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What is Cat Rescue Samos?
Cat Rescue Samos is the international tradename used by the three officially registered charities: Greek Cat Rescue in Greece, Samos Katzenhilfe e.V. in Germany and Stichting Cat Rescue Samos in the Netherlands.
Who are you?
Our team is formed of unpaid volunteers, helpers and cat lovers based in Greece and Europe.
100% of our work is undertaken through much needed donations.
Where do you operate?
At this time, we work on the Aegean island of Samos, Greece but we have close co-operation with our sister organisations around Greece. We have a dedicated cat shelter in Samos.
Where is Samos?
Samos is a Greek island in the eastern Aegean Sea and the 9th most populated island in Greece. The island is 43km long and 13km wide.
What are the objectives of Cat Rescue Samos?
We have four main objectives – sterilising street cats both male and female, medical help for sick and injured cats, wintertime feeding and offering adoptions of ex rescue cats to new homes. We also have sub objectives to work with the local population and also with local authorities in Samos.
How many street cats are there in Samos?
Some estimates put the number of street (stray) cats in Samos around 30,000. Many years of uncontrolled breeding and a lack of veterinary activity means that street cats can be found in every corner of the island.
How do the street cats survive?
Many street cats are born, live and die, living a life of uncertainty and having no dedicated care or food supply. Historically in Greece, it was very common to see feral cats living out of garbage bins and finding food wherever they could, often going long periods without food or water.
Our aim is to give them a better chance of a better life and a better health, especially on the long run.
Are all cats in Samos stray cats?
Certainly not – there are many cat loving local people in Samos who have pet cats both inside and outside houses. It is now law in Greece for pet owners to microchip their cat, and we always check for microchip identification if a cat is handed to us.
I see cats in Samos with part of the left ear clipped, what does that mean, is it fighting?
This indicates that the cat has been previously sterilised – it is now a standard technique used by vets to identify street cats that have been operated. It is done during the operation and causes no harm or pain to the cat, but helps us and local people to identify which cats have been operated.
Sterilising:TO THE TOP
How many cats are sterilised every year by Cat Rescue Samos?
In 2016, we sterilised around 520 street/stray cats in Samos, both male and female. The vast majority of these cats live in the towns and villages around Samos and were caught and returned to their “home” place after the operations (the so called TNR, Trap Neuter, Return). These cats can be identified by a left ear “clip” which is done during the operation and causes no harm or pain to the cat, but helps us and local people identify which cats have been operated. Each year we operate around 500 cats.
Do you sterilise male and female cats?
Yes, but we do not sterilise cats that are too young, sick, weak or injured or female cats that are pregnant.
I live in Samos and want to sterilise my cat. Can you help?
Sadly no, our objective is to look after cats that live on the streets – pet cats must be seen by local vets.
Who performs the operations?
All vet work is conducted by professional qualified vets and supported by vet nurses from Europe and in Samos. Our volunteers do not undertake any operations.
We operate all year with our sterilising programme, with visiting vets from Europe coming to Samos around 4-5 times a year.
I live in Samos and want the street cats in my area to be sterilised.
Yes!! Please let us know where you live and we will try and help.
Can I borrow one of your trap cages?
Sadly, some people have borrowed equipment from us and it has never been returned. Many of our professional cages are very expensive and paid by donations, so as such we do not borrow our equipment.
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Why do you feed the cats only in wintertime?
During the period May to October, Samos is very busy with visitors and tourists and many people on holiday can often be seen with a bag of cat food! Every local business and tavern will be open and street cats find it easier to get food and water. Many local people who have summer houses also feed cats.
However, during the wintertime, street cats find it hard to find food and we take dry food to as many locations as possible, as donations allow.
Where do you feed?
We feed where street cats can be found which is often (sadly) next to garbage areas in villages. We call these our “feeding stations”.
Ideally, we would like to make these places official feeding places with signs and permanent feeding bowls, but at this time we fear a tiny minority of the local population that may poison street cats. We try to give food in clean dry areas but it is not always possible to provide feeding bowls.
We do not feed on private land, doorsteps, outside the houses or vulnerable areas that may give greater risk to the street cats.
How can I help you feed the cats in the wintertime?
If you live in Samos, visiting Samos or are on holiday in the wintertime, do let us know and we can tell you if we have a feeding station near you.
How can I help?TO THE TOP
How can I make a donation?
