Aoshima Island is one of about a dozen "cat islands" around Japan, small places where there are significantly more feline residents than people. In Aoshima more than a hundred cats prowl the island, curling up in abandoned houses or strutting about in the quiet fishing village. Cats outnumber humans six to one on the island. Recently becoming popular online, tiny Aoshima has seen a steep rise in tourist visits, overwhelming the handful of permanent residents. [24 photos total]

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Cats crowd the harbor on Aoshima Island in the Ehime prefecture of southern Japan on February 25, 2015. (Reuters/Thomas Peter) #
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Cats surround people as they get off a boat at the harbor on Aoshima Island, Japan, on February 25, 2015. (Reuters/Thomas Peter) #
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The main part of the fishing village on Aoshima Island, photographed on February 25, 2015. (Reuters/Thomas Peter) #
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A local woman shoos away cats as she leaves her house on Aoshima Island on February 25, 2015. (Reuters/Thomas Peter) #
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Cats crowd the Aoshima Island harbor on February 25, 2015. (Reuters/Thomas Peter) #
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A clowder of cats on the wharf on Aoshima Island on February 25, 2015. (Reuters/Thomas Peter) #
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A cat carries a fish on Aoshima Island on February 25, 2015. (Reuters/Thomas Peter) #
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A cat walks past wooden farm sheds on Aoshima Island on February 25, 2015. (Reuters/Thomas Peter) #
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A cat jumps off a piano in the music room of a derelict school on Aoshima Island on February 25, 2015. (Reuters/Thomas Peter) #
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The print of a cat paw is embedded in concrete on Aoshima on February 25, 2015. (Reuters/Thomas Peter) #
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Cats crowd the harbor embankment on Aoshima on February 25, 2015. (Reuters/Thomas Peter) #
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Cats crowd around village nurse and Ozu city official Atsuko Ogata as she carries a bag of cat food to the designated feeding place on Aoshima Island on February 25, 2015. (Reuters/Thomas Peter) #
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Aoshima cats beg for food on February 25, 2015. (Reuters/Thomas Peter) #
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Aoshima Cats crowd around village nurse Atsuko Ogata as she carries a bag of cat food on February 25, 2015. (Reuters/Thomas Peter) #
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A cat leaps at the photographer to snatch his lunch snack on Aoshima on February 25, 2015. (Reuters/Thomas Peter) #
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Cats vie for food on Aoshima on February 25, 2015. (Reuters/Thomas Peter) #
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An Aoshima cat sits on a wall of an abandoned school on February 25, 2015. (Reuters/Thomas Peter) #
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Cats sit on a wall on Aoshima Island on February 25, 2015. (Reuters/Thomas Peter) #
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Cats surround a local woman on Aoshima Island on February 25, 2015. (Reuters/Thomas Peter) #
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An Aoshima cat jumps for food offered by a tourist as other cats beg for food on February 25, 2015. (Reuters/Thomas Peter) #
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Cats crowd the harbor embankment on Aoshima on February 25, 2015. (Reuters/Thomas Peter) #
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A cat walks along the harbor of Aoshima Island on February 25, 2015. (Reuters/Thomas Peter) #
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A tourist takes pictures of cats at the harbor on Aoshima Island on February 25, 2015. (Reuters/Thomas Peter) #
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Village nurse Atsuko Ogata bows to a ferry that is departing from Aoshima Island, Japan, on February 25, 2015. (Reuters/Thomas Peter) #

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