Cats | Animals

Disneyland Encourages Stray Cats To Keep Mouse Population At Bay

Perched on top of the Main Street Station, Jane safely observes Disney guests far out of reach. Without knowing, Giovanni poses on the cliffs of Grizzly Park without anyone knowing he is there.

In a theme park known for it's popular "mouse" attractions, it's actually the cats of Disneyland that have the run of the place.

While the Disney spokesman has not elaborated on the four-legged felines that inhabit this perfectly manicured resort, they have acknowledged their existence. The theme park is known to care for the cats, who in turn keep the mouse and other rodent populations under control.

It's believed that this relationship may go back to the days of Walt Disney, when he discovered several cats in the Sleeping Beauty Castle and allowed them to stay on the resort.

Over the years, the Disneyland cats have gained quite the following.

Like Cole here, who is taking a nap on the roof of Big Thunder Ranch.

Marie makes a sprint through Tomorrowland in this photo.

Riely Cowdell, a Disney cat fan, went to the amusement park each week for a year before realizing there were cats sharing her Disney experience alongside her. From then on, she began to look for them as she rode the tram to the entrance and made her way through the park.

"It was something to do while you're just walking around or waiting in line, something to kind of keep you looking," she said.

Francisco, a tortoiseshell cat with captivating green eyes has been eluding guests for years near the Grizzly River Run.

"I don't think I've seen a cat here or there or anywhere," Bart Bennett said as he waited with his wife Melodie for their children and grandchildren to go down the ride.

That's when Francisco came into full view.

"Now I can tell people!" Melodie Bennett said, pulling out her phone to snap an image.

Most Disneyland visitors never notice the cats, since they hide on rooftops or stretch out under foliage. Some say that the cats come out as the sun goes down and surprise visitors.

Here, Ned can be spotted along the wall of Trader Sam's and Tangaroa Terrace.

They even hide among the other animals!

Outside the park, the feral cats that wander the corridors of of Orange County's largest city, live a less glamorous life. Groups of volunteers from the Anaheim Fix Project have caught about 80 of the "community cats", to be sterilized and given a health check, before returning them to the street. They also bring food and water to make it less likely for the cats to need to dig through trash cans.

The Disney cats have even caught the eye of Hollywood stars. In a 2011 interview, actor Ryan Gosling confessed, "There is a belief that Disney has been, uh, breeding an army of cats."

He suggested the the felines were specially trained to prowl for mice after guests leave, sparing Mickey and Minnie, of course.

Source: LA Times

Related Articles