Skip to content

Exploring the Feline Phenomenon in Cat Nation

'Cat Nation' takes viewers on an intriguing journey into the heart of Japanese cat culture. It's a film about cats, Japan, and a bewildered British guy – but mostly cats.

Keywords: Japan, Cat Culture, Documentary, Chris Broad, Cat Cafes, Cat Islands, Beckoning Cat Statue. Three words: Intriguing, Quirky, Cultural.


'Cat Nation' is a fascinating documentary directed by Tim Delmastro in 2017. The film follows British YouTube personality Chris Broad as he navigates the fascinating and often peculiar world of Japanese cat culture. From cat-centric cafes and bars, to temples and entire islands dedicated to the beloved feline, the documentary offers an eye-opening exploration of Japan's unique obsession with cats.


'Cat Nation' takes viewers on an exciting journey into the heart of Japanese cat culture. The film documents a variety of unconventional cat-related activities and phenomena, including cats with human jobs, businesses catering specifically to cats, and the origins of the iconic beckoning cat statue. It's a film about cats, Japan, and a bewildered British guy – but mostly cats.

More Film Analysis


'Cat Nation' is a fascinating exploration of a unique cultural phenomenon. The documentary adopts an observational style, allowing the bizarre and often humorous world of Japanese cat culture to speak for itself. It also delves deep into the historical and cultural significance of cats in Japan, providing a well-researched and informative narrative.

Historical and Factual Context

Cats have held a special place in Japanese culture for centuries, seen in folklore, religion, and art. The iconic 'beckoning cat' statue, for instance, is considered a bringer of good luck and is a common sight in businesses across Japan. 'Cat Nation' delves into these historical and cultural contexts, enriching the viewer's understanding of the phenomenon.

Key themes in the film

  • The cultural significance of cats in Japan
  • The rise of cat-themed businesses
  • The human-animal bond

Film Comparisons

While 'Cat Nation' is quite unique in its focus, it shares similarities with other animal-focused documentaries like 'The Secret Life of Cats' and 'Kedi'. However, its exploration of the cultural dimension sets it apart.

Noteworthy Moments

One of the most memorable moments in 'Cat Nation' is the visit to Japan's famous Cat Island, where cats outnumber humans six to one. Another is the exploration of cat-themed businesses, from cafes to bars, providing a quirky insight into Japan's cat obsession.


This documentary has been well-received by audiences and critics alike, praising it for its unique subject matter and engaging storytelling. "An intriguing and humorous exploration of Japan's love affair with cats," wrote one reviewer.


'Cat Nation' is a must-watch for cat lovers, culture enthusiasts, and those seeking to understand the unique quirks of Japanese society. It offers a captivating, insightful, and often humorous look at a cultural phenomenon that is as fascinating as it is endearing.

More film information:


  • IMDB score: 7.2/10
  • Rotten Tomatoes score: 85%
  • Metacritic score: N/A
  • Film festival awards: N/A



  • Chris Broad: British YouTube personality and the film's host
  • Tim Delmastro: Director of 'Cat Nation'



  • Tokyo, Japan
  • Aoshima Island (Cat Island)

Key Questions Raised by the Film:

  • Why are cats so significant in Japanese culture?
  • How have cats influenced Japanese businesses and tourism?
  • What role do animals play in human culture and society?

I wonder what the film would be in another art form

Image 1
Image 2
Image 3
  1. If this film was a famous book, which one would it be? 'The Cat Who Went to Heaven' by Elizabeth Coatsworth, for its exploration of the bond between humans and cats.
  2. If this film was a famous song, which one would it be? 'The Lovecats' by The Cure, for its quirky yet affectionate depiction of cats.
  3. If this film was a famous piece of art, which one would it be? 'The Sleeping Gypsy' by Henri Rousseau, for its surreal depiction of a lion (a big cat!).
  4. If this film was a famous celebrity, who would it be? Taylor Swift, known for her love of cats and often incorporating them into her work.
  5. If this film was a color, which one would it be? Orange, vibrant and warm, much like the love Japan has for cats.
  6. If this film was a music style, which one would it be? J-Pop, for its fun, upbeat, and uniquely Japanese sound.