2021 - Traveling Cats - Travel Pictures of Cats

Cat from Valletta {Malta}

The Maltese islands arouse thoughts of sun, sea, and beaches. Whilst enjoying the archipelago’s rich offerings in history, culture, and gastronomy, you cannot help but notice the feline members of the local population. 

You will find strays in most corners of the world. The only difference is in Malta and Gozo, the cats are not scraggy and musty. The opposite is true. They are well-fed and in peak condition, with glossy fur and bright eyes. This is thanks to a group of devoted carers who have taken upon themselves to be the guardians of the thousands of stray cats that inhabit the islands

The book Islands of Cats: The Humble Stray Cat Carers of the Maltese Islands by Alexander G. Johnson (author) and Gabriele Ruttloff-Bauer (photographer) is a collection of 232 photographs that capture the cat colonies and their carers in genuine, unfeigned situations. The book also features interesting facts about the localities and the work of the stray cat carers. 

Photo by Klaas Nijs

malta book

Cats from Venice {Italy}

Stray cat of Venice, Italy
Stray cat of Venice, Italy

As you stroll the back alleys of Venice, you wander through narrow passages, running endlessly like a labyrinth. The ground floors of the buildings often lack any signs of human habitation. The walls are decayed, the iron gratings over the windows loose and rusted. Even so, the brass bells by the doorways are wonderfully polished, and the upper floors are often festooned with clean laundry fluttering in the breeze, while lively music pours from windows.

These quiet neighborhoods are home to many cats. While conducting their lives behind the protective walls, Venetians still find time to care for the cats. My first friend in Venice, Luigina, had created a place known as "The Home for Stray Cats." In a small rented warehouse, she took in strays. She told me that she had spent ten years preparing meals and helping cats that had collapsed on the streets.

Stray cats of Venice, Italy
Windowsill cat of Venice, Italy

Normally, a place such as this might be viewed with distaste by its neighbors, but here, in contrast, it receives good-hearted support from many people. In our tour of her "home," Luigina happily introduced me to two toddling kittens, carefully watched by their mother, and said to me, "They are the first kittens born in my home." She was content with her cats, which were visited by countless neighbors dropping by to see the kittens playing in the mild spring sunshine.

Stray cats of Venice, Italy

Cats from Faliraki {Rhodes}

i love Faliraki

The seaside resort town Faliraki is a tourist hotspot on the east coast of the Greek island Rhodes. It's brimming with hotels, bars, nightclubs, restaurants, shops, and... cats. They serve as tableside companions, happy to dine on scraps, and as adorable photo accessories reclining on white stone walls.

faliraki beach

Stray cats especially are a common feature on Rhodes, as on all the other Greek islands. That's because, unlike most of the western world, cats and dogs in Greece are rarely spayed and neutered and often run wild.
faliraki beach
cat on a hot tin roof

Many tourists offer food, water, and love to these cats. But once the tourist season is over, they are left to fend for themselves.

another cat

Luckily, there is a charity that takes care of the stray cats of Rhodes: Kalithea Cats (operating from the city of Kalithea). They mostly feed the cats that are brought to them from all over the island, but they also care for sick and abused animals and try to spay and neuter as many of them as possible. If you ever find a sick or injured animal on Rhodes, it's best to contact the organization or bring the animal directly to them.

do not disturb cat
seaside shop cat

The cats that are most at ease with humans go to Germany to be adopted. An organization called Flying Cats comes to Rhodes to collect animals twice a year. However, despite their efforts, the number of stray cats and dogs is still very high on the Greek islands.

faliraki cats

Photos by Eric Valette

cats of rhodes