Our Story

Liudmila (“Lucy”) Nikolova and Bistra Datzova had previously helped street cats independently in Plovdiv in Sofia, but with the idea of rescuing and rehoming Plovdiv cats in international homes, the Cat House Bulgaria was officially born on 22nd November 2014.

Since then, the Cat House has rescued around 900 cats from the street, provided them with medical care, protection and love and found them forever homes within Europe (either directly or through one of our partners). A big thank you to our supporters for helping us make it possible!


In order to be able to accommodate and care for the cats in a species-appropriate manner, rooms were rented. Diana Pepelyankova joined as a helper at the end of the year and Anke Vohrmann from Germany joined shortly after.

A Bulgarian Facebook page was set up in order to start finding homes for the cats and request donations to help with the cost of veterinary treatments. One of the first Cat House cats ever was Marcela, who was taken off the street with her injured sister Roshi in November 2014.

Marcela travelled to Germany to live with Anke and was renamed Jinni. Roshi stayed in Plovdiv with Diana and made a full recovery.

Marcela (now Jinni) as we found her, and at home in Germany

Roshi after her operation, and fully recovered at home in Plovdiv

The first Cat House premises

Very welcome donations of bowls, blankets, beds and food

2014 – 2018

An adoption process was developed in order to be able to find homes for the cats overseas as well as in Bulgaria. Home inspections were organized, protection contracts were drawn up and licensed transport services were booked.

By the end of the second year, the shelter was regularly housing around 30 cats and we were receiving some lovely donations from our supporters, from bowls and blankets to food and extra money for new cat trees.

As the number of cats grew in subsequent years, the old shelter became too crowded and we had to start searching for new premises for the comfort and wellbeing of the cats.

2018 – 2022

In Spring 2018, the Cat House moved to its current premises in an old commercial complex. By now, the number of cats being regularly housed at the shelter had doubled to around 60.

By the end of the year, the old cat furniture was looking very worn and tired and needed replacing. We organised a Christmas collection and our lovely supporters gifted our cats new cat trees and scratching posts, which they received with great enthusiasm.

Over the next few years the number of adoptions started rising steadily.

By the end of 2020, a record number of 157 cats had found homes! We closed 2021 with a total of 142 adoptions and 2022 with 111 adoptions.

It was starting to get too crowded in the old Cat House

The cats were happy with more space to run around.!

   2023 – today

In addition to continuing our work rescuing and rehoming cats, we stepped up our TNR campaigns in an effort to reduce the population of strays. With the financial support of the Brigitte Bardot Foundation and private donors, we have successfully trapped and castrated over 250 cats in 2023.

Would you like to help us write the next chapters of the Cat House’s story?

There are many ways in which you can support us!