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Adopting a Cretan Cat


Crete has many cats, most of them free living.  The main focus of VOCAL is sterilisation, but a proper animal welfare concept only works, if cats that have been hand reared or rescued and nursed back to health are given a permanent home if it is believed that they would not easily survive being put back on the street. 

Sometimes kittens are found dumped in dustbins or in boxes by the roadside, sometimes they are brought to us as orphans.  VOCAL takes in kittens and adult cats found with sickness or injury.  All these cats and kittens are cared for in volunteers’ homes.  If kittens have been hand reared, we must find a permanent home for them when they 8 weeks of age or older.  When adult cats are rescued and cared for sometimes it is not possible to return them to the street because they would not be able to cope.  In these cases we try to find a permanent home for them.  Unfortunately, it is not possible to find enough homes on Crete, so we have to include other countries in our rehoming programme.

We have built up a network of committed animal welfare workers in Germany, Holland, Austria and Switzerland who help us.  They find permanent homes for our cats and if necessary they place them with volunteers who foster them in their own homes until a permanent home is found.  Many of these people are actively involved in animal welfare for their own country and other countries too. 

If you would like to know more about adopting a cat or kitten from VOCAL, please contact Dorle Heaton john.heaton(at) or Virginia at vswain(at)

Read some of our Success Stories...                           



Maybe you don’t want the long-term commitment of owning your own cats, (cats can live up to 20 years!).  Maybe you have cats of your own and want to give other cats the chance of having a loving home too.  Fostering is a very rewarding thing to do and is a really valuable contribution towards animal welfare. You will be supported throughout but you must be prepared to deal with problems too as many of these kittens or cats have already gone through quite a lot.
We frequently need the help of foster carers in Germany. So, if you feel you are in a position to provide a foster home for cats, have the time to look after them, are not afraid to deal with any problems and preferably have some experience with cats, please contact:

In Germany

Silke Becker: si1lk(at)  or

Patricia Hammerschmidt: pattijo(at) 

In Switzerland 

Annette Bauman: kubatec(at)

Some of the things you need to consider:

• Do you have any experience of caring for cats?
• Have you got the time to look after cats?
• If you have your own animals, do you have a separate room that can accommodate the cats until they have settled?
• Are you prepared to take them to the vet if they are ill?
• Are you able to pay for their care, whilst they are fostered with you?
• Can you give this commitment until they are rehomed?


A personal story:

"When my cat Jeanny had to be put down at the age of 17 years, it was clear for me that I did not want another cat again very soon.  However, I couldn't imagine life without a cat either. Therefore I decided to foster a cat for a certain period of time. In the past I had already once rehomed a cat. Friends of mine brought me some poor cats from time to time, which needed to find a home. One was rescued from a rubbish bin, the other one was found in a bag by the side of the road (yes, even in Germany people do this!!!) or I rescued dogs or cats from unsuitable homes myself.  A foster home asked me to take 3 cats from Italy that needed rehoming.  Both my dogs and my boyfriend weren't very happy when 3 cats arrived!   I found really good homes for these three cats. I would have loved to keep them but I realised that if I had my own cat again, I wouldn't be able to do anything for stray animals any more.  Therefore I wanted to just be a foster home and not have my own cat any more.

In the past I have had animals from Spain, Italy and Greece. Now I have 2 cats of my own, my two dogs, two rabbits and a horse and I have had to promise my family not to have any more animals. However, I will still be a foster carer!

It upsets me when I ask other people to be a foster home, before they have an animal of their own, and they answer that they can't do it because they would want to keep all the animals. So would I, but at least I can help other animals to find a good new home. I love all animals, not just my own!"