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Shocked by skinny cats in Greece(21 Posts)
Newly home from a fab two week holiday on the island of Rhodes. I'm really looking forward to being reacquainted with my pampered pet, but so shocked by the state of all the wild, un-neutered and half starved cats that are apparently all over Greece.
There were signs up at our place telling us not to feed these cats as they are a 'nuisance' and for the first few days I went along with this rule. However, the sight of a young, obviously pregnant female chewing enthusiastically on a melon rind by the bins finally broke me...
Short sighted, probably - but I was also moved to donate to a local charity (run by ex-pats) that catches cats to neuter them and treat their ailments.
Thought provoking stuff.
And this is why I will only visit northern European countries. I can't bear it. The only thing that stops these countries being knee deep in stray cat is the fact that most will die young from starvation.
I often feel that London is only a gnat's whisker away from the same situation. Without the charities working tirelessly we would be in the same boat. As it is I see many huge colonies here in London and there are more than the charities can deal with.
And it's all caused by failure to neuter.
We have a similar, but not as severe problem here in Portugal. Thanks to the many expat rescue groups who neuter and release, and try to re home kittens it is slowly getting better. I have a 6/7 week old foster kitten at the moment
I'm in France and made freinds with a very friendly cat. Who seems to be living in the basement of a disused hotel. Can't work out if he's a stray or not. He's well fed and looks cared for. He's so friendly I want to take him home. Do t think I could cope with seeing lots of unwanted and unloved cats.
I feel so sorry for the strays when I see them. Good for the people who are trying to help them I say. Shame on those who are treating them as a nuisance when it is so preventable by neutering.
I had a beautiful pregnant white female cat sleep by me in a restaurant in Dubrovnik 10 years ago; turned out I was also pregnant. The restaurant did provide her with food and water but didn't care enough to get her neutered.
Information here on what you should do to help
It's heartbreaking isn't it OP. I live in Cyprus and the government and animal charities (mostly run by expats) work tirelessly with the TNR schemes. Unfortunately many of the old school locals believe that it's beneficial to have multiple colonies of cats around to keep vermin under control; as a result the country is over run with diseased cats with FIV and FIP. There are schemes in place to educate schoolchildren about animal welfare but they are useless when the kids go home and their grandparents undermine everything.
Cyprus is only a small country though, I can't begin to imagine how change is implemented in somewhere the size of Greece
One of my friends family live in Cyprus and she says that locals often leave poisoned meat out in the villages to kill the stray dogs. Therefore her family wont take the dog out in case it picks something up.
Our neighbours are Cypriot and they regularly visit Cyprus. She got quite upset telling me how some people treat cats there poisoning and shooting them once there are too many of them. They have had cats in the past in the UK (no longer due to age and being away regularly). She is shocked that those in Cyprus are still treated so badly.
I don’t go further than Devon because of this, neither of us would cope.
@Fluffycloudland77, I'm sure people in Cornwall look after their cats properly. I think I'd be the same as you though.
I don't want to get on to the subject of dogs in Cyprus, that's a whole other story
Yes, both cats and dogs get poisoned here. Ignorant Cypriots poison cats when the population gets out of control and poison dogs when they no longer have a use ie. when the 'hunting season' is over.
I won't go on
That sounds really awful. It would really bother me to see it, same as it did you.
I know we're a bit 'soft' about animals in the UK, but this has left a bad taste in my mouth.
Since the negative spotlights on various charities over the last few years I've stopped donating for all but one offs, until now.
It has also left me with absolutely no desire to return to this part of the world, even though practically everything else was spot on...
That's very sad and wouldn't be my idea of a holiday destination either and I'd dwell too much once home (heck, I'm even sad just sat here thinking about melon cat). Hopefully your donation will at least have been used properly if its a local ex-pat charity.
There any many large TNR programs run in Greece by world Veterinary Services, many, many UK vets give up their time and pay their own flights to go to Greece and take part in the program.
We went to Athens and it was filled with stray dogs, locals do not care I am afraid.
@Sooverthemill , thank you. I have saved that link
Is this your visit to Greece? Things have improved massively over the last 20-30 years but of course there are still problems. Tourism has helped due to northern Europeans expressing their opinions as well as setting up charities, although many also have local staff now.
You will be asked not to feed cats at your accommodation because the next people in might not want them hanging around but most tourist resorts will have feeding stations. We feed them there or just away from our apartment.
I go to Greece twice a year. Everywhere I've visited has local charities feeding and doing TNR. Rhodes is a very touristy island and subsequently there are several good charities there. I returned there recently after 30 years and it is so much better than before.
I was in Crete in summer and was impressed by locals feeding feral cats in a sensible way as well as, judging by the ear marks, a TNR strategy in play. Long way to go and plenty of competing issues but it was good to see.
TNR is in place in Greece and Cyprus but still a long way to go.
My friend's cat nearly died after ingesting poison, she found him on Thursday shitting blood and his insides coming out. The vet fought to save him and he's not out of the woods yet.
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