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Home > Cats > Why Are There So Many Cats in Greece? History & Facts

Why Are There So Many Cats in Greece? History & Facts

Red cat looks at the sea early in the morning, Santorini island, Greece

Maybe you’ve seen it for yourself, or maybe you’ve heard about it from a friend or an acquaintance on the internet, but Greece has a lot of cats! It may seem like no matter where you roam in the country, at least one four-legged traveler is taking the same path as you. As surprising as it may be for some, it isn’t all that uncommon for cats to wander around the streets of Greece. But why? If you are curious to learn more, keep scrolling.


What’s the Deal with Greece’s Cats?

Red cat relaxing on the wall during sunset, Santorini, Greece
Image By: Fotyma, Shutterstock

Most of the cats living in Greece are strays. They behave like wildcats in some ways, such as marking out their territories, but they are not feral. They are domesticated in the sense that they come into contact with humans regularly and are used to them and perhaps even receive food and attention from these people. But they do not officially belong to anyone, so they are strays.

Although they technically do not belong to anyone, they tend to be unofficially adopted by the communities in which they live, making them community cats. The people in Greece often accept the community cats into their area, leaving them food and water. Some people even pay for the cat’s medical treatment when needed or to have them spayed or neutered to control the stray cat population.

Some may consider the community cats a nuisance, but many see them as friendly cohabitants. Still, too many unsupervised stray cats can cause problems such as overpopulation, so efforts are being made to manage Greece’s community cats.

Efforts Made to Help Greece’s Community Cats

While most of Greece’s community cats are friendly and healthy, there is still a need to manage the population. Thankfully, several groups are dedicated to monitoring and caring for Greece’s community cat population, such as Animal Action Greece (formerly the Greek Animal Welfare Fund) and Nine Lives Greece.

One significant way that volunteers are helping the community cats of Greece is through TNRM.

What is TNRM?

TNRM stands for trap, neuter, return, and monitor. This method is a humane way to have cats fixed and vaccinated before releasing them back to their regular life. Once the cat is released, it will be monitored by a community member to ensure its continued well-being.

Having the community cats fixed and vaccinated is an effective way to keep them healthy and promote the well-being of neighboring cats that may not have been fixed or vaccinated yet. It has been shown that if 75% of community cats are sterilized and vaccinated, it can significantly stabilize the local cat population. When a cat population is stabilized, there is less noise, spraying, and fighting. This will also provide more space, shelter, and food while reducing their chances of contracting diseases.

TNRM is a great way to manage a cat population without permanently removing a cat from its home. It benefits the individual cat, the neighboring cats, and the people who live in the area.

How to Respond If a Greece Community Cat Approaches You

Santorini Stray Ginger Cat
Image Credit: farec, Shutterstock

If you are in Greece, there is a good chance that you will be approached by a community cat sooner or later. While it is always advised to be cautious when introducing yourself to an unfamiliar stray cat for the first time, there is generally no need for worry or concern. Greece’s community cats tend to be extremely friendly.

They are already well-adjusted to humans and will likely not be all that wary of you. If you are feeling up to it, you can take a moment to give the roaming cat some attention.



There are many cats in Greece, and they tend to be incredibly charming. If you plan to travel to Greece, you will likely come across one of Greece’s many community cats. To learn more about what is being done to help Greece’s community cats, you can check Animal Action Greece and Nine Lives Greece for more information.

Featured Image Credit: Santorines, Shutterstock

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