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July 27, 2016

A litter of stray cats have taken up residence at the Forest of Stone Steles Museum in Xi'an China, and people love taking photos with them.

But the furry felines weren't always so welcome: Visitors used to complain about them, and in at least one incident the cats scratched a child.

In response, the museum displayed posters warning patrons from playing with the property pets.

Soon after the signs were posted, museum employees reportedly attempted to catch the felines with the intent of giving them away. That prompted another outcry: The museum faced a slew of messages from the community asking to leave the cats be.

Now the museum's cats have become an attraction all on their own—and they aren't going anywhere anytime soon.

The museum shared their decision on Chinese social sharing site Weibo earlier this week:

The cats can stay! Thank you everyone for their concern and support over the past few days. The museum will ensure to better supervise these cats, even providing them with vaccinations, insect repellent, sterilisation and continue to put up signs warning visitors about interacting with the cats.

We are dedicated to providing a warm and loving environment for the cats and our visitors.

Erika Owen is the Senior Audience Engagement Editor at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @erikaraeowen.

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