Marrakech is crawling with cats. In fact, everywhere I went during three weeks touring Morocco – with the exception of the Sahara Desert – there were cats. They looked well fed and even the strays around the tourist sites and historic buildings seemed to be able to scratch out a meal from some kind soul. Skilled scavengers, I guess.
I started taking photos of the different cats I saw, but found that after a while there were just too many. There were black cats, grey cats, orange cats, white cats, and once, in Rabat, even what looked like a pure-bred Siamese. Like cats everywhere, they were playful, sleepy, hungry, keen for a pat (I resisted that temptation) or to rub up against a tourist’s ankles.
The colour and chaos of Morocco was fascinating and I’ll have more of it on upcoming blog posts, but for now – because it is Friday and I am time-poor today – here’s just a few of the cats I met in Morocco, and some tips on how you can help them.
Travellers to Morocco often want to help the many homeless cats they see. One way of doing this is by donating to SPANA, an international animal welfare charity with a branch in Marrakech. They treat, rescue, and care for stray cats and dogs (as well as working animals like donkeys, mules, and horses; more on that in a later blog). SPANA also offers affordable veterinary treatment for low income pet owners, and runs adoption programs for rescued cats, helping find caring homes for them. While most tourists adopt an animal and take it home, donating money or food helps SPANA to continue its vital work. Donating cat food helps free up funds to be used for other work, such as vaccinating, spaying and treating for fleas and worms.
A Glass Half Full travelled in Morocco as a guest of Sydney-based Morocco specialist tour company By Prior Arrangement.