The play on words even spread to more serious classical music circles: According to an annual survey by the Japan Pet Food Association, the number of cat owners surpassed that of dog owners in Japan last year for the first time since the survey began in The number of pet cats in Japan is estimated at 9,,, remaining almost unchanged in recent years, while the number of dogs fell to 8,,, down for the first consecutive year, according to the survey.
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During the gubernatorial election in July, now-Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike pledged to reduce the number of culled dogs and cats in the capital to zero.
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And she vowed to make progress on the policy before the games when she spoke at the Animal Welfare Summit in August in Tokyo soon after she took office. She said although there are countless nonprofit organizations and volunteers who are willing to run TNR campaigns, veterinarians are the only ones who can actually provide treatment to cats. Other municipalities are following suit, funding efforts to control the population of stray cats through TNR and increasing public awareness of so-called community cats.
No cats have been culled in Kanagawa Prefecture since , while Hiroshima Prefecture has not killed any since April. The city of Urayasu in Chiba Prefecture has been shouldering all TNR fees since , with roughly cats treated so far. Urayasu also released a smartphone application earlier this month titled Nyanda Land, which features photos of community cats that live in the area — the first such app developed by a municipality.
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