As embarrassing as this must be to admit, Disneyland has a bit of a mouse problem.
We’re not talking about Mickey or Minnie; we’re talking actual rodents! No matter how clean the park in Anaheim, California, may be today, in 1955, Disney’s Imagineers found themselves overrun with mice thanks to all those dropped ice cream cones and half-eaten turkey legs. Thankfully, Mother Nature had already installed the perfect solution: cats!
1. In 1955, Walt Disney himself discovered a colony of feral cats living inside Sleeping Beauty Castle. Not only that, but they had fleas!
2. Management rounded up the tamest cats and found them homes with staff members.
3. The cats who couldn’t be rehomed were captured, spayed or neutered, and released back into the park to control pests.
4. Feeding and watering stations were placed in discreet locations all over the park.
5. Since feral cats are typically afraid of humans, they tend to steer clear of heavily trafficked areas during daylight hours.
6. They’re often hiding in plain sight.
7. Park visitors who catch a glimpse of these elusive hunters send pictures to the “Cats of Disneyland” Instagram page, which has more than 104,000 followers.
8. Cats have been spotted everywhere at Disney properties, but they’re most often seen at the Hungry Bear Restaurant in Disneyland, Taste Pilots’ Grill at Disney California Adventure, and GCH Craftsman Grill at the Grand Californian.
9. There are an estimated 200 cats living on Disney properties!
10. If there’s ever an accidental litter, the kittens are adopted out to staff members and their families.
11. Cast members at Tri-Circle-D Ranch, who also care for animals like the Main Street Trolley horses and the Big Thunder Ranch goats, are in charge of looking after the cat colony.
12. These workers make sure their water and food dishes stay full and get the cats veterinary attention if needed.
13. The cats have found a way to live in harmony inside the House of Mouse!
14. Most people probably don’t even know they’re there, unless they know to look for them.
15. At night, when all the guests leave, the cats come out to hunt.
Who else is going to keep a sharp eye out for these adorable residents next time they’re at the park? We know we sure will!
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