Never mind snakes on a plane, how about cats on a train?

Getting up close on the cat train.
KIM KYUNG-HOON/REUTERS

Getting up close on the cat train.

A Japanese civic group teamed up with a railway operator to let some 30 cats roam on a local train at an event, hoping it will raise awareness of the culling of stray cats.

Passengers on a local train in Ogaki, in central Japan, were greeted by meowing companions on a moving train, where some passengers mingled with the felines while others enjoyed lunch.

"I think it's great more people are aware about stray kittens through events like this," said Mikiko Hayashi, a passenger from western Japan, who owns two cats that were strays.

Passengers greet the feline passenger in Ogaki.
KIM KYUNG-HOON/REUTERS

Passengers greet the feline passenger in Ogaki.

The event was hosted by Yoro Railway and a non-governmental organisation called Kitten Cafe Sanctuary.

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A passenger plays with one of the feline passengers.
KIM KYUNG-HOON/REUTERS

A passenger plays with one of the feline passengers.

The number of cats in Japan admitted to shelters has dropped by around 70 per cent to 72,624 in 2016 from 237,246 in 2004.

That has reduced the number of cats culled from 238,929 in 2004 to 45,574 in 2016.

The cat population in Japan is around 9.8 million.

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 - Reuters

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