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FAQ - Frequently asked questions

Please, PLEASE, read this FAQ. We honestly get these questions asked over and over and over again. So before sending us an email or message, check if your question is already answered here.

Seriously, no kidding, read the FAQ!

(FAQ updated October 28, 2023)

  • Why do the cats in Gili islands have weird tails?
    The cats are born with the weird tails. It's a genetic mutation they have. Nobody is going around chopping off their tails, neither are all the cats here having weird tail accidents.
  • What does the ear mark mean? Is it to mark the cat is vaccinated?
    You can see many cats with a marked ear, just like in the picture here. The ear mark means the cat is spayed/neutered, aka sterilized, and this cat will not be making more kittens. The mark is done by a vet when the cat is still sleeping after their spay/neuter surgery. This kind of ear mark is a common way of marking the cats in areas that have a big population of stray cats. Not just in Indonesia, the ear mark is used globally. The point is that we can easily spot from a distance that this cat has already been done, and we do not have to try catch it and bring it to the vets to get snipped. The ear mark has nothing to do with whether the cat is vaccinated or not, it only tells you the cat has been spayed or neutered. As for the vaccines, people ask a lot whether all cats here are vaccinated. The answer is no. Many cats are vaccinated, though. We vaccinate all kittens who are in our care and our kittens are not allowed to go outside until they are fully vaccinated. Responsible cat owners also get their own cats vaccinated. And vaccinated for what? Panleukopenia, most importantly. It's a vicious disease and very dangerous especially for kittens. Vaccines are quite expensive to buy, so it is simply not possible financially to vaccinate hundreds or thousands of cats yearly. But the more we do vaccinate, the less breeding ground the panleukopenia virus has. Compared to how the situation was years ago, we don't see cats with panleukopenia nearly as often as before.
  • I found a sick cat. What should I do?
    There now is a vet clinic on the islands (Gili Trawangan), so in case you see a cat who is sick or injured and in need of veterinary treatment, please contact the vet clinic directly. You can reach them best via WhatsApp: +62 812 3949 5308 The clinic is not ours, but privately owned, so we do not have information about how to book appointments or how much this or that treatment there costs. So any questions you have, please contact the clinic.
  • I got bitten/scratched/touched by a cat. I am worried I have rabies now!
    We do not have rabies on Gili islands. Read that again, please, before you send us a private message asking if we have rabies on Gili islands. Bali is a different island and there is rabies there. And no, we are not in Bali. We are in Gili islands, Lombok. So once more: THERE IS NO RABIES IN GILI ISLANDS. If the situation changes, I will update it here. But as always: if you are worried about your health, go see a doctor, instead of messaging crazy cat ladies in internet. Also, if you were bitten by a cat, cat bites get easily infected, so you may need antibiotics. So: go see a doctor! We will not reply messages asking about this.
  • We were there on a holiday a while ago and we fell in love with this cat that hang around there-and-there. It's a ginger male with short tail. Can you please go check how he is doing? Maybe send us pictures too!
    Cats Of Gili is a tiny, tiny project. We do not have time or resources to go around and look for cats someone saw somewhere days/weeks/months/lifetimes ago. Sorry about that. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of cats on each island, and finding one is pretty much impossible. Try contacting the hotel/resort/bar where the cat love of your life was living at the time you met, maybe the workers there will know how your feline friend is doing?
  • I'm in Bali/Lombok/Sumatra/Malaysia/Mexico/Uranus and there is this sick kitten here. Can you please help?
    No, I am sorry but I cannot help. Cats Of Gili is located in Gili Trawangan, Indonesia and we concentrate our efforts to helping the cats on the Gili islands. Please Google for an animal welfare organization, animal shelter or a vet clinic near you. There are organizations everywhere, so I am sure you can find one that is at least in the same country or same continent! GOOGLE! Do NOT bring sick cats or kittens here from Bali or Lombok. There are several animal welfare organizations and vet clinics in Bali, contact them for help (For example Villa Kitty Foundation, Sunset Vet clinics. And hey, also, please GOOGLE!). And there are several veterinarians in Lombok too, in case you find a cat needing help in Lombok. (For example: Scotty's Pet Care in Mataram). Or you can contact Naughty Little Cat Park in Mataram, Lombok for advice.
  • When is the next cat clinic?
    Please follow our social media for any updates and information about coming events, cat clinics included. We will always share info on our Instagram and Facebook.
  • Is there a vet clinic in any of the Gili islands?
