From 6000 human residents to 200 plus furry residents, Houtong is undoubtedly one of kind town exists in this world.
HOUTONG, TAIWAN – People are avid pet lovers these day. Specially Cats and dogs are their priority to pet. But If I tell you that there is whole town owing to cats only. Houtong is a village in Ruifang District, New Taipei, Taiwan. It is inhabitant of more then 200 cats. That’s why it is also a Houtong Cat village or Houdong Cat City. . This city has a really interesting history as well.
Old name of Houtong is Kau-tong that means ” Monkey Cave”. Because in old times it was suppose to be a town of monkeys. There are ancient caves verifying this theory as well. But in 1920s when Taiwan was a Japanese colony, coal was discover here.
Soon Taiwan became one of the biggest coal producer of the region. In late 1970s this city had 6000 human inhabitants here. With time coal mines brought down its production and people started shifting to big cities for good opportunities. Coal mines drained out in 1990. After this there were less than 100 people who lived here. This city was about to become abandoned as well as a forgotten glorified history.
Origin of Cat City
After the blow a lady starts take care of stray cats in the town. Cat enthusiast herself, she brings abandoned cats and adopts them. She make her passion as a fate of city. In 2008 this town was officially the cat’s town where many volunteers came to take care of these cats. It has around 286 cats of different breeds here.
When you enter Houtong, you already know what are you dealing with. Cat’s bowls and other cat facilities are observed instantly. Boards and signs are accompanied by paws and cats images so you can easily figure out the whole town. Cats roam here freely and tourists can feed them and adore them in their own ways.
A whole department is in action to take care of cats now. They look after their health, food and security. Most of the cats are sterile so they trim one of their ear to identify them. In 2010 there were only 500 tourists. But with the power of social media this town welcomes 800k plus tourists every year.
Repercussion and Controversies
Along with beauty this town is not safe from different contentions as well. Most people considers it a way to get rid of their pets. Some people steel the expensive breed for revenue purposes. Moreover the food tourists feed to cats can be hazardous for few of them.
Department has to patrol whole town in order to avoid these problems. Other than that its a alluring town with appealing scenic beauty. By an hour train travel from Taipei, you can enjoy your day with these cats in full spirit.