Cats Left Behind in the Exclusion Zone
This chapter “Cats Left Behind in the Exclusion Zone” surveys the plight of an estimated 12,400–13,400 cats that lived in the exclusion zone before the nuclear meltdowns, as well as the cat rescue operations conducted by small animal welfare groups. Cat rescues presented more challenges than dog rescues because the cats were nocturnal and most of the house cats were wary of strangers. As the abandoned cats adapted to the natural elements and fended for themselves, they became feral and the population of wild cats exploded. The debate over whether feral cats should be rescued divided animal welfare groups.