    Yes. There is a vet clinic now in Gili Trawangan. It is not our clinic, so we do not have information about free apppointment times, prices etc. Please contact the clinic directly if you need a vet for your cat, or if you find cats that need help. You can WhatsApp them at: +62 812 3949 5308
  • We would like to adopt this cat we met on our holiday and take it home with us. What do we do? Can you help with the process?
    First: we understand you fall in love with our island cats and want to save them all and take them home with you. Totally understandable. However, we will not be able to help with the process. All we can say is it will not be easy, it will not be fast, it will not be cheap. You want to do it, you need to handle the whole show yourself. But where to start with it? Well, start with Google. Find out what your home country requires if you bring in a pet from Indonesia. Is it even allowed? What paperwork you need? Vaccines for the cat? Will there be quarantine? What else should you be aware of? Most likely you will need some paperwork, the cat will need vaccines, possibly blood tests, microchips etc and you need to go to a proper vet clinic for all that. Contact Sunset Vet in Bali, they can do all that. Please note it is illegal to take any animal to or from Bali, since Bali is a rabies area (Lombok/Gilis are not!). So you can not fly out with the cat from Bali airport. There are commercial companies who do pet transports from Bali (transporting the animal to Jakarta and flying from there), but it is still smuggling. So seriously think it through and consider the risks. And if you have thought the whole process through, if you have money and the time needed, and are ready to take the risks involved, and you think this really will be worth it and at the best interest of the cat, then we wish you the best of luck and hope all goes well. Ps.The cats in Gili islands do have pretty easy and fantastic life. We have no cars, no dogs, the beaches are the biggest toilet sand boxes any kitty has ever seen, and most people love cats here. Do the cats really need "saving" from this environment? Will the beach bum cat be happier somewhere else? Would it maybe make more sense adopting a cat in need from any rescue center at your home country? And if you still want to help the cats or other animals in Gili islands, why not donate to the active charities here, instead of spending thousands of dollars/euros for taking one cat out of here? Just to give you something to think about.
  • Where is the cat shop and cat cafe and are you open now?
    Our charity shop is in Gili Trawangan, Indonesia. We are located in Jalan Nautilus, right next to Gili Golf. You can find us in Google Maps. Shop is open 11am-4pm every day, except Sundays when we are having a rest.
  • How does the cat cafe work? What do we need to do?
    The cat cafe works simply just like any cafe. You come to the location, you see a free table and chairs, you have a seat, someone will bring you menus, you order something, enjoy your drinks and cookies/cupcakes/etc and the company of our cafe cats, you pay your bill before leaving. No need for making reservations. No entrance fee. But we do appreciate if you at least leave a donation if you come spend time with our cats. We are a charity after all.
  • Do you sell cat food or do you have this-and-this medicine? And my cat needs some toys, do you have any?
    Yes, we sell cat food at the cat shop. Bisquits, cans, sachets, kitten food. Big bags, small bags, everything in between. Buy your cat food from us, please, because then you also help us to continue our work. We also have basic medication (flea treatments, dewormers and such) available. We have toys, collars, litter boxes. Everything you need for your cat. Also, we sell souveniers/gifts and cat art. Tote bags, T-shirts, notebooks, paintings, fridge magnets... all kind of cat stuff. And any money spent on our charity shop will go to cats and helps us continue our work!
  • I'm coming there for a holiday soon. Can I come and visit and meet your cats and kittens?
    Yes, you can visit our shop and the cafe when the shop is open. No need to book in advance. Our outside cats usually hang in front of our shop and you can meet them there whenever. They love cuddles and happily pose for photos too. Our shop is tiny. There are no "tours" or such for visitors. You walk in and you see everything right away.
  • My kids love cats. Can they come spend a day playing with your cats?
    Children are very welcome to come visit, with their parents or other responsible adults, and as long as they treat cats nicely and gently, which most children do. But we have zero tolerance for rough playing or other bad behaviour. Cats, just like any other animals, need to be treated with love and care. Any rough actions and we will not tolerate it! And all visiting children must be supervised by parents or other responsible adults while they are in our shop. Please understand we are not a day care center for tiny humans so no, you cannot drop off your kids to our shop and go have a massage. No. Your children are your responsibility, not ours.
  • Can you send us some of your merchandise?
