Cats Rule in Dubrovnik

Cats waiting

I’m not the first person to notice that Dubrovnik has an amazing array of cats … lot and lots of cats. Calicos, tabbies – you name it!

Port cities and cats seem to go hand in hand … uh, paw in hand. Whether it’s because of the lure of handouts from local fishermen, or the potential for scoring a tasty rat, the centuries-old tradition continues here in Dubrovnik.

Sleeping cat

The cats seem to be independent citizens. They’re not skittish like feral cats, nor moody like domesticated cats. Basically they are very dignified. They’re happy to sit (or sleep) beside you and ask for nothing. They will walk beside you, but not sashay between your feet. If you want to pet them, they’ll allow it. And if you shoo them away, they will saunter off … with dignity.



We're Terri and James Vance - high school sweethearts who went on to international careers and became world nomads. Today, 65 countries later, we're still traveling ... and still in love. Check out Our Story for more of the backstory at

35 thoughts

  1. Actually port cities have more population of cats because in earlier times, sailors used to take cats along with them. Cats would kill rodents and thus save their rations. That trend continued for a long time (doesn’t happen in this century) but you know how cat population just…explodes!!! 🙂

  2. Terri and James, this brought a smile to my face, because here in Kotor, Montenegro, we’ve been very charmed by a special cat that we’ve nicknamed ‘Cat-tor.’ Cattor sits on the staircase below our second-floor studio apartment, and when he hears our window open, or a neighbor’s, he look at us with his enthralling green-yellow eyes, purring in a manner similar to your dignified cats of Dubrovnik.

    We’ve tossed him a bit of turkey, and the locals do the same – bologna or sausage here and there. It seems Cattor will be well taken care of even until long after we leave.

    1. Tricia, I love the name “Cat-or!” You obviously have what we call “cat vibes.” We have them too. No matter where we live, we always seem to be “adopted by” local cats. Even when we lived in Sudan, a scruffy tortoise-shell cat decided we were her chosen family. So we fattened her up and she presented us with 6 kittens! It’s nice to know that Cator has a fan club. Can’t wait to see Montenegro through your eyes. ~Terri

  3. One of your favorite felines wants you to know that he is still guarding the gardens at
    Anastasia Oaks!!!!! Love to old friends from Sushi!

  4. I love the way we found cats sleeping on chairs, motorcycle seats, and just about anywhere else they chose to sleep with impunity. They add a nice touch to ancient ruins as well. They were quite decorative sitting on columns in Ephesus.

    1. Curt, you described the cats so perfectly! We always talked about the cats “draping themselves” over anything photo worthy! And it’s hard to imagine any site more picturesque than Ephesus. Totally loved the entire experience – cats and all! ~Terri

  5. I’m mad for cats James. Our las two each lived to twenty years. On a recent Caribbean Cruise one of the islands we stopped at cats were considered so important they had a beautiful building and garden to live in. Nothing was fenced off and the felines could wander where they pleased. When we lived in Amsterdam cats/ kittens of any type were hard to come by.. Every store and restaurant had their house cat. Mice really were a problem. Loved your photographs. Virginia

    1. Thanks Virginia That is so cool about the cats on the island! Do you remember which island it was? When we were in Egypt they also had great reverence for cats … and wonderful artwork of them. All the best, Terri

  6. I love it! In America, homeless cats are hungry, mangy, and scared. These cats look well fed, healthy, and happy.

    1. You’re so right Anita. Between the local folks regular feedings and the tasty handouts from all the tourists, the cats do very well. Some of them are even a little picky – I saw one turn down a handout of bologna in favor of chicken! ~Terri

  7. I love cats! Thanks for posting these gorgeous photos. I worry about “independent” as well as feral cats, though. Do they get shots for rabies, etc.? I volunteer at an animal shelter, so perhaps I’m too much of a worrywart.

    1. Hi Catherine, Great question! I wondered the same thing too, so I asked around and was told that the local folks actually take great care of the cats. I did notice some recent neutering scars on a few. But I didn’t think to ask about the rabies shots – always a valid concern. I bet that volunteering at an animal shelter is really rewarding. Are you enjoying it? ~Terri

      1. I love working at the shelter, which is called Wayside Waifs. I take photographs of the cats in need of a home for the shelter’s website. I get to meet and play with a lot of cats! Hopefully I show their glamorpuss qualities.

    1. Thanks! The cats were so cute they made the photos easy. Btw, I’m totally drooling over your Coconut Pancakes with Pomegranate. I think we’ll give them a try this weekend. ~Terri

  8. Isn’t that funny how cats in different cities around the world seem to have distinct personalities? I remember the cats in Cinque Terre, Italy seemed so hedonistic and self-assured… and the ones in San Juan, Puerto Rico a little more scrappy and aloof. What lovely pictures of these ‘dignified’ Dubrovnik kitties!

What do you think? We'd love to know!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s