Cats from Istanbul {Turkey} - Traveling Cats - Travel Pictures of Cats

Cats from Istanbul {Turkey}

documentary kedi cats

A new cat documentary is hitting theaters today: Kedi (aka Nine Lives: Cats in Istanbul).

Istanbul is widely known as a city of cats. Hundreds of thousands roam the metropolis freely. They are neither wild nor tame. Though they claim no "owners," they bring joy and purpose to those people they choose to adopt. In Istanbul, cats are the mirrors to the people, allowing them to reflect on their lives in ways nothing else could.

"Every year that I returned to the city, I saw it change in ways that made it less and less recognizable, except for the cats; they were the one constant element, becoming synonymous with the city itself and ultimately, embodying its soul," says Kedi director Ceyda Torun, who grew up in Istanbul in the early 1980s. "This film is, in many ways, a love letter to those cats and the city."

kedi documentary
fighting cats istanbul
kedi cats in istanbul documentary

In their effort to capture as much of the cats' individual lives and secrets as possible, director Ceyda Torun and cinematographer/producer Charlie Wuppermann experimented with various "cat-cameras" to follow the animals into dark alleys and deserted basements and they flew drones over the rooftops for a more general view of Istanbul and its feline inhabitants. They pretty much stalked the cats in Istanbul for several months which resulted in many over-the-shoulder shots as the cats navigated the city streets.

The filmmakers also talked to locals that had extensive knowledge of the street cats and had bonded with them in sometimes unusual ways.

cats in istanbul documentary
kedi cats

Turns out each cat has its own unique personality and "goal" in life. Some cats only live for love while others have nothing but food on their minds. There's the psycho, the social butterfly, the player, and the thief. With backgrounds as varied as their human counterparts, the street cats in Istanbul experience the city in ways totally unknown to people.

"Everyone who had allowed themselves to form a meaningful relationship with these creatures had come to experience life and their part in it differently," says Ceyda Torun. "The degree of this profound change in perspective varied from person to person, but one thing remained constant, it was brought on by having the opportunity to co-exist with an animal with charm, intellect, and self-sufficiency."

yellow kittens
documentary cats in istanbul
sunset cats istanbul

We haven't seen Kedi yet, but judging from the trailer, the film looks both stunning and touching. Have a look and let us know what you think.

Is Kedi (aka Nine Lives: Cats in Istanbul) a documentary you would consider watching?

Kedi movie poster

kedi cats in istanbul poster


  1. I would love to watch it. A cat's eye view as they wander around would be fascinating.

  2. I would definitely watch it; the trailer alone is fascinating; thanx Vanessa for sharing; { my heart fell to my stomach when the cat jumped out the window } I trust he was alright ♥♥♥

  3. I would love to see this film. The cats looks well cared for and it seems to show how unique their personalities are too.

  4. Hello, wonderful post on the Istanbul cats. They are all adorable and wonderful photos. Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Happy Saturday, enjoy your weekend!

  5. Wonderful post and gorgeous photos of the cats of Istanbul ~ bet the film is wonderful too ~ thanks,

    Wishing you a Happy and Peaceful Weekend ~ ^_^

  6. Wonderful photographs! The movie sounds really interesting too!

  7. I love the one of all the kittens lined up


  8. The movie looks interesting. But I wonder if all the cats are so health as the few shown in the trailer.

  9. Wow, that looks like a really interesting movie. We might just have to check this one out!

  10. WE'll keep an eye on that movie.

  11. I would LOVE to see the movie! This is priceless! Big Hugs!