are There Cats At Disney World?
Not much known about the Disney World cats. There is definitely not a large colony like at Disneyland but there have been sightings of cats around Walt Disney World Property. These kitties have been spotted at the Polynesian Village Resort, EPCOT and Disney Springs.
Disney World does have wild animals living on site, and you may be lucky and spot deer and rabbits at Wilderness Lodge or the Grand Floridian Resort. Lizards can often be seen. And of course there are the famous Disney ducks you can see in the parks!
Although Disney World may not have any cat employees, they do use the same technique of using animals to help with pest control. In fact Disney World has a number of chickens that live all across the Resort to help control mosquitoes!
So there we have it! The most famous mouse on the planet has cat companions living in his parks!
If you would like to know more about the Cats Members of Disneyland they have their own Instagram page! You can follow them here.
And you can find out more, and view the profiles of the cats, on the Disneyland Cats website.