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Holy Cats! Jerusalem’s Strays and Their Unsung Guardian | National Geographic ctm magazine

Follow this devoted animal rescuer tending to the stray cats of Jerusalem’s Old City.
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Stray cats are found everywhere in the Old City of Jerusalem. Their overpopulation threatens the well-being of these felines, leaving them susceptible to disease, neglect and starvation. However, one resident has made it her mission to look after Jerusalem’s strays and to give them the best life possible. Tova Saul has devoted an enormous amount of time and money to feed and rescue stray cats. In 2016 alone, she spent close to $15,000 USD to trap, spay, and release 76 cats, rescue and place 48 kittens in homes, and provide medical care for 28 sick cats and kittens. As an observant Jew and animal lover, she is driven by a duty to stop the suffering of all animals, a concept she feels is not entirely observed by others of her faith. Follow Saul as she ventures throughout the city, including Jewish and Muslim neighborhoods, to feed cats and trap them for spaying and to educate curious onlookers of all religions.

Learn more about Tova Saul’s work in Jerusalem.

Read the article, “Vasectomies Could Cut Feral Cat Population.”

Holy Cats! Jerusalem’s Strays and Their Unsung Guardian | National Geographic

National Geographic



  • Ray Sand on November 11, 2019

    God bless you!

  • DrMoiz Jamshed on December 4, 2019

    Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said if u pet an animal give it food 70 times a day.
    Which means give your pet plenty of food so they wouldn't have to be starving. Prophet Muhammad ﷺ was an animal rights activist in a time when no one knew that animals have rights.

  • Birdienumnum on December 17, 2019

    Tova, I was so surprised to see you on National Geographic. You’re still helping animals after all these years with your unrelenting compassion. This is Sandra I was there with you in 1995, 96 And my cat mowgli came from your place. Mowgli lived to 17 years. Then there was Pelli who tragically died in 97. You’ve done so much bless your heart !

  • anthony esparsen on December 31, 2019

    Why don't you care about people like that huh?

  • anthony esparsen on December 31, 2019

    I love all animals too but humans are made in Jesus image ok feed them first ok , stop being so emotional ok , people are made in the image of God first know your priorities ok

  • anthony esparsen on December 31, 2019

    Yes we need to spay them Yes , so start a web site to do it I'll be the first to donate ok , thousands of dollars

  • anthony esparsen on December 31, 2019

    Call me when you start it I'll be first to donate to it and set the example , my word is my bond

  • Risha Linda on January 3, 2020

    Tova is a remarkable and truly compassionate guardian for the feral cats of Jerusalem. My best friend, Mary, and I were fortunate enough to spend time with Tova in January of 2018 and witness her devotion to these desperately needy cats.

  • soooooo its ok for millions of people to be walking the streets but a bunch of cats doing the same is a huge problem? 😉

  • Innovation Cutting Designs on May 14, 2020

    Should desex them and let them go to control the population.

  • מאמין on June 3, 2020

    i want a kitten

  • Charlotte T on August 17, 2020

    When I went to israel I saw a lot of cats

  • Luckduck on September 7, 2020

    Bless her!

  • Karu 9010 on October 4, 2020

    I've been to the Old City of Jerusalem. I remember walking around and seeing many different cats in the streets.

  • James Spencer on November 9, 2020

    The cats are important if they were gone there would be a noticeable increase in vermin..

  • layman on January 16, 2021

    Turkey 🇹🇷 is the best place for cats.
    They are treated like kings

  • Niryos on January 21, 2021

    cat calling methods

  • Yaakov Cedeño on February 10, 2021

    I m a frum Jew and I support her feline tzedaka. I look forward to live in our land to help her out taking care of our kitties

  • WolfHeart on April 27, 2021

    Every building in israel has its own cat gang

  • Audrey Dempster on May 16, 2021

    Awww kitty babies 🥰

  • Lordkey51 on May 28, 2021


  • Jarmila Xymena Gorna on June 1, 2021

    Tova Saul – The Queen of Jerusalem Cats indisputably. 🙏🤍

  • taresko on June 3, 2021

    imagine a palestinian cat meets a israeli cat😂welcome to palestine nt geo🇵🇸🇵🇸🇵🇸🇵🇸🇵🇸

  • LV on June 15, 2021

    Great woman bless you

  • leo pic on June 17, 2021

    would be nice to have many people that spade and neuter these cats catch and release.

  • leo pic on June 17, 2021

    Yeshua bless these people .

  • The Theoretical Theologian on October 31, 2021

    It’s too bad that she doesn’t do that for people who need help.

  • Greg on December 5, 2021

    Unfortunately, it's against Halacha to spay or neuter animals. So, from a Jewish perspective, there's not much that can be done about the large cat population. Unless it can be proven that the large number of cats is a threat to human life, in which case maybe spaying and nuetering would be allowed due to pekuah nefesh.

  • minitman73 on January 12, 2022

    Such a beautiful soul ..

  • Teresa Kinney on March 3, 2022

    Five will get you ten ,those cats are just Palestinians cats disguised as Jewish cats.

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