Two Kittens to Help in Reggio Calabria

Jimmy 002 (600 x 450) Sadly there are so many unwanted kittens in the far south of Italy. Here is information about two of them from their carer Diane. She writes:

Timmy is a seven-month old, healthy, vaccinated kitten with an amazing character. He was found as a young kitten by someone staying in the village of Bocale, Reggio Calabria, on holiday. He was emaciated and had a fractured tail, probably from being run over by a car. The person who found him, fed him and gave him love and attention but was unable to take Timmy with him when he left. As luck would have it, days before his departure, an animal lover narrowly prevented the kitten being killed as he was following his new friend across the motorway to the service station. Learning the little cat’s story but unable to adopt him, the person did everything possible for him. First, it was off to the vet’s to check out his general health, which was deemed very good. Unfortunately, nothing could be done for the tail, which doesn’t cause pain and hasn’t prevented Timmy from becoming a good climber.

Obviously Timmy couldn’t be left on the main road adjoining the motorway so the search was on for someone to adopt him. Nothing came of this and the best solution was to find a safer place where Timmy could live as a semi feral cat. In fact, he is in fact anything but! He climbs on your back and shoulders and has a habit of massaging you. He loves human company and even likes to lie in his pet carrier getting stroked when he’s travelling by train! He was moved to an allotment a field away from the motorway, in the hills where he is fed every day and has someone to keep an eye on him. He loves people and is so happy when he’s brought indoors. He’s no bother, just loves cuddles, to be stroked etc.
Timmy’s situation now has become dangerous as he was recently badly attacked by another animal. He had to spend two weeks at the vet’s, but his injuries have healed and he’s back to normal. He needs to find a home as soon as possible because his living situation is very insecure. The person looking after him is returning to the UK, with her Italian rescue dog who has a pet passport, and who couldn’t live with a cat, as she tries to attack and kill them. Timmy is going to be left without a food supply and no access to medical care if he were to get ill. The little cat is patient, undemanding, and really deserves someone caring to give him a chance.

We mustn’t forget adorable Jimmy. He’s six months old and a mischievous, rather naughty kitten. He’s had a hard time and needs someone who has patience and loves cats to adopt him. He was found in a dangerous location in Reggio Calabria city centre, with flu, when he was tiny. He has also suffered badly from mites, ringworm and had a rectal prolapse. He has needed a lot of care and for this reason, hasn’t been rehomed. He has been under constant close veterinary supervision but is now perfectly fit and healthy. He has had to be kept in isolation a lot though, so desperately needs someone who understands he’s a little timid and hasn’t quite learnt that scratching and nipping isn’t nice! He’s very playful and hasn’t grown out of that very cheeky kitten behaviour!

If you are interested in adopting Timmy or Jimmy please call Diane: 320 4603066.
Even though she hasn't got a car, she is happy to transport them anywhere in Italy.

Catfood and Dogfood Vocabulary in Italian

You can buy many familiar brands of petfood in Italy from the supermarket although the brand name pronunciation may be different. Whiskas is weezkass for example! You’ll also find some rather oddly named pet products like Alan the dog food (my husband loved that!) or Clumpy the cat litter (bit too graphic thanks!)

Some words are ‘false friends’ that is you think they will be the same in Italian and English, but they aren’t. Examples of this are ‘organic’, which isn’t ‘organico’ but ‘biologico’ and ‘preservatives’ which is ‘conservanti’. ‘Preservativi’ are condoms so be careful what you ask for!

 Here are some of the most common food and foodstuff words with stress and pronunciation in brackets. You can ask for an item by saying Vorrei (vor-RAY), Volevo (vo-LAY-voh) or mi serve (mi SER-veh) For example: vorrei una ciotola per il mio gatto(I would like a bowl for my cat.)

 Food in general for animals is mangime (man-JEE-meh) and you won’t go far wrong using that although you do also see cibo (CHEE-boh) and alimento (al-ee-MEN-toh).

 Biscuits – biscotti (bis-COTT-ee)

Bones – ossi (OH-see)

Bowl – ciotola (chee-OH-to-lah)

Chews (rawhide)  ossi in pelle di buffalo(OH-see in PEH-leh dee – BOO-fah-loh)

Chicken – pollo (POLL-oh)

Complete food – alimento completo (al-ee-MEN-toh

Daily amount- razione giornaliera (rah-zee-OH-neh   jee-or-nah-lee-ER-oh)

Duck – anatra ( AN-ah-trah)

Hypo-allergenic/sensitive – sensibile (sen-SEE-bil-eh)

Kibble – croccanti (kroh-KAN-tee)

Meal – pasto ( PAH-stoh)

Meat – carne (KAR-neh)

Minerals – minerali (min-eh-RAH-lee)

Natural ingredients – ingredienti naturali (in-GRED-ee-en-tee  Nah-too-RAH-lee)

No colourings – senza coloranti (SENZ-ah  ko-lo-RAN-tee)

No preservatives – senza conservanti (SENZ-ah  kon-ser-VAN-tee)

Organic – biologico/a (bee-oh-LODGE-ee-koh/kah)

Per day – al giorno (al – JEE-orno)

Sack- sacco (SAH-koh)

Sachet – busta (BOOS-tah)

Snack/treat – piccolo spuntino (PICK-oh-loh spun-TEE-noh) ricompensa (ree-kom-PEN-sah)

Tasty – gustoso/a (goos-TOE-zoh/zah)

Tin – lattina (lah-TEEN-ah)

Venison – cervo (CHER-voh)

Vitaminsvitamine (vit-ah-MEE-neh)

If you want to know the Italian words for cats, dogs and so on click here.