We always need donations to carry on our work. You can make a donation via Paypal or a bank transfer (click HERE for donation page). We also have many official collection boxes around Samos.
What medicines can I send you?
We always need medicines and medical supplies for our work. If you have access to these types of products, please contact us by EMAIL.
Do you need volunteers?
We welcome extra helping hands to work at our shelter – if you think that you would like to come to Samos and help us, please let us know and we can discuss possibilities. Send us a EMAIL now!
What else can I do in my own country?
Please tell all your family and friends about our work and share our stories and information on Social Media.
Maybe you have the chance to undertake marketing for us at events… please contact us by EMAIL!
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Should I feed the cats at my hotel / apartment?
Yes, but please respect the owner of the property and feed in a quiet area away from other guests and never leave mess or garbage behind.
Should I feed the cats at local restaurants / tavernas?
We suggest not to actually feed within restaurants or taverns and not to drop human food onto the floor. Please take any cat food to quiet areas well away from restaurants. Remember that many human foods such as onions, tomatoes, garlic and spices can be harmful to cats. Remember meat and fish bones can be dangerous too. Think about fresh water as well.
Can I take the cat to my hotel room?
Absolutely no!! Whilst the cat will think it is a great pleasure at the time, it may upset the hotel owner and cause allergies to guests staying in your room after you.
I’ve seen a cat injured by a car accident.
Our volunteers cannot provide a 24 hour emergency service, so if you see an injured cat please try to take it to a local vet.
I have found a kitten/s without a mother and they are crying.
Please leave them alone initially – it is very possible that the mother cat is away hunting or seeking food. Touching them may also cause the mother to reject them. Do not allow children to play with them as toys.
Monitor the situation after 24 hours, it is very possible the mother cat will return.
I have seen a cat with bad eyes / eye infection.
Many street cats that live in large communities will suffer eye infections from time to time. Treatment is simple if treated every day, but if a street cat is wild or angry, it is not possible to help in such situations.
Simple antibiotic eye drops (called Tobrex) are available cheaply from pharmacies and if you are able, and the cat is calm, it can help and recover infected eyes.
How do I know if a street cat is sterilised?
Street cats sterilised by us usually will have a left ear “clip” (the top section of the left ear will be cut straight). It is common use to do so with sterilised street cats to avoid repeated surguries! These will usually be the more healthy looking cats.
Who will feed the cats at my hotel / apartment after I leave?
During the summertime, many guests will feed hotel cats, but remember not everyone likes cats or may have an allergy, so this cannot be certain. We are unable to take over feeding duties at specific locations.
Please ask your hotel owner if they would be happy to feed the cats after you have left, maybe you can buy cat food for this purpose.
Shelter:TO THE TOP
Why do you have a shelter?
From the early days of our work in Samos, it was clear we needed a base for our work and a place to care for cats that needed aftercare and could not be returned to a life on the streets.
We opened our current shelter on 17 March 2015.
What cats stay at your shelter?
Ex rescue cats – cats that have had a medical problem, orphan kittens that we have bottle fed or cats that cannot survive with a life on the streets.
Where is your shelter?
Close to Samos Airport. We have a wonderful 600m2 walled secure garden and also a house as our base.
Can I visit your shelter?
Yes, during the period May to October you can visit our shelter usually every day in the hours 15.00 to 18.00
Wintertime, by prior appointment only.
Can I bring anything with me to your shelter?
Yes!! You are welcome to bring anything that you think would be useful to our work and help our hard working volunteers.
Can I help at the shelter?
Yes!! If you live in Samos, visiting Samos or are on holiday we always welcome helping hands or even just someone to give love to our shelter cats.
Can I adopt a cat from your shelter?
Yes!! Many of the cats at our shelter will be ready for adoption (but not all our cats), and if you think you can offer a great forever home, we can discuss the possibilities with you when you visit.
Do you have a cat hotel for my pet cat?
At this time, no. We cannot look after pet cats even for short periods.
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I have fallen in love with a cat on holiday in Samos and want to take it home.
Yes, it is possible, but vaccinations for Rabies must be made 21 days before travel and if the cat is previously vaccinated, it can come home with you. If vaccinations have not been made, the cat may have to travel at a later date (we can help with a flight escort).
Could I take any cat I see on the street in Samos home with me?
Absolutely NOT… many cats seen in villages and towns maybe owned privately and we suggest adoptions are only made from our shelter.