    Yes, we can. But it will take some time and is a bit expensive if sending anywhere outside Indonesia. We do not have a post office on our island, so sending anything from here requires a trip to Lombok to visit a post office. And the cost of sending packages internationally is pretty high. But yes, it is possible. Email us for more info if you want to buy our tote bags or other stuff. We also have an online shop at Spring/Teespring where you can order some of our designs. Click here. (Please note that the product selection at our online store differs from what we have available at our shop in Gili Trawangan. The online store is... well, online. We upload the designs, they make the products, collect the payments and send the products to you... and a bit of the money to our cats!)
  • I love cats. How can I help?
    We love cats too, so MEOW to all cat lovers! How you can help? COME AND VISIT! Gili islands are cat islands and we need to get us on the bucket lists for all cat tourists! So start planning your next holiday and make it a Gili holiday! And once you are here, pop in to visit our MEOWQUARTERS (our charity shop and cafe), maybe buy a cute tote bag or an original cat painting, or something else. All money spent on our Meowquarters will help us continue our work. While you are here having the best holiday ever: feed the cats, give them fresh water to drink. Tell everyone how much you love seeing happy and healthy cats. DONATE! We've had very difficult few years (huge earthquake in 2018, then covid stopping all tourism for 2 years...) and are really struggling financially. Donations help and 100% of donations go to cats. SPREAD THE WORD! Follow us on Instagram, Facebook and TikTok. Tell all your cat loving friends about us and about lovely Gili islands. And when you are here: use #catsofgili on all you social media cat photos/videos.
  • How can I donate?
    You can donate online via Wise or our campaign in GlobalGiving (or you can use PayPal, but honestly Wise is sooooo much better!). If you are here on a holiday, find one of our donation boxes and leave a donation there. See more info about how to donate here.
  • I'm coming there for a visit and I could bring you some supplies. What do you need?
    We always need these medicines: - Antibiotics for cats (basic amoxicillin and doxycylin) - Dewormers. Especially dewormers suitable for tiny kittens. - Flea treatments - Pain killers / anti-inflammatory (Meloxicam) The above medicines are very hard to get in Indonesia, or are very expensive if available so anyone able to bring some from abroad is doing us a massive favour. We also always need feeding bottles/syringes and milk formula for tiny orphan kittens. And we can also always use toys and cat collars and such. We can sell those in our shop, to get funds for everything else.
  • I'm coming there for a holiday and would like to spend some days volunteering with cats. How can I do that?
    Best is if you just pop in for a visit when you get here. We can then see if there is anything ongoing that we need a bit help with. We mostly need volunteers during our big spay/neuter clinics. If you are on the island when we have our clinic ongoing, please do come and help. Volunteering on our cat clinics is not an Instagram photo shoot, where you are looking hot in your fancy clothes while cuddling fluffy cute kittens. It is hard work. Most volunteers bicycle around the island like maniacs catching cats and then bring the cats to the clinic to get them spayed or neutered. Some volunteers spend the day washing baskets and cages, that are covered in pee, poo and vomit. Clinic days are hectic and busy, and sometimes we work from sunrise to nearly midnight, with only short break in the afternoon. But it is rewarding. You provide better life for each and every cat that you bring to the clinic.
  • I am a vet/vet nurse. Can I come volunteer on your spay/neuter clinics?
    Maybe. Keep on eye on our Facebook feed, we will post there if we need more vet volunteers. However, in the past few years our vet/vet nurse volunteer positions are usually filled without us having to look for new volunteers. We prioritize vets and vet nurses who have been here before, and we have some vets that come here at least for one clinic per year. We cannot take every volunteer vet who wants to come, as there is just no space for many people to work at the same time.
  • I'm a vet and I'm coming there for a holiday. Would you need help with anything?
    Yes, quite often we do. In case you are a vet and are here on a holiday, please come visit, or message us to let you know that you are here and you are willing to help in case there is an emergency.
  • What about the island horses?
    I don't know much about horses, so please contact Gili Eco Trust, or just go visit their rescue horse stables Stud Stables and meet all their lovely ponies. Or get in touch with Horses Of Gili organization. Gili Eco Trust is also a great source of information, not only about horses, but any environmental issues you want to learn more about.
  • We'd like to book a room for 2 people then-and-then.
    Right. Awesome. No problem. We can give you guys a cage, a bowl of water and whiskas daily and a sand box for toilet. Deworming tablets come with an extra charge and if your husband wants his balls chopped off, we can organize that too. Seriously! We are an animal welfare project for cats, not a holiday resort for humans! (And this is not a joke, we receive these messages all the time) That said, maybe in the near future we are able to offer special "Cat lovers"-deals for some hotels and homestays that love cats and share our passion. Stay tuned!
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