Cats allowed a free ride on train in Japan

cats on a train
The cats were a hit among spectators. Photo credit: Reuters

Train passengers in Ogaki, central Japan, were greeted by some furry new friends on their journey last weekend.

The stunt was hosted by Yoro Railway Co Ltd and a non-governmental organisation called Kitten Cafe Sanctuary to reduce the culling of stray cats in Japan.

cats on train
One of the inquisitive kittens. Photo credit: Reuters

Around 30 cats and kittens were released into local the train to mingle with passengers. One passenger from western Japan, Mikiko Hayashi, told Reuters, "I think it's great more people are aware about stray kittens through events like this."

Cats on train
The cats ranged from kittens to full grown adults. Photo credit: Reuters

Japan has made focused efforts to reduce its stray cat population in recent years. The number of cats in Japan admitted to shelters has dropped to 72,624 in 2016 from 237,246 in 2004.

There are approximately 9.8 million cats in Japan.