Planning a vacation to Greece? I sure hope you like cats! The cat population can be quite overwhelming for someone who is not prepared for it. While there are many stray cats, there are great numbers of cats that do belong to people. In Greece, much of the population do not believe in keeping cats in shelters or having them put down. The cats keep the mouse, rat, and lizard population down. For the people of Greece, they are simply part of everyday life. These cats are used to human interaction and are not easily intimidated. So what should you do if you are scared or allergic to felines?
Avoid Outdoor Restaurants
The street cats of Greece mainly hang out in areas where food is served outside. They do this because people have fed them in that area. They have no issue walking right up to a table and rubbing your leg hoping for a bite of food. Most restaurants let them come and go as they please as they keep the rodent numbers down around their food supply.
Avoid Street Strolling at Dusk and Dawn
Cats naturally are most active in the early morning and late evening hours. This is due to their prey being most active at these times as well. You will likely see cats flocking to areas that serve breakfast and pubs that have outdoor settings for late night entertainment.
Avoid the Heat Season
Typically, outdoor female cats go in to heat the most between February and October. The Spring months being the most active for breeding, as with many other species. The best months to visit Greece to avoid large numbers of cats would then be November, December, and January. This isn’t the case with all cats. Indoor/Outdoor females who are not spayed can go into heat as much as once a month and it will last up to 5 days.
Greece has been the target of many other countries for animal cruelty and lack of education when it comes to both cats and dogs. The population of cats living outdoors alone becomes an issue when you find malnourished bodies, diseases spreading, and aggression between the cats. Many foundations are trying to raise awareness of the issue by simply requesting people spay and neuter their cats. This will cut down on disease, aggression, and even malnutrition. There is nothing wrong with having felines live side by side outdoors and the cats having their freedom, but it is an issue when they are getting abused.
There are, however, very nice and generous people who will readily feed these cats every day. They will even bring in injured felines to a veterinarian to get checked on as well. Healthy, well fed, and enjoying the outdoors sounds like a very good life for a cat. It certainly beats living in a small cage, trapped indoors with minimal human interaction. Cage life is no life for a cat, but neither is fighting, spreading disease or starving to death on the streets.