Croatia struggles with feral and abandoned cats. Each year hundreds if not thousands of kittens and older cats get dumped. In more severe cases, it's not uncommon to see rejected or stray cats drowned or shot. The government have introduced heavy fines for this kind of animal abuse, so many have moved onto poisoning.
Some Croatian cats survive purely from the generosity of the tourists and volunteers who feed them. Unfortunately, there are very few shelters and there is no funding or support system from local authorities, so volunteers rely on donations – usually from supporters from different parts of the world. We personally provide regular support to a volunteer from Cres to help with sterilising, feeding in winter, and vet bills.
Whilst changing society's perception is very difficult, we can do something else to help. And this year, we've taken that extra step.
We feed rejected cats every time we're in Croatia. This year, during our honeymoon in Makarska, we came across a 3-4 month old kitten hanging out by a shop. He was skinny and desperate for food, so we started feeding him, and discovered that he had siblings always hanging out in the same area.
Two days later, one of the kittens was no longer interested in food, and seemed unwell. In the evening, they were lying on a step quite docile and not interested in anything or anyone. I contacted a local volunteer, as I suspected the kitten could've been poisoned. By the next morning, all the kittens were gone, with dried-out food suggesting they hadn't been eating. They weren't there in the evening either. We assumed the worst had happened, and left Makarska with a heavy heart. We wish we could've done more... but then the email from the volunteer came – the cats were found alive. So we the decision — we're getting them out of Croatia to find them better lives in the UK.
THE RESCUE MISSION
Leticija, the local volunteer, has taken two of the kittens into her home. The third one was nowhere to be found. When she did find it, it turned out that there is not three but five kittens in total. We can only keep one, as we have a rescue cat already, so finding homes for the other four might be tricky. We hesitated only for a second though – we didn't feel it right to decide which siblings get to have a better life. All five kittens will be making their way to the UK.
Leticija found out that the kittens were dumped by the shop at the beginning of summer. Unfortunately, the main road nearby claimed the lives of the rest of the litter. This is where the they lived.
All five kittens need rabies vaccinations, microchips, and EU animal passports. They will be picked up by a pet transport specialist and handed over to us in Belgium, and then they will be on their way to better lives in England.
The pet transport specialist offered not to change the original cost of transportation (650EUR) despite the number of his cat passengers nearly doubling, but we can't ask for this kind of generosity on vaccinations and passport requirements for the kittens. We didn't expect the costs to double, so we need your help! Every penny helps. If you can't help financially, please share the link – that's helping, too!
The kittens journey can be followed in my story highlights here: https://www.instagram.com/kat_horsley_summer
We also need to find homes for four kittens. Two of them have to go to a home together as they are best friends, the others can be single kittens. Ideally we'd want them to be adopted in pairs or into families with one or more cats. Please contact me if you wish to adopt.
If you wish to make a donation, you can input any amount starting from £1! The amounts on the right are just a suggestion from Crowdfunder.
Thank you for your support!
Here are some photos of the cats in Croatia, whilst they await transportation.