Cats guard China’s Forbidden City against mice

Cats guard China’s Forbidden City against mice

Forbidden City shelters stray cats to scare away mice

For centuries, China’s ruling dynasties lived in the imperial palace.

The Forbidden City, for about 500 years, sees thousands of visitors enter its walls every day. But no one can call it home. Well, almost no one. Today, it’s home to cats.

More than 100 stray cats live in the Forbidden City in Beijing. They have been adopted by more than 20 departments in the museum.

The cats are known to roam through the inner courts or leap atop the tiled roofs. Preferring quieter environments, they snub the hordes of tourists in favor of less accessible areas.

Ma Guoqing, who works at Forbidden City, tells China Daily that some of the cats are stray and some are directly descended from the original palace felines, which dates back more than 600 years. They were kept as royal pets in the past, playing with the emperor and his relatives.

Now the little creatures have outlived their masters.

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News sites iFeng and ShanghaiIst report that the stray population has rapidly increased in the past five years. Some pet owners apparently ditch their cats at the Forbidden City with, perhaps, the knowledge that the animals will be looked after.

Gao Jianhua, head of the Beijing New World Animal Rescue Center, said that they did sterilization operations for the cats sent from the Forbidden City every year. After the operation, the cats will be marked on the ear and sent back to the museum.

The cats have been well cared in the Forbidden City. The staff members provide cat foods as well as vitamins, anti-inflammatory drugs for the cats. In winter, the cats are often allowed to enter inside the rooms. Having the privileges, the cats, at the same time, fulfill their duty as the “guardians”. “Cats are effective deterrent to keep the rats away from the Forbidden City,” said Ma Guoqing, chief of the environment department of the museum.

Stray cats have always been a challenge for China’s city authorities, who often receive complaints from residents about the animals.

For the archaeological conservators of the Forbidden City, the rapid surge in the number of cats has also brought a challenge in how to treat the kitties humanely while maintaining a clean and favorable environment.

If you plan on visiting the Forbidden City, don’t expect to be necessarily swarmed by cats. As China Daily explains, the animals aren’t seen as much in the areas frequented by tourists.

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600 years ago, cats are kept as royal pets in the past, playing with the emperor and his relatives. Now the little creatures have outlived their masters.

bucket-list-for-cat-lovers-destination Cats guard China's Forbidden City Cats guard China's Forbidden City against mice we4b

More than 100 stray cats live in the Forbidden City in Beijing. They have been adopted by more than 20 departments in the museum.

China's-army-of-cats-forbidden-city Cats guard China's Forbidden City Cats guard China's Forbidden City against mice vjdy

The cats have been well cared in the Forbidden City. The staff members provide cat foods as well as vitamins, anti-inflammatory drugs for the cats.

travel-terracotta-army-cats Cats guard China's Forbidden City Cats guard China's Forbidden City against mice dwd9

The cats have been well cared in the Forbidden City. The staff members provide cat foods as well as vitamins, anti-inflammatory drugs for the cats.

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guardians-forbidden-city-china-travel Cats guard China's Forbidden City Cats guard China's Forbidden City against mice 5wkn

For the archaeological conservators of the Forbidden City, the rapid surge in the number of cats has also brought a challenge in how to treat the kitties humanely while maintaining a clean and favorable environment.

cat-guards-forbidden-city-against-mice Cats guard China's Forbidden City Cats guard China's Forbidden City against mice xp00

sunbathing-china-cats-forbidden-city Cats guard China's Forbidden City Cats guard China's Forbidden City against mice ceck

In winter, the cats are often allowed to enter inside the rooms.

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travel-to-china-tourist-destination-forbidden-city Cats guard China's Forbidden City Cats guard China's Forbidden City against mice npsk

If you plan on visiting the Forbidden City, don’t expect to be necessarily swarmed by cats. As China Daily explains, the animals aren’t seen as much in the areas frequented by tourists.

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