Visitors to Israel are often surprised by the huge number of cats living on the country’s streets. There are estimated to be some two million stray cats here, though no-one really knows the true number.

Though life can be hard for a street cat, animal welfare organizations do their best to look after them – neutering them and returning them to the streets where they were found. Many residents also feed the wild cats, while others adopt them.

Some surveys suggest that about 30 percent of pets in Israeli homes were taken off the street, while another 20 percent were adopted from animal shelters.

In honor of Israel’s cats, we’ve put together eight pictures of cats in the country. Enjoy!

A nun holds a stray cat outside the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem’s Old City. Photo by Sarah Schuman/FLASH90
A cat sits on top of an electricity box. Photo by Miriam Alster/FLASH90
Anyone for a glass of wine? A black cat sits on a garden chair in Israel. Photo by Chen Leopold/FLASH90   Cap: A cat begs to be let in to the house. Photo by Nati Shohat/FLASH90
A cat begs to be let in to the house. Photo by Nati Shohat/FLASH90
Cats in a courtyard in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem. Photo by Hadas Parush/FLASH90
A cat sits on the windowsill. Photo by Uri Lenz/FLASH90
Cats in a courtyard in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem. Photo by Hadas Parush/FLASH90

If you’d like to adopt a street cat in Israel, contact the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in Israel.