For centuries, China's ruling dynasties lived in the imperial palace. Today, it's home to cats.

Ma Guoqing, who works at Forbidden City, tells China Daily that some of the cats are directly descended from the original palace felines. Others are strays. But all the animals are taken care of in the palace complex.


News sites iFeng and ShanghaiIst report that the stray population has rapidly increased in the past five years. Some pet owners apparently ditch their cats at the Forbidden City with, perhaps, the knowledge that the animals will be looked after.


Around 180 imperial cats have been neutered in hopes of keeping the population under control. The feline palace guards been doing their part to make rodents a non-issue.


If you plan on visiting the Forbidden City, don't expect to be necessarily swarmed by cats. As China Daily explains, the animals aren't seen as much in the areas frequented by tourists.


揭秘故宫猫保安:约181只 五年花18410元 [iFeng]

故宫猫保安 这里的喵星人真是太高大上了!! [TTmop]

The special feline guards of the Imperial Palace [ShanghaiIst]

'Royal' stray cats wander in and around Forbidden City [China Daily]

Photos: TTmop, BBRTV, China Daily, 06photo/Shutterstock

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