Persian Cat Museum wants to promote welfare of cats in Iran

News : Persian Cat Museum wants to promote welfare of cats in Iran
A cat is sitting under framed photographs and paintings of cats in the Persian Cat Museum, Tehran, Iran, June 6, 2023, credit: Morteza Nikoubazl/NurPhoto via Reuters

The sounds of gentle purrs and light footsteps of cats can be heard through the quiet hum of conversation at the privately funded Persian Cat Museum in Iran. Since its opening in 2020, the cat museum has become a sanctuary for about 30 cats who roam through the exhibition area. 

Founded and maintained through private funds, the museum represents an ongoing commitment to cat welfare in Tehran. Most of the animals at the museum were rescued from the streets, director Hossein HamlehDari said.

“When people come here and meet Farrokh, a cat that was born blind but is still very agile, they realize cats are also citizens of this city and can coexist with residents,” HamlehDari said, adding that the museum is not just to entertain, but to challenge perceptions and change attitudes towards street cats in Iran.

The animals’ reputation in Iran has become poor in the past because of the large number of strays in big cities, Tehran in particular. The museum reminds visitors that cats have been valued pets in Iran for centuries, frequently appearing in Persian works of art and miniatures.

The three-story building in the heart of Tehran is home to paintings, photos, caricatures, and even stamps celebrating cats from various countries like Iran, South Korea, Guinea, and Ukraine. 

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