‘Cat town’ in northern Turkey gives felines cozy homes

Kedi Kasabası, literally “cat town” in Turkish, is among Turkey’s rarest, most spacious and most exclusive shelters for cats. Opened six years ago in the northern province of Samsun, the shelter is home to wooden houses where stray or abandoned cats can live alone or together, surrounded by a forest.

The town, sprawling across an area of 20 acres (8 hectares), is run by the municipality, which ensures everything for the comfort of the animals, from classical music accompanying breakfast, lunch and dinner to playgrounds, a “cat cafe” and courses where the felines can jump, climb and get into mischief. The shelter is staffed by vets who tend to every need of the felines throughout the day, while a special corner is allocated to cats who are sick or crippled.

Faruk Kan, one of the vets at Kedi Kasabası, said they wanted the cats to feel at home at the shelter. “All cats here are strays and usually go through ordeals before being brought here. They are either injured or mentally distressed. We treat them and release them into the town. The environment here is really beautiful for them,” Kan told Anadolu Agency (AA).

The cat town is located in a lush forest, full of fresh air and far from the hubbub of the city, giving additional comfort for cats worn out by urban life.

Wooden houses larger than kennels are only occupied by the cats during the nighttime, as they opt to spend their days roaming outdoors. For those accustomed to living together, houses built in the style of condominiums help the cats socialize. During the winter, they are accommodated at prefabricated units furnished with heaters.

Kan said the number of cats at the shelter gradually increases and they appear to be “happy.” But it would be best if they are adopted, he remarked. “They would be better off with families adopting them, and we are glad that people are interested in adoption,” Kan said.

Currently, 150 cats who are neutered or spayed live in the town. Visitors seeking to adopt are not permitted at the moment due to measures against the coronavirus outbreak.