Most people visiting Greece can’t fail to notice the stray cats that seem to be everywhere. Much like squirrels in the UK or cows in the Netherlands, cats are a trademark of Greece. It would be difficult to imagine a Greek taverna without a couple of cats asking for food leftovers. Read on to see what makes Greek cats unique!
Greek cats – A distinctive breed
The only native variety of Greek cats is a naturally ocurring race, which has only delevoped as a formal breed over the past 30 years. The colour of the fur varies a lot, with predominant colours being white, grey and beige. Apparently, male cats very rarely have more than two colours, so muti-coloured Greek cats are almost always female!
Greek cats living on the streets are often taken care of by cat lovers, passers-by, or even by the whole neighbourhood. The cat below lives next to a taverna, and is fed quite frequently.
Greek stray cats can be found everywhere, but they generally prefer places where they can get food. As an example, this cat lives in the garden of the cafe of the Numismatic Museum in Athens. Her name is Athina and she is very friendly towards the staff as well as clients!
Usually, cats love sitting on car engines, where it’s warm. On the contrary, this cat decided to sit on the boot!
Black cats are not so common in Greece, but you can still meet some if you visit. Even in cities, they love wandering around green areas.
Possibly the most common colour for a Greek cat is a mix – a bit of grey, a bit of beige, and a few dark stripes. Some Greek cats look a little like tigers!
Are you afraid of cats? Don’t worry. Greek cats are very unlikely to give you any hassle – they are independent and they like doing their own thing!
Greek cats can be domesticated
Although Greek cats like being independent, they are often picked up from the street at a very young age, and are subsequently domesticated. Don’t get us wrong, though – they still like owning their space and doing exactly what they want!
The cat below is called Thruppence. She absolutely loves wandering around the garden. Sometimes she takes a stroll outside the garden too, but never disappears for more than a couple hours.
Another domestic cat, Pitsi, loves spending time indoor. In fact, her favourite part of the house is the bedroom.
Our friend’s cat Nounou loves getting in any type of container!
Finally, this cat lives near a hotel in South Crete. He loves going in and out of hotel rooms, and feels quite at home sleeping on random beds!
If you are interested in finding out more about Greek cats, you can contact one of the numerous non-profit organisations that help stray animals in Greece, such as SCARS or ZEIL. They welcome donations, and would also appreciate other help if you are staying in Athens for a while!
For more amazing pictures of Greek cats, have a look at our Pinterest board!