[Through the Lens] The Cats of Israel

I don’t think I’ve ever been in a country with so many cats.

Everywhere you go, you’ll find one or two or thirty cats, each with their own attitude and some with attitudes comparable to that of a sassy teenager.

But why are there so many of them? Well, it is said that during the British Mandate of Israel, many cats were brought to Israel to fight off the rats. And since the mass killing (i.e., poisoning) of harmless stray animals is illegal here, they have multiplied.

Interestingly, many Israeli municipalities use a Trap-Neuter-Release (TNR) method to address the cat population. This method improves the lives of the cats and stabilizes the breeding cycle, which as a result addresses community concerns.

But how would you know which cats have been “fixed”? Would those employing the TNR method accidentally keep catching the cats that have already been neutered? Fortunately, this isn’t the case. Once a cat has been neutered, a tiny cut is made to their ear. So keep your eyes peeled! If a cat has an intentional cut in their ear, this means that they have been “fixed”.


Cat sleeping peacefully
Cat laying down on a table outside
Cat laying down on the terraces of the Baha'i Gardens in Haifa
Two cats peeking behind a fence
Two cats taking up restaurant chairs
“I would like for you to take my order”
Two cats laying down on a car
16 cats eating outside
A cute cat, with its back towards me
A cute cat looking into the camera
A cat sitting on top of a car
A cat sitting on the front of a car
A cat sitting on top of a car
A cat peeking through some bushes
A cat relaxing in the shade
A cat glaring me down in Jerusalem

For more Through the Lens (TTL) segments, check out this link. And for more adventures in Israel, click here.


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