I am staying at the Hotel Berulia in Brela and have been feeding a mother,father and five kittens about (10 weeks old). Do they get rid of the kittens in the winter when there are no guests?
I know my airline takes pets, but this may be very traumatic for them and it would be difficult to leave some. I have 5 days till I go back to Zagreb for a flight back on Mon, so there is not a lot of time. Can you help or give me advice?
G., UK Visitor to Brela (a coastal resort on the Dalmatian mainland), 14th July 2014
I am sorry I couldn't reply to your email earlier, and obviously I am now too late to advise you before your return home.. I have been away, and am just catching up with the backlog.
During the summer, cats in the tourist resorts are generally well looked after by kind people like yourself. In the normal course of things, the mother will gradually find alternative sources of food for her kittens, and set them on their way to independent living. It is a good thing if the mother is given the opportunity to keep her kittens long enough to teach them what they need to know, and to bring about the natural separation.
Although they are dependent on humans to a great extent, cats are also very canny, and usually find ways of ensuring their survival. The main problem facing them here as elsewhere is the question of feeding increasing numbers if they are allowed to breed without any control. Where cat numbers are considered excessive, then sadly there is little help provided for them: there is no provision for sterilizing them, except privately by individuals, and very few catteries where they can be taken in and given basic shelter and support. Obviously one of Eco Hvar's aims is to remedy this situation, at least on Hvar.
I hope it will reassure you to think that 'your' kittens will almost certainly be fed and petted through the summer, so that by the time autumn comes they will be mature enough to hold their own.
I very much hope that you enjoyed your stay in Brela, one of the Dalmatian coast's many beautiful places.
Eco Hvar 23rd July 2014
Thank you for your reassuring reply. I managed to find out most if the information with regards to the cats. Although the airline I was travelling with did carry animals, the problem was the pet passport. If they are too young to get the rabies jag (which by the size of them I think they were), they would have to go in to quarantine for 6 months. The nearest one where I live is 3 hours away, so it would be difficult to maintain a relationship with them. It would also have been extremely traumatic removing them from their mother and then placing them in the cattery for 6 months. U.K. is very strict, I could have sorted it, if they could have got the rabies blood test, as you only have to wait 21days, and I would have got someone to look after them for this time. It was not to be, and yes it would be better if there was a neutering program - but this costs money and sometimes countries have other priorities.
I loved Brela and the Dalmatian coastline was spectacular - unfortunately I didn't make it to Hvar - maybe next time! I wish you well in your venture, and if there is anything I can help with (I will check your website again for updates) let me know and I will try to help.
G., 24th July 2014