Cat Pictures: Cats of Istanbul

Glimpse the life of cats on the streets of Istanbul through the lens of CAT FANCY and CatChannel veterinary expert.

By Arnold Plotnick, DVM

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Cats on the streets of Istanbul often receive care and warmth from the people who inhabit the city. The strong Muslim presence in Turkey could offer an explanation. The prophet Muhammad was fond of cats, according to stories of his life. In a favorite tale, he let a sleeping cat remain on the sleeve of a robe he wished to wear by trimming the sleeve off with scissors. A respect and care for cats remains in Turkey today.

Cats of Istanbul Cats of Istanbul
In many neighborhoods, the cats are almost part of the community.  A young cat drinks water left for him.

Cats of Istanbul Cats of Istanbul
 Stray cats eat food left by residents.

Sometimes food is left out not so discreetly for the stray cats.
Cats of Istanbul Cats of Istanbul
A cat rests in the pulpit of the Hagia Sophia, which was first a church, then a mosque and now a museum.
Arnold Plotnick, DVM, says hello to a young cat who was gently removed from a restaurant while looking for handouts.
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Cat Pictures: Cats of Istanbul

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Reader Comments

jk    forest grove, OR

12/22/2014 10:37:44 AM

I have been to Turkey 5 times. The rug dealers keep the kittens during the tourist season, to lure the women into the shops.
After the tourist season the cats are shunned, kicked and starved.The locals explained it to me. I saw a lot of starving cats in Selcuk in the fall, kicked out of the outdoor restaurants.

M    Lake City, FL

9/20/2013 11:56:12 PM

Interesting to get not just cultural cat photos, but international cat info! Thanks!

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