Tourist in Croatia? How to Help Street Cats in Split When Traveling

Daniela Rogulj

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Street cats have become a symbol of Croatian coastal cities. Often photographed in a ‘fjaka’ state of mind, cats rule many Split neighborhoods – but that’s not necessarily a good thing. 

Multiplied in the summer months after kitten season in the spring, it’s become increasingly difficult to care for the street cats in Split. And without an animal shelter in the city, much of the work is left to volunteer associations that labor day and night establishing trap-neuter-release programs while their homes act as shelters for cats needing medical attention. Not to mention the thousands waiting to be adopted or fostered. 

So, what can you do if you’re in Split and notice a cat (or several) in need? Some tips from Split animal associations: 

– Perhaps the easiest task as a tourist looking to help street cats in Split is to feed them and leave them water. Unfortunately, summer in Croatia is no walk in the park for humans, let alone street cats with no cool place to call home. However, it’s simple enough to find a container for water and purchase wet or dry food at the local supermarket to leave in the cat-populated areas. 

– If you find a cat or kitten that’s obviously a stray but does not look sick, lost, or confused, it is best to leave it on the street rather than take it to your accommodation if you have no intent on giving it a permanent home. It is not easy to find fosters in Croatia, and while you might think you’re doing the right thing by giving it a safe place for a few days or a week, it will likely end up on the street again after being pampered and acclimated to regular meals. This means it can become disoriented with less chance of survival when back on the street.

– If you find a sick and injured cat or kitten, it’s best to take it to the nearest vet and see if they have the option of keeping it in a cage until it gets better. Most vets have this option for a fee. You can find the phone numbers for vets in Split below. 


And perhaps the best thing you can do? If you’re financially able to donate, support a local animal association. They rely on the donations of others to survive, with little to no help from the city, meaning trap-neuter-release programs, medications, fosters, food, and transport are taken care of thanks to your donations. They also have many cats and kittens available that desperately need a foster family if you someone you know is a candidate. Animal associations may also be able to help you catch a sick or injured street cat that needs to be taken to the vet, though the summer months are hectic with multiple calls a day, so keep this in mind if you don’t hear back right away. Remember, they are volunteers, after all. 

You can find a list of animal associations in the Dalmatia area in our Animal Associations and Shelters in Croatia series HERE

For more, check out our lifestyle section.


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