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Stray cats on Gavdos: How to help and measures to protect the animals!

Nixta is a very wild cat and lives in the cedar forest of Agios Ioannis

Anyone who has been on holiday in Greece will have noticed the large number of stray cats and dogs. Unfortunately, these animal populations are often out of control. Unsterilised cats and dogs multiply almost exponentially. This results in great animal suffering. Unfortunately, there is also animal suffering on Gavdos, although it is not as bad as on the neighbouring Cretan island. There are currently several cat populations on Gavdos. There are no stray dogs. You can find an overview of the situation and ways to help in this article. Every little help is worthwhile for the animals!

#1: The current situation of stray cats on Gavdos

#2: Opportunities to help: Food and medicine boxes in Agios Ioannis and Sarakiniko

#3: Where you can buy cat food and medicine

#4: Donations for the stray animals on Gavdos


#1: The current situation of stray cats on Gavdos

There are two large free-roaming cat populations: in Sarakiniko and in Agios Ioannis right up to Lavrakas. In Agios Ioannis in particular, part-time or permanent residents of the beach try to give the animals a good life. A small group of residents and holidaymakers take care of the cats all year round and every day (even in the important winter months) with heart and dedication, feeding them daily (if food is available), buying and giving medicine. Most of the local supporters live on the island as escapists and have hardly any money. They are therefore largely dependent on donations and support. I have been supporting the helpers for 2 years and regularly buy food and medication.

Unfortunately, the situation in Sarakiniko is more difficult. The animals are in a much worse condition. This is mainly due to the fact that the holiday season in Sarakiniko is much shorter and hardly any permanent campers stay in Sarakiniko, especially in winter. But there are also opportunities to help (see chapter 2).

The island administration keeps an eye on the general situation on the island and participates in sterilisation programmes. In recent years, some animals have been sterilised in order to keep the population under control to some extent. As a result, many cats in Ag. Ioannis have been sterilised. However, not all animals can be sterilised.

Claude likes to hang out around the Livykon Tavern

#2: Opportunities to help: Food and medicine boxes in Agios Ioannis and Sarakiniko

I currently visit the island several times a year. Every time, I bring kilos of dry food, worming tablets, antiseptic ointments, eye creams and everything else a cat needs. If you would like to support the animals on the island, there are very simple ways to help. Food and medicine boxes have been placed for the strays in both Agios Ioannis and Sarakiniko.

In Agios Ioannis, you will find this (red) box slightly below the shower, which is located between the Livykon taverna and Kantina. Right next to this shower, a small path leads to "Fetife Beach". You will find a suitcase there under the trees. If you have food or medication with you, you can leave it in the box. Very important: Be sure to close the box tightly, otherwise the goats will empty the entire contents of the suitcase within a few minutes - including all the medication. Unfortunately, this has all happened before. The goats eat the pills like Smarties.

In Sarakiniko you will find the same suitcase behind the "Gorgona" taverna. There is a small sandy road behind the beach tavernas. You will find the donation suitcase under a tree.

#3: Where you can buy cat food and medicine

If you are already on Gavdos and would like to help spontaneously, you can buy cat food (wet food) directly from the mini-markets. A can costs 1 euro. Any food will help, but it must be said that the tinned food on the island is not of very good quality. If you take the ferry from Paleochora to Gavdos, there are many opportunities to buy higher quality and cheaper food. Good dry food is available in the pet shop "Woof Paleochora". In addition, the two large supermarkets "Synka" and especially "Petrakis" offer a good and large selection. There are also several small shops in Chora Sfakion that offer a small selection of food supplies. You will find a large selection of medicines in the pharmacy "Astousaki Family Pharmacy" in the centre of Paleochora. The staff there will be very open to answer your questions, as one of the pharmacy's employees is part of the animal welfare organisation "Paws Paleochora". You may immediately notice that there are one or two cats lying on the shelves in the pharmacy, sleeping cosily. Accordingly, the pharmacy offers a wide range of medicines for animals. From worming tablets to antiseptic creams for wounds and eyes. They are very knowledgeable and can provide professional advice. The staff also liaise with the helpers on Gavdos and keep an eye on the animal situation on the southernmost island in Europe.

#4: Donations for the cats on Gavdos

In addition the animals also appreciate any financial support. I have set up a donation link where you can make a small contribution to support the animals. All donations collected will be used to buy food and medicine for the cats on Gavdos.

To the donation website:

Do you have any questions and would you like to help the cats on Gavdos? Contact me!


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