The Cats in Protaras, Cyprus
Our trip started out with lots of things to do with Darren’s beekeeping, and it has slowly changed to having lots of things to do with cats!
We have enjoyed our time here in Pernera, Cyprus. There are a lot of cats here. There are actually too many cats. It is estimated that there are 2 million cats in Cyprus. That is a lot of cats for an island country that only has a population of 1 million people! Cyprus also has issues with animal cruelty. Animals who are seen as pests are sometimes poisoned, and sometimes treated badly.
When Darren and I saw how many cats there were along the sea front in Protaras, Cyprus, we wanted to do something to help. Unlike the cat colony near our rented apartment in Torremolinos, Spain, where most of the cats had been spayed or neutered, there were fewer cats that we were seeing here in Protaras that had their ear marked to indicate that they had been fixed.
I did a quick search online to find out who was working with the local feral cat populations and came across a project called the Famagusta Cat Care Project. (If you read my previous post about the Ghost Town of Famagusta, you may be wondering about the name. In addition to being the name of a city, Famagusta is also the name of one of the 6 districts of Cyprus, and where we’re staying is in the Famagusta District.)
Famagusta Cat Care Project was founded and is run by Lynn Gandy and a small group of volunteers. They feed some of the cat colonies in the region and also try to keep the cats healthy by getting them to the vet if there is a serious issue. They also help to re-home the stray cats to homes within Cyprus, and also in the UK and Europe. But the main goal of the project is to trap the feral cats and have them spayed or neutered, as this is the only way to control the population. The fixed cats are then returned to their colony.
Lynn and her group are working with some of the local hotels to create a program where there are feeding stations, so the guests can enjoy the cats, and at the same time to get all of the cats in the area of the hotel spayed or neutered. This is a big job, and as you can imagine, it takes time and funding.
During the busy tourist season, a lot of people are around and feeding the stray cats. However, in the off season, there are fewer people, but still a lot of cats that need food and care.
In addition to Lynn’s project, there are several individuals who live in these resort areas of Cyprus year round and feed the cats as well. (Shout out to Rob, great to meet you and Hayley! 🙂 )
In addition to hanging out with the cats and giving them some love, Darren and I are helping Lynn with her project. Famagusta Cat Care Project has a Facebook page you can “like” to follow Lynn’s progress (Famagusta Cat Care Project.) Please like and share her page, and this post.
In addition, there is a PayPal account where you can donate funds. The money goes towards the spay/neuter program, vet care and food. Please donate to help Lynn and her group to help the cats.
You can donate on PayPal, using the email “email@example.com” to donate. Thanks!