"Venetian Cats" Top 5 Page for this destination Venice Travelogue by Zvrlj

Venice Travel Guide: 8,203 reviews and 21,709 photos

"Venice, the city of water, is also a city of cats. […] The Venetians are tolerant of cats. In fact, the cats of Venice are cherished, fed, and watched over by people who appreciate the serenity and self-sufficiency of cats. […] In the watery world of gondolas and bridges, cats and people live together comfortably."

From "The Cats of Venice" by Shin Otani

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"The cat has always been an essential scavenger in a city that depends on the tides for its hygiene, and has periodically been decimated by rat-borne plagues. It was Shylock the Venetian who declared the cat to be 'both necessary and harmless', and when from time to time the municipality has tried to reduce the teeming feline population, the citizenry has always been up in arms in protest. Your Venetian cats are not like others. Sometimes of course they live in the bosoms of families, and are fed on canned horsemeat, and prettied up with bows: but far more often they survive half-wild, in feral gangs or covens of cats, and not infrequently some cherished household pet, observing the lives of such lucky ruffians from the kitchen window, will abandon the comforts of basket and fireside rug, and take to the streets himself."

From "A Venetian Bestiary" by Jan Morris

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"Towards the end of the 14th century, the scores of ships returning from their profitable trading activities with the Orient, brought back with them, not only their precious cargoes, but also, hidden in the depths of their holds, some unwanted and very dangerous stowaways. These were of course the notorious Asian rat – carrier of the black death – the plague.

Like most of Europe, Venice was more than once hit by this calamity; the population was eventually reduced by half.

Venice involved divine help erecting churches such as Redentore and the Madonna della Salute, but she also embarked upon systematic disinfection of all the streets and squares. Finally, the authorities made a very intelligent move: they imported the rat's greatest ever enemy, the cat, from the Dalmatian islands!

Since then, cats have become an integral and irreplaceable part of Venetian landscape. Because of its particular architectural composition, the city of Venice has always been a friendly place for the 'lords of silence and darkness'. Venice even has a hospice for its cats."

From "The Secret Venice of Corto Maltese" by Guido Fuga and Lele Vianello

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This beauty with Russian Blue blood lives on Fondamenta Cannaregio. He enjoys all the attention and admiration passers-by give to him.

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Campo San Marziale offers peace and quietness – therefore it is idael place for sleeping in Venice full of tourists.

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Rio Terra San Giuseppe is street near Giardini della Biennale in Castello area. The master of the street is this lazy tomcat. He use to sleep in the middle of the street. We took the photo of him just after his awakening.

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Via Giuseppe Garibaldi is the very vivid street, not only because of tourists but because of locals as well. This local is just taking a walk there.

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Mom-to-be enjoys the July sun by the water in Cannaregio area.

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In Parco Savorgnan this black youngster is taking a supper prepared by the cook of the nearby restaurant.

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This huge cat has chosen Civil hospital to take a nap. It is the good way to avoid tourists. But, obviously, not completely…

  • Page Updated May 23, 2009
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