Keep your eyes open the next time you're in Walt Disney World in California and you might just see more than huge crowds in the park. After years spent as a legend in the park, a pack of feral cats have finally been confirmed to have taken up residence there and their presence dates back to the 1950s.
The feral cats are nocturnal by nature; it's the only way they can move around the park through the constant crowds. However, the cats are known to sleep in the park's bushes and in the behind-the-scenes area. While Mickey Mouse might be in some trouble, the cats aren't hurting anyone else. in fact, they have been providing Walt Disney World with free pest control for years, ridding the park of mice and other small prey that could do damage.
More than a few visitors to Disney World have bore witness to some of the feral cats in the park. It is estimated that 10 to 15 cats live there. However, they are not left to their own devices. The cats are well fed and the feral colony is maintained. According to a Disney maintenance worker, there are small feeding and littering stations in the more secluded areas of the park, they have even went so far as to spay or neuter the cats as well as to pay for regular veterinary care. As the maintenance crew sees it, the cats are just part of the team.
While it's only come to the public's notice in recent years due to the rise of social media, Disney World's cat population is not a new occurrence. There have been sightings of feral cats in the park as far back as the 1950s where visitors discovered a cat hanging out in Sleeping Beauty's Castle. As new cats from the surrounding areas constantly move in, occasionally batches of kittens are born to refresh the population. So it seems that these cats aren't going anywhere soon.
Disney World really has a handle on their feral cats, and has an even better attitude about it. Perhaps someday more large amusement park centers and outdoor locales will adopt a similar attitude giving these animals a safer home than a crowded shelter or on the street.