No cat food in Gaza since the war began on Oct 7

This might appear to be a minor point to many but I would disagree. I have learnt that cat food is unavailable at retail outlets in Gaza after the outcome of the current war from a charming story of three cats who were evacuated from North Gaza and taken to the south with the Harb family.

They are great looking cats and their names are  Simsim, Brownie and Liza. Their presence has proved to be quite important for the children of other refugee families as they provide a distraction from the carnage and some entertainment plus some emotional warmth. They currently live in tents in Khan Younis in South Gaza where they were told to go by the Isrealis.

The three charming and attractive domestic cats in a refugee camp in Khan Younis. I believe that this is not the Harb family but others living in the campa and enjoying the cats' company
The three charming and attractive domestic cats in a refugee camp in Khan Younis. I believe that this is not the Harb family but others living in the campa and enjoying the cats’ company. Picture: screen grab from a video.
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles:- Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

The Harb family appear to be quite affluent. They lived in a nice apartment in central North Gaza until it was blow up by the Isrealis. Another family whose home has been entirely destroyed. What’s going to happen when it is all over? Are Israel going to pay to rebuild Gaza? A fanciful idea.

Riham Intisar Harb, a displaced Palestinian who fled her home due to Israeli strikes, carries one of their cats, at a tent camp in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip November 8, 2023.
Riham Intisar Harb, a displaced Palestinian who fled her home due to Israeli strikes, carries one of their cats, at a tent camp in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip November 8, 2023.

The importance of the cats can be seen as one child called one of the cats “habibi” which translates to “my love” in Arabic. The child can express his love and receive some emotional warmth in return. A healing process I hope.

Simsim is a living thing that is like us, who is going through our suffering as well, has fears like we do

Sara Tamini (13) who belongs to the extended Harb family.

The cats are frightened. One did not want leave their carrier and the ginger tabby is overgrooming his belly, a sure sign that he is stressed which is unsurprising.

The ginger tabby was transported south in a backpack and the lady who carried him (believed to the lady on the left in the photo above) said: “This cat was in my backpack that I had beside me and he was shivering with fear. Even animals were not spared by them. We spent a night that is hard to forget”

This woman said that, “Since the war began we have suffered from a lack of cat food, so I had no choice but to feed them canned food such as beef, luncheon meat and tuna. They were not accustomed to it initially as they do not eat such food but they eventually had no choice and started eating just like we eat. Simsim is a living thing just like us who is going through our suffering as well, has tears as we do, and this is not his home, nor is he eating his food.”

The problem here, as all good cat caregivers will realise, is that these three cats are not getting the nutrients that they need as proper, balanced cat food contains added nutrients such as taurine. There might be taurine in the canned human food but I doubt it and if not the cats will become ill over time. There will be other missing nutrients.

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I’d suspect too that dog food is either in short supply or unavailable. Although dogs are omnivores despite being described as carnivores. They are far more flexible in their dietary requirements and better able to survive under these harsh conditions.

Many cats have been killed in the shelling and bombing in Gaza and there are many stray cats wandering around lost and confused slowly dying in the dust and rubble. I want to think of them as well as the innocent Palestinian woman and children.

Although I do understand the delimma facing Israel and their need to eradicate Hamas. I am sympathetic to their objectives. Personally I feel like many others that they have gone too far and should stop or at least pause in a ceasefire.

There is talk today of Israel wishing to shell a major hospital where they say Hamas have taken refuge. The problem is that morally they can’t kill hundreds or thousands of innocent people also sheltering at the hospital together with the patients just to kill some Hamas terrorists. That approaches genocide to me.

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The reporting comes from Nidal Al-Mughrabi of Thomson Reuters. Thanks for writing about cats.

1 thought on “No cat food in Gaza since the war began on Oct 7”

  1. Unlike other war zones Gaza is the ONLY one I’m not getting emails from rescue groups asking me to donate. It’s not that they don’t want to help but Egypt is refusing them to enter with pets food and veterinarian supplies. I’ve seen 2 rescues in Gaza asking for help one with 700 dogs and one with 200 cats but they aren’t getting the food. Both said they were very low on food.
    People don’t have food and water and the pets will also starve. Shameful.
    🙁

    Reply

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