Street Cats in Istanbul – In the narrow streets of Istanbul, cats perch on roofs and window sills, crouch by the door and rest at almost every corner. Whether in the sun, grooming or shopping for food, cats are now an integral part of life in Europe’s largest city. They are so ubiquitous that no one catches the eye of a cat that passes by the hall of an office building or when you lie down to sleep on a nearby bar stool. Traders and locals often know and tell stories about cats in their neighborhood, as if they were chatting with a friend.
Some people, fond of cats, buy small feline houses so that their furry neighbors stay warm during the cold nights. Some even bring these cats home when it is very cold. In the trendy Cihangir district, where the streets are lined with such small cat shelters, it is not uncommon for cats to take the last available seats in crowded bars, nor is it unusual to see cats jump into the knees of restaurant patrons, hoping to find a comfortable place to rest – and a chance to grab a bite of food.