Welcome to the website of Catsnip
Over the past weeks I have had many emails from some lovely people holidaying in Sicily who have come across cats and raised their concern. This is the advice I give them. First of all, before you consider removing the cat from its territory, unless it is obviously in need of veterinary care, do consider: does this cat belong to a colony? Is there a gattara (cat lady) who regularly feeds them?
For those who decide they want to bring a cat to their homes (see the story of Katarna in my book The Great Sicilian Cat Rescue) this is a complex and usually expensive action to take. There are strict regulations for animals entering the UK for example. The feline must have an anti rabies inoculation and then wait in situ for twenty-one days. Documentation must be obtained via an ASL office and there are other injections required a few days before the cat can leave with its approved Pet Passport. The agency Relocat, based in Rome, transports cats efficiently and with all care.
For veterinary care contact me at the Catsnip address for details.
You will find more information in my practical chapter at the end of The Great Sicilian Cat Rescue and also useful contacts.
Catsnip was set up in 2002 following the discovery that the Sicilian method of controlling the population of feral cats in the mistaken belief this would ‘solve’ the problem was by killing them.With funding raised from organisations and individuals, Catsnip makes several catch/neuter/return trips in Sicily with vets from America, Germany and the UK. The organisation is now eight years old and entering a new phase. This will involve working at a slower but I believe, more productive pace, over the year rather than just a week or two. I am also planning educational trips with a British vet to teach local Sicilian vets modern ways of neutering.
Catsnip has several main aims:
- To pursue a catch/neuter/return programme of feral cats in Sicily on a longer term to alter the mindset of local people particularly young people.
- To attempt to persuade them to see animals as sentient beings capable of the same feelings as human beings and also with needs and rights which should be respected particularly because they cannot speak for themselves.
- To gain permission to take vets to Sicily on an official basis for catch/neuter/return sessions.
- To address the running of kennels and catteries in tourist areas, where animals live in atrocious conditions.
Numerous visitors to Mediterranean countries have found their holiday punctuated by trips to feed hungry feral cats. Some try to save injured and sick felines. Not many have gone to the lengths of Jenny Pulling with her one-woman campaign, Catsnip. Set against the beautiful and sinister backdrop of Sicily and its enigmatic people, the book charts Jenny's journey as passionate defender of the island's often abused and ill-treated cats.