Cat Nation: A Documentary Exploring Japan’s Cat-Centric Culture

Cat fanatics everywhere rejoice! A new documentary just came out called “Cat Nation: A Film About Japan’s Crazy Cat Culture” – it takes viewers on a journey into the unique, often bizarre world of Japanese cat obsession.

Cat Nation is the latest documentary from filmmaker Tim Delmastro and it features British YouTube personality Chris Broad, who treks across Japan to document numerous unusual cat-centric activities such as cat themed cafes, bars, temples, cat-scented hygiene products, cats with human jobs and even entire cat islands.

It’s a film about cats. And Japan. And a bewildered British guy. But mostly cats.  >^..^<

The film, which was fully funded in just 48 hours on popular crowd-funding website Kickstarter, is available to view through iTunes, Google Play, Amazon and Vimeo on Demand (details below).

We caught up with Tim and here’s what he shared with us:

Q:  What inspired you to do this film in the first place?
I was actually in Japan filming another documentary, and everywhere I looked I saw some bizarre cat related antics. My crew and camera gear were already with me, so I thought it would be an interesting experiment to extend our stay in Japan and film some of the cat themed madness we encountered. Cat Nation is the result of what we documented.
Q:  Is this your first film involving cats?
It is. I’ve made documentary films about the financial crisis, video games, health and wellbeing; but a film about cats is a first. Who would have thought this is where my career would end up?
Q:  Do you own a cat? 
Of course. My wife and I (photo below) absolutely adore cats. We have a purebred ragdoll named Mr Kingston Montgomery Mittens. We call him Mittens for short. He actually oversaw the entire editing process, occasionally stepping on my keyboard.

Q:  How long did it take you to film Cat Nation?

Cat Nation was a real ‘spur of the moment’ film. It took several days of research, and the filming component took just over a week.

Q:  Any funny/unusual story you can share in the filming process?

We would arrive at a location which was rumored to have several cats, and it was always fun to see how many cats we could find. It seemed like each location had its own unique blend of cat silliness. Other than that, my cameraman’s attempt at using Tinder in Japan was kind of funny.

Q:  Any unexpected thing(s) that happened along the journey that surprised you?

The sheer number of tourists on Tashirojima, the cat island, was a real surprise. The boat which connects the mainland to the cat island was absolutely packed, and the island was full of sightseers hoping to take photos of all the cats. The popularity of the island as a tourist attraction was very surprising.

Q:  What was the best thing about filming Cat Nation?

Cat Nation is a light hearted documentary, and filming it was very casual and carefree as well. My other films usually involve strict deadlines, interviews with industry leaders and high level of professionalism. Cat Nation was such a relaxing shoot. Roaming the streets of Tokyo in search of cats was such a change from a usual documentary shoot.  

Q:  What was the most difficult thing about filming Cat Nation?

Trying to find cats. We filmed scenes in large public areas, such as a massive cemetery and a park which were rumored to be home to several stray cats. Sometimes they were easy to spot, but other times, the cats were few and far between.

Q:  What did you learn that surprised you the most?

The extent of Japan’s adoration of cats. Sure, we all love cats, but in Japan, cats are both idolized and used as gimmicks. It seems like in Japan, everything is made better with cats.

Q:  What would you have done different if you had to do it again?

Japan has several cat islands to explore, but due to time and budget constraints, we were only able to film at one. I would’ve loved to have explored some of the many other cat islands.

Q:  Will there be a Cat Nation 2.0 for other cat obsessed countries?

My wife, who helped create the film, is already onto it. Did you know there’s a Head Mouse Catcher at Buckingham Palace? There’s also a cat that is the mayor of a small town in Alaska. So perhaps cats with human jobs could be an interesting film. 

Q:  Why should our readers rush out to buy their copy today?

Well you could either watch reruns of Friends, or you could watch a fun and quirky documentary about all the cute and cuddly cat craziness Japan has to offer. Who wouldn’t want to watch that? I don’t remember Joey and Chandler’s apartment having any cats.

Tim makes a solid argument … maybe prime time is finally ready for a new feline only ‘Furriends’ series!  >^..^<


Watch the film through Vimeo and use coupon code ‘purrington’ to get a 15% discount.  The film is also available at these other stores:

Enjoy a few more teaser images that Tim shared with us of his adventures…

Cat Nation - a film about cats. And Japan. And a bewildered British guy. But mostly cats.Click To Tweet

Director Bio

Tim Delmastro: Director/Producer  –  Tim has been working as a filmmaker for over a decade, having directed numerous documentaries, short films and TV commercials. His last film, Miso Hungry: The Effortless Japanese Diet, was about a comedian in Japan trying to lose weight. Now he’s busy promoting Cat Nation – his latest meowsterpiece.



  1. Deborah Keith February 27, 2018
    • donna February 27, 2018

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