Disneyland is well-known for its magical mouse, but there's a four-legged animal making waves in the kingdom.
While many people head to Disneyland to ride the roller coasters, visit the Disneyland resort, and eat the delectable treats the park has to offer, there is one other stand-out oddity in the parks. The Disneyland Cats.
The theme park's cats are almost as famous as the characters themselves. The cats have been in the Anaheim park since 1955, making the happiest place on earth even better. Surprisingly enough, the grouping of feral cats was not planned initially. So it was quite a surprise for Walt Disney.
Cats of Disneyland
The Disney cats were first found inside Sleeping Beauty Castle. Walt Disney wanted to renovate the castle to put in a new attraction for the Magic Kingdom. When Disney went inside, he stumbled upon a large colony of feral cats. The cats were riddled with fleas, a somewhat undesirable trait for the popular theme park. Disney decided that get rid of them was not worth the public outcry, so he made them all cast members giving them a permanent home in the magical kingdom.
As a bonus, the cats served as all-natural pest control for the burgeoning rodent population. Since the park had a rustic theme and plenty of food and water, it was paradise for the tiny Minnie and Mickey mouse's of the world. The cat colony was not just in the castle. There were plenty scattered throughout the park. From the Disneyland Hotel to Main street station, the cats were everywhere.
The stray cats primarily come out at night and hunt the rodents, which means guests don't usually see them. Really the ultimate clean-up crew, not to mention the cutest. The arrangement seemed to work out really well for both parties, so the Walt Disney company decided the cats would stay and live at Disneyland park.
The cats are so popular with diehard Disney parks fans that there is a whole thread following the furry felines on Instagram. Head over to #disneylandcats or @disneylandcats to see some of the cats who have been spotted over the years. The felines also have a website dedicated to their existence at disneylandcats.com. Who knew critter control could get their own fan following at the popular Los Angeles theme park.
Care of The Disney Cats
According to Inside the Magic, the cats are very well cared for. There are feeding stations throughout the park, and all of the cats have been spayed or neutered. They are also up to date on all of their vaccinations. They may be strays, but they are treated like family.
The Circle D Ranch human cast members were in charge of rounding the cats up for spaying and neutering as well as their shots. If an accidental litter is born, the kittens are adopted out to cast members. Since the park prefers that the cats stay hidden and not interact with visitors, if any of them becomes too friendly, they get adopted out as well.
Are There Cats In Walt Disney World?
While there are plenty of cats to go around at Disneyland, there are not any feral cats living at Disney World in Orlando, Florida. The reason is that there are far too many predators to keep them safe. However, park guests have seen cats wandering around Epcot Center and Disney's Hollywood Studios.
One of the park's most famous cats is Francisco, a long-haired tortoiseshell cat. Francisco can be seen wandering around the park and is often featured on #franscisofriday. Where should you look for these adorable furballs?
1. Grizzly Peak
Francisco was seen here at Grizzley Peak's scenic route, wandering around. The friendly little cat seems to love the camera!
2. Disney California Adventure
Francisco sure gets around! The kitty can be seen meandering around Disney California Adventure in Orange County, making sure everything is in tip-top shape.
3. Disneyland Resort
Wilbur sure is a cutie! This pretty boy looks like he just wants to go back to sleep. I think someone interrupted his nap time!
4. Disneyland Hotel Adventure Tower
This little guy has the perfect hiding spot among the plants. You almost could miss this cutie if you did not know what to look for!
5. Trader Sam's
This cutie, Emmett, is hoping to grab up some scraps here outside Trader Sam's.
6. Star Wars Land
Floyd loves hanging out by Star Wars Land. He's gotten used to the attraction and all of its unique characters.
This little guy hangs out all over the park. Ned can be seen by the Disneyland Hotel, wandering down Main Street, and I'm sure he's made it over to the Hungry Bear Restaurant a time or two.
If you are a fan of these cuties, look for them around the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Haunted Mansion, or near the Grand Californian. Try at feeding time by White Water Snacks, and you may get a shot or two of the furry cast members!
Have you seen one of the Disneyland cats? Show us on our Wide Open Pets Instagram!