Cat and Dog Vocabulary

some of my animals in italy

La mia canina Maia con quatto gattini

 I’ve put some common dog and cat related words in Italian with phonetic pronunciation. The capital letters are the stress of the word.

 If you are at the vet’s and are not sure of the ailment try the English medical name as a lot of the scientific terms are similar in Italian and English. For example

uterus – utero, cardiac – cardio diabetes – diabete and so on. If you are unsure of the pronunciation, write the word down for your vet.


Names of breeds are more or less the same, but with Italian pronunciation! Here is an example from a genuine advert with the Italian authors attempt at spelling an English word: West Thailand wait terrier” (Say it out loud!)


Pet/Pets – animale domestico (ani-MAH-leh do-MES-tik-oh) animali domestici (ani-MAH-lee do-MES-ti-chee)

Owner – proprietario/a (pro-pree-eh-TAR-ee-oh/ah)

Dog/Dogs – cane (KAH-neh)  cani (KAH-nee)

Puppy /puppies – cucciolo (KOO-chee-oh-loh) cuccioli (KOO-chee-oh-lee)

Cat /cats – gatto (GAH-to) gatti (GAH-tee)

Kitten/kittens – gattino (gah-TEEN-oh) gattini (gah-TEEN-ee)

Male – maschio (MAH-skee-oh)

Female – femmina (FEH-min-ah)

Vaccinated – vaccinato/a (vah-chi-NAH-toh/ah)

Tattooed – tatuato/a (tah-TOO-ah-toh/ah)

Wormed – sverminato/a (sver-min-AH-toh/ah)

Paw / paws – zampa (ZAM-pah) zampe (ZAM-peh)

Whiskers/moustache – baffi (BAH –fee)

Tail – coda (KOH-dah)

Leg /legs – gamba (GAM-bah) gambe (GAM-beh)

Mongrel – Meticcio/a  (meh-TICH-ee-oh/ah) (you’ll also hear bastardino a an acceptable term)

Pedigree – pedigree (‘con pedigree’ – with pedigree documents) or cane di razza – cah-nay di RAZ-zah)

Cross – incrocio/a (in-KRO-chee-oh/ah) For example “incrocio Yorkshire terrier e chihuahua

Spayed/neutered – sterilizzato/a (steh-rah –lee-ZA-toh/ah).

Microchip – microchip (MEE-croh-cheep)

Breed – razza (RATS-ah)

Large – taglia grande (TAH-lee-ah GRAN-deh) (OK, the gl sound is hard so I’ve copped out here!)

Medium – taglia media (TAH-lee-ah MEH-dee-ah)

Small – taglia piccola (TAH-lee-ah PEE-coh.lah)

Beautiful – bello/a (BEH-ll-oh/ah)

Well behaved/good – Buono/a (BWON-oh/ah)

Short haired – pelo raso (PAY-loh RAH-zoh)

Long haired – pelo lungo (PAY-loh- LOON-goh)

Toy breed – nano/a (NAH-noh/ah)

Animal lover – amante animali (ah-MAN-teh  an-ee-MAH-lee) animalista (ah-ni-mah-LEE-sta)

About Pets in Italy

Fiona TankardBenvenuti!  My name is Fiona Tankard , I’m a writer and I have lived in Italy, first in Umbria and now Tuscany, since 1994 with my husband and a variety of pets. Over the years we have had cats, dogs, geese, a crow, fish, two pigeons and alpacas.

I started this blog to help homeless animals in Italy and to help non Italian pet owners owners and visitors too. I know that it can sometimes be hard being an animal lover in Italy. You can be thought of as ‘un po’ eccentrica’ as my last neighbour dubbed me, and as for having animals in the house – well, say no more!

My husband Alan and I moved to Italy with our original pets, travelling in the back of our ancient Lada estate bought especially for the trip. The dogs Kelly and Emma, plus cats Harley, Widget and Birkana went in the back and we set off with trepidation on a journey that had many highs and some lows (like almost losing the cat in a mnotorway service station carpark!) We slept in two tents at Chamonix, one for Alan and the dogs and one for me and the cats.

Since we moved here we have seen many of our pets come and, sadly, go. The most recent loss was of our lovely little dog Maia, who died of canine lymphoma. Our current pet family comprises one male cat – Jimmy, three dogs – labrador ZsaZsa, Internet rescue English setter Gassie, Internet rescue dog Mana’, rescue pigeon Lulu  and five alpacas – Nicola, Emilia, Champagne , Brunello and Dolcetto.

I add to this site regularly, posting blogs, resources, appeals, links and my own articles and photos. Please feel free to comment and get in touch if you have any questions or suggestions and I’ll be happy to help if I can. I am particularly keen to hear about any charities or appeals for animals in Italy that you could send me so I can post them on the site.You can email me on