We saw lots of dogs and cats on the street in Asia, but they were not pets in the American sense.

Most of the cats on the streets of Jakarta looked scrawny, and many had oddly short tails. At first I thought it must be the custom to cut their tails. Then I asked someone and we decided the cats were either inbred, which made their tails weak, or had lost parts of tails in fights or accidents. This picture was taken at the marina of wooden cargo ships in Jakarta.

Cat at Marina Jakarta Oct 2015

So I was surprised to discover a cat café in Jakarta, but I was staying in Kemang, the expatriate district. Where else would it be?

The adoptable kitties at the Cat Cabin looked plump and healthy. I did see two cats getting down to it in a cubbyhole in a cat tree, which you aren’t likely to see at a cat café in the United States. But the woman at the front desk during my second visit assured me they had all their cats fixed, and the white cat with balls was gone that day. So maybe what I saw was his last stand before a visit to the cutter.

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I saw more cats than dogs in most places, probably because cats are more useful in a city—they kill rodents.

This dog looked perfectly happy to be running alongside a bike on a busy street in Jakarta. He may have been the only leashed dog I saw.

Dog and cyclist Jakarta Oct 2015

In the Philippines we saw “guard dogs” in small cages. I think they were meant to be an early warning system, but it didn’t make sense to me.

One day on Bali I was walking back to the B&B when I heard some barking behind me. I ignored it, since I had yet to meet a friendly dog on the island. Then the barking got louder. I turned around and saw this.

Dogs in Bali near Mango Tree Inn Oct 2015

I hadn’t noticed any of these dogs while walking down this block, and then there were six of them—plus a chicken. That scared me.

When we were driving back to the airport in Bali, we asked our driver, Candra, “How do people keep track of their chickens here?” They walk around everywhere; they don’t seem to stay in any one yard. He said people just know. Then he mentioned that one of his neighbors had taken one of his chickens, but it was difficult to tell if he was offended by that.

But they were country chickens. These here are city chickens.

Chickens in Jakarta Oct 2015

Leave A Comment

  1. Jennifer November 27, 2015 at 9:24 am - Reply

    Those are some scrawny looking chickens! I would be afraid of suddenly seeing a pack of dogs as well; many feral dogs, when allowed to form packs will hunt and humans are just another target.
    Nice to see some animals being cared for, and not just on the menu.

    • Beth Partin November 30, 2015 at 3:35 am - Reply

      It was strange to see all those dogs; maybe they came out of the orchard beyond the road where I was walking. I had seen dogs here and there at people’s houses, but never that many together.

  2. dedi December 11, 2016 at 8:49 am - Reply

    Love this article. I also live at jalan Bangka. Bangka VIII just two blocks away from that B&B.
    They have nice coffee shop right next to that flower shop. I like to stop by whenever I have to go to post office.

    and I from Oklahoma by the way.

    No. Not really. I just stay there for like three years till I graduate from OCU.

  3. Beth Partin December 15, 2016 at 6:20 am - Reply

    Nice to hear from you, Dedi!

  4. Aca Baranton December 22, 2021 at 6:43 am - Reply

    Do they not have shelter homes to care for these hapless street dogs and cats in Jakarta and else where?

  5. Pets Health August 4, 2022 at 11:42 am - Reply

    i think in Asia there are shelter homes for animals but there is no awareness of this. They feel it ok to leave dogs and cats on street rather giving them to shelter homes.

    • Beth Partin August 4, 2022 at 10:35 pm - Reply

      Even in the United States, animal shelters are stretched to their limits and many end up putting animals to sleep because they run out of room. There are “no-kill” shelters, but I don’t know what percentage of shelters in the US are like that.