Volunteer to Help Syros Cats

New Volunteers

We welcome volunteers - singles or couples, who are fit, healthy and independent and would like to come for a minimum of a month to help with all aspects of cat care.

We offer bed, breakfast and utilities, in exchange for about five hours work a day on five days a week. If you have training or experience as a veterinary nurse, or feral cat experience, you'd be particularly welcome, but we're happy to take any cat lovers, so long as you are prepared to get your hands dirty, be reliable, self-sufficient and can turn up on time.

We're looking for helpers who already have some work experience. If you're under twenty-five, it's unlikely you'd be able to demonstrate the level of self-sufficiency and initiative that we need.

We usually have about four volunteers at any one time, often from very different backgrounds and all parts of the world and you need to be tolerant and accepting of differences in customs, race, gender and belief, that you may encounter here and in Greece.

Volunteers help to socialise kittens for adoption

You will have basic accommodation on our campus, with en-suite facilities and simple cooking arrangements, or you may be in the main house, where you'd have your own bedroom, but share a kitchen and bathroom.

If you'd like to apply, fill out the enquiry form and tell us when you'd like to come, along with a summary of your work and any relevant cat care experience.

Volunteers are responsible for getting here at their own expense and will need to purchase their food for the duration of their stay.

If you have a non-EU passport, Schengen rules apply - only stays of ninety days in each six months permitted for the whole of the Schengen zone.

If you don't have EU health cover, you should purchase travel insurance.

Digital nomads are welcome, but you need to be able to work flexibly on-line, as our hours and shifts are at fixed times. We specially welcome volunteers who are prepared to stay for longer periods but regret we cannot accommodate children or pets.


You can read our job description, to help you understand what is involved.

Mornings

  • Be ready to start at 8:00 each morning.
  • Give breakfast to special needs or cage restrained cats
  • Feed outside cats.
  • Feed the street and beach cats.
  • Let out other cats, giving treatment first if necessary – tablets, sunscreen, cleaning, eye drops.
  • Collect all food bowls from cages, shed, run and boxes. Also from in the house. Collect in bowl for washing.
  • Put left over food out in plates for outside cats.
  • Take out and clean litter trays, replenish cat litter if required. Take care not to mix litter trays – each cat has their own. Shake bedding and change if necessary. Wash litter trays if necessary. Sweep around litter trays in the house.
  • Hose heavily soiled bedding and put in washing bin to be laundered.
  • Sweep cages, shed, run and boxes. Mop if necessary.
  • Clean and replenish water bowls. Replace in cages and other places.
  • Report anything unusual – cats sick, not eating etc.
  • Tie bags of litter and put in wheelbarrow for later disposal.
  • Wash and rinse dishes, leave to drain dry. Collect anything that has blown away – feeding bowls, bedding, rubbish.
  • Sweep terrace, garden, walls and area around shed and run. Keep area clean and tidy. Put things away…
  • Make sure food bins have enough biscuit for later feeding, including those in the kitchen.
  • Put laundry in washing machine if necessary and hang to dry.
  • Collect when dry from line and store in cat bedding containers.
  • Help with and clear up after breakfast.
  • Sweep and mop kitchen floor when necessary.

After Breakfast

There will be sick cats that need cuddles, cats that need playing with or socialising. Help might be needed with trips to the vet. There’s always gardening to do, we need to keep weeds down as they harbour ticks and mosquitos. If you have craft skills, there is always sewing to be done or jewellery to make, or other products we can sell. Let us know if you have a special skill.

We always need nice pictures for social media, but our situation is not always straightforward as laws in Greece are strict, so please talk to us before posting anything, especially about adoptions. We are not allowed to call our place a shelter! Which has a different meaning in Greek.

We welcome visitors, so please be ready to engage with them and show them round.

It’s not OK to pick up sick or damaged cats without checking with us first. Sometimes they are already being looked after and we have to be careful how we introduce new cats, especially if they are unvaccinated and might be sick.

If you are around in the day, please check outside water bowls. Our cats are on dried food and need plenty of water to digest it. Also, they drink a lot when it’s hot.

Evenings

  • Be back at base an hour before dusk.
  • If there are kittens in the kitten house they need to be put back in the shed by 5:00pm as it gets hot.
  • Take dry food bowls into lower feeding area.
  • Clean litter trays of any caged cats, check and top up their water.
  • Help with medications, some cats may also require cleaning and grooming.
  • Collect cats into correct places for the night.
  • Prepare and serve food, finishing with the outside cats and street cats.
  • While cats are occupied with food, take rubbish to bin.

General

  • Keep whole area clean and tidy, sweep paths, help with watering if necessary and tidying plants and pots.
  • There may be times when we need to catch or trap feral cats for neutering, prepare boxes and help in the surgery.
  • Help unload the cat food, litter and other supplies from the car as necessary.
  • Keep the volunteer flat clean and tidy; inside and around the terrace area.
  • Cuddle cats as much as possible! Share your cute photos on Social Media.

There may also be rescuing, trapping and neutering requirements.

Thank You


Further Information

Please note we have delicate drains. Don’t put coffee grounds or anything else down the sink. You can put small amounts of loo paper in the toilet, but please nothing else.

Our water is metered, so please conserve as much as possible. Use plugs in the sink to wash dishes and put used water on the plants.

Please also be careful with electricity. It’s expensive here and wiring is not as efficient as you may be used to. The house and storage area water is solar heated, please ask if you need to boost on a cloudy day. Don’t go out and leave heaters, air conditioners or water heaters on, it’s likely to blow the power and everyone will be without electricity! Any money we spend on electricity equals sick cats we may not be able to help or feed!

Please wear gloves when cleaning litter trays and be careful if handling sick cats, not to transfer infection. Wash your hands often.

We have scorpions here and snakes, they can give a nasty sting and bite, so please wear shoes and be mindful if moving stones or gardening. Wear gloves. Cats have 'sharp bits, ask if you need assistance.

If you are a mosquito or bug magnet get some repellant spray and use regularly. Houses are netted, so keep doors closed to keep unwanted bugs out.

Health & Safety

Whilst we make every effort to keep our premises and grounds safe, we would like to make clear, that volunteers and visitors come at their own risk. This is a farm type environment and as such can be unpredictable. Volunteers will get a health and safety briefing on arrival and should not take on tasks they do not feel comfortable with. We rescue feral cats, who are not always grateful!

Expectations

We expect all volunteers and visitors to be respectful of others that they meet here and tolerant of differences in age, gender, ethnicity, ability, culture and belief.

Each applicant needs to send the form separately.