Disneyland jobs: Can you work there if you’re allergic to cats?
It takes 32,000 people to run Walt Disney’s original theme park Disneyland. The happiest place on earth can’t stay clean without the help from a small group with a vital task: hunting down any rodents breaking into the park. No, we aren’t talking about a group of exterminators, but a small task force of cats roam the park to catch mice.
The “cats members” (yes, that’s their actual title) are incredibly important to the park’s day-to-day operations. As you can expect, a theme park generates a lot of trash, attracting some unwanted guests, and cats are the perfect employees to exterminate them. The Disneyland cats have a long history in the park, and fans have created websites and social media accounts to document cat sightings.
Have you read the new Cat Profile on our blog? It's all about Ned. https://t.co/O7Y9OfuIgZ pic.twitter.com/gB69crCGqA
— Cats of Disneyland (@disneylandcats) September 11, 2016
When did Disneyland start employing cats?
Nobody knows the exact date Cats first appeared in Disneyland, but according to disneylandcasts.com, sightings date back to 1955 when Disneyland first opened. However, Walt Disney’s first interaction with the cats is hilarious.
As the story goes, Walt was looking to open an attraction in Sleeping Beauty’s Castle, later becoming the castle walkthrough. When he brought a team of Imagineers inside the castle to start planning the new attraction, they were greeted by scores of feral cats living in the castle and a severe flea infestation.
The castle’s house guests presented a problem for Walt. If the castle was going to house an attraction, the cats must go, but what to do with the cats? Fans would be outraged if Disney “eliminated” the cats. Walt Disney allowed cast members to adopt all the cats in the castle to ensure they went to a good home, and the Imagineer could build the new attraction.
Here’s a nice photo of Ignatius — another Disneyland Hotel cat — sent in by Lori. Remember to email your pictures to [email protected] https://t.co/vOlxo4ldMo pic.twitter.com/0lEQrrhpgT
— Cats of Disneyland (@disneylandcats) May 28, 2018
Then there was the growing rodent problem, and the irony was not lost on anyone. There were still many cats not living in the castle, hunting the rodents all around the park. The remaining cats scattered around the park were made official employees and continued to hunt down all the rodents.
Giovanni is rapt with attention in this photo from @tink_the_lab. Remember to email your p… https://t.co/LoRvWdcrLv pic.twitter.com/2qBY5ZqP74
— Cats of Disneyland (@disneylandcats) February 8, 2017
When do the cats work?
Feral cats are usually afraid of humans, so they tend to come out at night. However, it’s not uncommon for guests to spot some of Disneyland’s cats. Disneyland does not encourage guests to have a character meet-&-greet with their cats mainly because they are trying to work, but also it’s generally not a good idea to pet a cat you don’t know.
Thanks to @sarah_noonan94 for this photo of Emmett chilling around Trader Sam’s. Remember to email your pictures to [email protected] https://t.co/HiJ2uA9k7Y pic.twitter.com/b6vfD0Km6x
— Cats of Disneyland (@disneylandcats) June 3, 2018
Disneyland’s cat’s perks and requirements
There are some great perks for Disneyland’s cats. First, they get to live in the happiest place on earth, but to a cat, that’s not much of a perk. The cats do care about getting fed, so there are feeding stations in Disneyland and California Adventures. There is also a team of veterinarians taking care of the cats and the horses for the trolley cars.
There are two requirements for the cats to stay in the park. First, they’re all spayed and neutered. The second is for them not to become too friendly with guests. If a cat becomes too friendly with guests, they put the cat up for Cast Members to adopt. The same is true for any litter of kittens born on the property.
In honor of #SuperBowlSunday, here's a picture of Ned with his game face on. Thanks to @ra… https://t.co/aNG3AI91en pic.twitter.com/cuaqOIo7FH
— Cats of Disneyland (@disneylandcats) February 5, 2017
Can I still work there if I’m allergic to cats?
Disneylandcats.com estimates about 200 cats are living at the Disneyland Resort bring their rodent hunting expertise to the company. Disneyland does not turn away applicants with a cat allergy but knowing where the feeding stations are might help you avoid working in those areas.
In Disneyland, a feeding station is located near Hungry Bear Restaurant in Critter Country. Probably the best spot for the cats to hang around the park. In California Adventures, there are feeding stations near Taste Pilot’s Grill and White Water Snacks in Grizzly Peak. If you’re visiting the park, you are almost guaranteed to see a cat roaming around.
You can also find cats hanging around the Disneyland Hotel’s Rose Court Garden and along the path for the Mickey and Friends Tram.
Two cats in one picture! Here are Emmett and Paulette in a photo sent in by @gnjjc1. Remem… https://t.co/POv0Sm0r4K pic.twitter.com/8inlF3Y5YZ
— Cats of Disneyland (@disneylandcats) February 27, 2017
All the cats in this article have profiles on Disneylandcats.com. Check out the website to get to know all the fan favorite cats that call the happiest place on earth home.