St John’s Island In Singapore Is A Local Cat Paradise Just A 30-Min Boat Ride Away
One of Japan’s most famous islands is Okishima, also known as Japan’s cat island.
But did you know that Singapore has its very own cat island as well? Located southeast of Sentosa, St John’s Island is home to at least 100 cats.
The ferry fare to St John’s Island is slightly pricier than the cat cafes we have in town.
But take comfort in the fact that the 30-minute journey there promises a worthwhile experience as we get to interact with these lovely felines.
You can view SPH Razor’s documentary of Singapore’s cat island here. We’re here to take you through the highlights.
Singapore’s cat island
When you get off the jetty, you’ll usually be welcomed by the cats lounging about in the area.
According to SPH Razor, they are extremely friendly and comfortable with humans so feel free to pet them.
Their estimated population in 2016 was said to be around 100 to 120 cats, according to NTU Cat Management Network.
They were previously allowed to breed freely, prompting the Society of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) to carry out their Trap-Neuter-Return-Manage programme in 2011.
The programme was meant to prevent the overpopulation of cats on the island.
Overpopulation would have led to more problems like malnutrition and spreading of diseases, added Corrine Fong, former executive director of SPCA.
NTU Cat Management Network shared that SPCA’s programme and partnership with the workers and islanders helped to stabilise the cat population.
Neighbour island also home to cats
St John’s Island’s neighbour, Lazarus Island, is also inhabited by many cute cats.
These cats might have ‘migrated’ from St John’s Island to Lazarus Island since the islands are only about 1.3km apart from each other.
Visitors allowed to feed the cats
According to NTU Cat Management Network, there are workers who volunteer to feed the cats. Visitors to both islands are allowed to feed the cats too.
The cats apparently have developed a habit of placing a paw on the flimsy paper plates so that it stays in place as they eat.
If you are planning to feed the cats on the islands, here’s a purr-fect tip to remember — the cats there prefer wet food to dry food.
How to get there
You will be able to buy your ferry tickets to St John’s Island at the terminal of Marina South Pier. Here are the timings for Mondays to Fridays.
As for weekends and public holidays, check out below.
The last trains leaving St John’s Island will be 2.45pm and 5.50pm on weekdays and weekends respectively. One ticket to St John’s Island costs $18 for an adult and $12 for a child.
There’s no direct ferry to Lazarus island but you can get there by walking from St John’s Island, which will take about 18 mins, according to Google Maps.
You’re advised not to come after 3pm on weekends.
Be responsible beachgoers
It may be more difficult to find rubbish bins on the islands, especially on Lazarus Island, noted The Straits Times.
So, it’s best to bring your own bags to collect your rubbish before you dispose of it at the bins on the island or on the mainland. Litter on the beaches can end up in the sea or eaten by the cats.
We hope that everyone will play their part to keep these places clean for the benefit of the environment.
Featured image adapted from NTU Cat Management Network.