About the Project

The Kalymnos Cat Project is a volunteer program focusing on education and Trap/Neuter/Return (TNR) to manage the overwhelming stray cat crisis on the island of Kalymnos, Greece.

We have sterilised over 2000 cats on the island since we began our efforts in August 2021.

Since 2006, Leslie Frasier, founder and president of the French animal welfare association Les Chats du Mercantour, has worked to combat the problem of feral cat over-population in the small mountain villages in the valleys of the Alpes-Maritimes in southeastern France. Now she's working with local animal welfare groups in Kalymnos to bring her experience in creating and managing a large-scale sterilisation campaign to the island.

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Trap/Neuter/Return (TNR) is a humane and effective process for managing stray cat population on the island. This is also known as a sterilisation campaign. Our team of volunteers keep a list of the various feral cat colonies in need of sterilising and, working with the local veterinarians and feeders of the colonies, proceed in capturing the unsterilised cats with equipment especially designed to capture feral cats and transporting them to the vet for sterilisation. They are then released back into the colony where volunteers continue to feed and care for the cats. 

Volunteers will educate the community about the benefit of Trap/Neuter/Return (TNR) through an awareness campaign using local media and informational brochures. 

Volunteers also care for the cats before, during, and after TNR. Once the colonies are sterilised, Kalymnos Cat Project will provide food for organised feeding stations to help the cats get through the winter season when the restaurants and tourists are no longer around to feed them.  


The island has all the necessary ingredients to have a successful TNR program: experienced volunteers, feeders to do the trapping, and veterinarians to do the neutering. But we need FUNDING. Without funding, we are unable to purchase the trapping equipment, pay the veterinary bills and provide food in the winter. Learn more about how you can help on our How to Help page.

The Kalymnos Cat Project, like all TNR projects, is ongoing and in constant need of funding.


Un-neutered male at the port in the small fishing village of Vathi.


Stray Kitten in the village of Paleonissos.


This poor beauty is continually pregnant and is extremely wary of humans.


This sweet cat is painfully thin and continually pregnant.

Leslie Frasier
Leslie Frasier is the founder and president of the French animal welfare charity Les Chats du Mercantour. She founded this official charity in 2006 to combat the problem of feral cat over-population in the small mountain villages in the valleys of the Alpes-Maritimes in south-eastern France where she’s lived since 2005. Born near Washington D.C., she moved to Texas, near Houston, with her mother and brother when she was 7 and where she stayed until the age of 31 when she moved to France in 1995. While studying biology at the University of Houston in the 1980s she worked as a veterinary assistant and has been involved in animal welfare ever since. Leslie first came to Kalymnos in 2015 for rock-climbing and has returned 3 times. Having noticed the terrible plight of stray cats on the island she decided to do something about it. She started doing research in 2019 and in early 2020 she discovered the good works of the Kalymnos Animal Welfare Group. She’s hoping to bring her experience in creating and managing a very large-scale TNR program in the south of France to the island of Kalymnos.

Irene Tavlariou Hepworth
Irene Tavlariou Hepworth was born in London of Kalymnian parents and she is now retired and living in Kalymnos.  She set up a Just Giving campaign on her Kalymnos Cats Facebook page in 2019 to help with veterinary costs and TNR, which has enabled her to date to spay 10 females and 4 males.  All donations received are spent solely on veterinary bills.  Food and TLC are supplied by herself and her husband.

 “Saving one cat will not change the world, but for that one cat...the world will change forever”. J Tellson. 

Silvia and Joe
Silvia and Joe are climbers and cat-lovers who visit Kalymnos regularly. They live in Southern Germany with six cats including Kalymnian rescue cat Mini.  

Thanks to the support of these generous foundations, over 2000 cats have been sterilised on the islands of Kalymnos and Telendos:

Keep up with our work on Kalymnos.
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Aigaio TV Interview

Kalymnos Cat Project founder, Leslie Frasier, was interviewed by Aigaio TV about the sterlisation and education campaign on the island of Kalymnos, Greece. 

Anna Julia
Anna Julia is the volunteer grants administrator and social media manager for the Kalymnos Cat Project. She is originally from Birmingham, Alabama but has lived most of her life in Houston, Texas, where she met Leslie Frasier while studying at the University of Houston. Anna has been involved with animal rescue since 2010 supporting local shelters, TNR programs for cats, and fostering dogs in her local community. She has a background in writing grants and in social media marketing and wants to use that knowledge to raise funds and create awareness about this important TNR and education campaign on the island of Kalymnos.