What ISN’T Morocco famous for? Flavorful food, colorful marketplaces, breathtaking landscapes, and rich cultural tradition are all markers of this north African country.
As is the case in many developing areas, most cities in Morocco have large stray animal populations–specifically, cats. There are several reasons for this, including lack of financial resources and access to veterinary care.
These furry roamers often live in harmony with the local residents and mostly keep to themselves, lounging in doorways and in alleys within the souks and residential areas.
Cats will grab shade where they can–and under a table displaying wares is some prime real estate when trying to beat the Moroccan midday heat. When you need sleep 16 hours per day, a comfy spot is essential. (Marrakesh medina)
Welcome mats, doorways, and sidewalks are all fair game. (Marrakesh, Rabat)
A shaded alleyway will also do the trick: Mama and her teenaged babies catch some zzzs in a blue-washed alleyway in a rural mountain village. (Chefchouene)
In their waking hours, Moroccan cats stay occupied in a variety of ways: searching for food, caring for their young, and finding the ultimate sunny grooming spot. Humans aren’t the only ones who enjoy a good view–this little tabby is camped out at Kasbah des Oudayas, watching the fishermen in the river below. (Kasbah des Oudayas, Rabat)
For most strays, living off the land and handouts from humans make up the majority of their diets. This tuxedoed gentleman on a rural mountain path is no exception–he is no stranger to the tourists that frequent this valley, and knows that if he asks just right he may get a snack. (Atlas Mountains)
Many riads, or guesthouses, either keep cats as pets or welcome local community cats. Bonbon is one of the lucky cats that enjoys a pampered indoor courtyard existence, complete with an adorned water fountain fit for the fanciest of cats. (Marrakesh)
Heading to Morocco? Not to worry, this cafe cat will keep your seat warm until you get here!
See below for a list of organizations dedicated to serving Moroccan street cats; they are taking donations!
Morocco Animal Aid – emergency medical attention
SPANA – spaying & neutering and adoption programs
Or, volunteer your time at your local Humane Society to make an impact in your own community! Most branches have opportunities for volunteers 15+ years of age.