The cats of Istanbul

The Cats Of Istanbul

While Istanbul felt a bit too crowded for me, it did have its good parts such as its many cute fury inhabitants – the cats. There are so many cats in Istanbul, that if you’ve visited the city and haven’t noticed one, you need to see an eye doctor immediately. Honestly though, if there were 14 million cats instead of people, my overall impression of the city would have been different. ๐Ÿ˜‰

I did a little googling to find out why there are so many cats in Istanbul and apparently many years ago a sultan has decreed that cats should be protected because they kept the city clean by eating the rats and the people are still obeying the sultan today. Furthermore, there is a saying that goes: “If you’ve killed a cat, you need to build a mosque to be forgiven by God.” So you could say that the cats are an important part of the city.

Who am I to complain though, I love cats and most of them were friendly so I could pet them, though they would all turn whenever I pointed the camera at them. My dog does the same, sigh. The cats weren’t the only ones annoyed with the photos, every time I saw one, my grandma would cry out “You’re taking photos of yet another cat?!?!?!?!”. Oh well, can you blame me? ๐Ÿ˜€

I decided to play the cat-whisperer today so click on the photos below to see what I think the cats of Istanbul would say if they could talk.

Do you like cats? Which one is your favorite?

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Istanbul has many qualities, such as its cute fury inhabitants. The cats are an important part of the city, there's even a saying that goes: "If you've killed a cat, you need to build a mosque to be forgiven by God."

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  • So many cats, so much cuteness!! ๐Ÿ˜€

    • I knowwww! Probably the best part of Istanbul! ๐Ÿ˜€

  • Well, I’m a dog person.
    And although I did give them a chance to prove me wrong last year in Nessebar Bulgaria, I only ended up being bitten (can you believe that? I didn’t even know cats could bite!), so I’m not too much of a cat-fan. Ephesus was also filled with cats, I think the mentality is the same.
    In Rome cats are actually protected by law : http://cityoftheweek.net/2012/12/04/51-fun-facts/
    Anyways, the cats are cute’n all in the photos, but I won’t be caught dead petting another anytime soon! :))

    • I’ve always been a cat person….until I got a dog, haha. Now I’m a cat and dog person ๐Ÿ˜€ I need to go to Rome and stalk the cats! ๐Ÿ˜€

  • Aw I love cats too ( and dogs!) , these ones seem so relaxed hanging out.Ive seen cats in Italy, Kos and Morocco.They thrive in sunny climates.;)

    • This is the city I’ve visited with the most cats, I’d love to go to Morocco and have a mint tea while petting a cat. ๐Ÿ˜€

  • Great idea for a post showing this cute cats from Istanbul, one of my favorite cities!

    • I’m happy you liked it! ๐Ÿ˜€

  • I dont trust them. Look at all those cat faces – they are TOTALLY plotting something. #WorldCatdomination

    • Especially the mean one on the stairs. #CatsAreEvil

  • Muriel

    I love cats! This reminds me of the homeless dogs in Central America. They are everywhere! These guys are so cute, but totally up to no good.

    • There are a lot of homeless dogs in my hometown, but I always prefer a homeless cat, they’re so much cuter, haha.

  • I bet the rodent population is low there?

    • It could be, unless the cats are too spoiled with all the kebab and delicious food the tourists and locals are feeding them ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Hahaha, I love this post ๐Ÿ˜€
    I often do the same, and the local people just look at me either staring weirdly or laughing. But nothing to do about it – the cats ARE cute! ๐Ÿ˜€

    • Thank you! I can never resist taking pictures of a cute fury friend ๐Ÿ˜€

  • That’s funny, when we were in Istanbul we got the same impression, but with dogs! They were everywhere, playing ‘chicken’ with cars (running under their wheels!) and even queuing up to get into the Hagia Sophia! Must say I do prefer the cats!

    • I prefer the cats as well and to be honest I haven’t seen too many dogs in the city.

  • I think I have a ton of cat photos from Istanbul too (and Ephesus, and Petra!) โ€“ have two of my own at home so have to get a dose of feline love from somewhere else when I’m away!

    • Haha, my dog would hate me if she knew I was petting cats somewhere else. ๐Ÿ˜€

  • Interesting reason why there are so many cats in Istanbul! Cute story. I will send this to the cat lovers in my life!

    • Thanks for liking my post! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • HI Vlad, you make a good cat whisperer:) Your photos of them are so delightful, but my have is the Diva one sitting on a pillow. I was in Istanbul in 1999. Not sure if I need my eyes check or there was not much proliferation of cats then, but I didn’t notice a whole lot of them. Maybe it was well and good because as much I find them adorable I’m highly allergic to them.

    • Sorry to hear that, my mom is highly allergic too and I know what a pain it can be. ๐Ÿ™

  • Wooow! Vlad ๐Ÿ™‚ How long did it take to photograph all those cats? ๐Ÿ˜‰
    โ€œIf youโ€™ve killed a cat, you need to build a mosque to be forgiven by God.โ€ – didn’t know about that ๐Ÿ˜‰
    I’m going to visit Istanbul this June with my boyfriend, who’s allergic to cat’s fur. I’ll better take extra bag of wipes for him ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Not too long, they wouldn’t stay long enough for me to take two pictures with them, so that’s why a lot of the photos turned blurry ๐Ÿ™ Hope you have fun in Istanbul! ๐Ÿ˜€

  • I am a dog lover, but I like cats too. My only issue with them is that I can’t trust them. They have very unforeseeable reactions and are generally very moody. Nonetheless, I loved the cats of Istanbul. They are adorable indeed.

    • For a long time I didn’t like dogs because I was afraid of the stray ones in Bucharest who would often chase me on the street, but now I’ve started to love both ๐Ÿ˜€

  • LOL!! I know what you mean, went to Istanbul last summer and saw sooo many cats. It’s the same in the rest of Turkey btw, friendly felines everywhere. People believe that cats are good look and take very good care of them. Aww!

    • I heard there are a lot of cats in Greece as well, I should go asap! ๐Ÿ˜€

  • As one cat lover to another – Great post! Love the cat thought bubbles.

    • Thank you! ๐Ÿ˜€

  • OMG, just posted this on my friend’s Facebook page! She LOVES cats. When we were in Istanbul, I think she took more pictures of the cats than anything else. Thanks so much for sharing!

    • Thank you, I hope your friend will like it too ๐Ÿ˜€ Istanbul is a great city for cat lovers like us ๐Ÿ˜€

  • hahahaha soooo true! There are sooo many cats in Istanbul that if Enzzo went there with me he would freak out – he loves cats and always wants to play with them, though as you may imagine, the cats hate him. I am not a cat person, though I had 2 when I was younger. I enjoyed seeing them in Istanbul though, they rule the city hahaha!
    My favourite one is the “you came to the wrong neighbourhood M****” hahaha great moment!!

    • Haha, my dog hates cats and she’s always chasing them, even though most cats are usually bigger than her ๐Ÿ˜€

      • hahahaha how funny!! probably she is afraid of them. W used to have a cat at his parents house and Enzzo loved him, even though the cat hated him. Poor Enzzo, its like a platonic love hahaha

  • I loooove cats! I have so many pictures of them from my Istanbul trip! However the cats in Athens were much more in my opinion ๐Ÿ˜€

    • I need to visit Athens asap then! ๐Ÿ˜€

  • They’re so cute… I’ve got two cats at home, the other one actually looks like the grey stripey one in your pics! And the other one, a 5 months old girl, is the devil herself! ๐Ÿ˜€ Lovely post!

    • Thanks! I bet your cats are really cute ๐Ÿ˜€

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