What age can cats be adopted?
Only cats over 4 months of age can be adopted.
What cats are available for adoption?
Cat Rescue Samos does not make every cat that lives on the street available for adoption. We care for a number of ex rescue cats every day at our shelter that we think would make ideal pets in forever homes. We have a number of Foster Homes (run by our volunteers) where we keep cats that need extra care.
I want to adopt, will you ask me any more information?
Yes, once you have asked about giving a Samos Cat a new home, we will ask you some questions about your home and lifestyle to ensure the cat will go to a good home. Serious owners will accept that this is an important part of the adoption process to ensure the complete welfare of the cat. These questions will include things like previous cat ownership, hours the cat will be alone, access to garden etc.
How can I find out more about the cat?
We list the cats we have available for adoption on our webpages and on Facebook. Every cat has a fact sheet where we detail all the things you may need to know including character, type of home required etc.
Where is the cat living now?
Most of the cats we list on our websites will be in our own shelter or Foster Homes.
Is the cat in good health?
Yes, all the cats we have listed for adoption are in good health now. If a cat has had any previous medical problems we will detail that on the adoption information sheet. We can obviously only know about any current medical conditions and cannot be responsible for any future illness or poor health.
Is the cat blood tested?
Generally no, as we think that this is not necessary unless the cat has been very ill or is showing signs of serious illness. We can arrange blood tests for any cats using the local vet in Samos, but there is a high cost associated with this which will have to be paid by a new owner.
What is a “Pet Passport”?
A Pet Passport is a legal requirement for any cats travelling between countries in the EU. Cats travelling from Samos to other countries must be issued with a valid Pet Passport before it can travel. The Passport includes the microchip number and information like the new owners personal details, records of vaccinations, examinations and treatments.
Will the Microchip be valid in my country?
Yes, but we suggest that the cat should be seen by your own vet as soon as possible in your own country to confirm Microchip registration.
What checks has the vet in Samos undertaken?
All the cats we have listed for adoption will have seen the vet for any previous problems, sterilisation and issue of the Pet Passport. During issue of the Pet Passport, the vet will examine the cat for general health issues and confirm that the cat is in “good health” before it can travel.
How will the cat get to Samos Airport?
Our volunteers will take the cat in a suitable and sure cat box to Samos Airport, and meet the Flight Escort at the Airport.
Who will take the cat on the airplane to my country?
A “Flight Escort” is the person who will escort the cat for the journey to the destination airport. Normally, we arrange and find the escort and ask them to take the cat within their flight booking. Costs for taking cats on flights are dependent on the airline. Some airlines take cats for free whilst others ask high costs. We will always try to find the cheapest way of travelling.
How does the cat travel on the aeroplane?
Most cats travel in the special “pet area” of luggage compartment of the aeroplane where it is heated and pressurised and dark. This is good for the cat as it will not get stressed. Travelling in the passenger cabin can be very stressful with noise. Also some passengers can have allergies to cats so we do not suggest this option. Some airlines do not take pets and we have no control of this problem.
How will I get the cat at the airport?
The cat will be delivered to Flight Escort on arrival. Most airports have a special collection point for animals and the flight escort will collect the cat from this area. The Flight Escort will then pass through the exit and you can meet the escort and the cat as you would a passenger.
How much do I have to pay?
We would love to offer all cats for free, but there are costs for issue of the Pet Passport (about 100e), sterilising (cost varies) and a cat carrying box (normally around 20e). We therefore welcome for some of these costs to be covered so we can help more Samos cats in the future. We will inform you of the exact cost (but around 140e for a sterilised cat, possibly plus flight fare)) for the cat you are interested in.
Are there any extra to pay?
Normally no – however as many airlines ask different costs for cat transportation, we will have to discuss the cost of the flight with you when we know the flight details. You can of course, make a further donation.
How do I make that payment to Cat Rescue Samos?
We will inform you during the adoption process, but either via Bank Transfer or via PayPal.. You can of course, make an additional donation too!!
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How can I contact you?
Do you have a telephone number?
We hope to have a dedicated telephone number during 2017.
Can you call me?
Sadly no, as all our work is covered by donations, we cannot afford to call international or European calls. We hope you understand we only offer communication by Facebook or email. In very specific cases it is possible that our volunteers in the Netherlands, Germany of Greece contact you by phone.