The cat was once revered in Ancient Egyptian culture. Worshipped, the penalties for harming any cat were swift and severe. Tragically, much has changed in that regard. Now, these innocent creatures are largely considered little more than a nuisance. An aesthetic and temporary addition to a home at best, rather than  a living being and important family member. 

To date, there are countless street and pet shop cats in Cairo and throughout Egypt  suffering unspeakable hardships, including improper care, trapping and releasing to die in the desert, overpopulation and starvation, government sanctioned mass-poisonings, abuse, and neglect. 

SHE and its supporters actively work together to intervene and enact change.


In its beginnings, in 2015, SHE housed rescue kitties in a single apartment in Cairo. After four years, the Haven space has extended to include four apartments and enclosed outdoor spaces for the kitties to enjoy the sun, bird-watching, and grass in complete safety. Further, there are designated spaces for mothers and nursing kittens, weaning kittens, cats awaiting spay/neuter surgeries, recovery space for post-surgeries, and new arrivals yet to be vaccinated.

The team at the sanctuary includes Koky Ibraheem who, along with Walae Besada,  first founded SHE. Walae has since relocated overseas and serves in an administrative capacity. Beyond the founders, a small number of dedicated workers and an on-location veterinarian keep the Haven running, kitties healthy, and bellies full. They are supported by a group of admins and international volunteers who collaborate tirelessly to bring in new, responsible adopters and supporters to the cause, as well as aid in the prosperity of the sanctuary.


Safe Haven Egypt (SHE) is a volunteer-run organisation dedicated to saving stray and in-danger cats in Egypt. As a response to deliberate human cruelty and neglect, SHE was formally organised in 2015 to intervene and save as many cats as possible from starvation, illness, and injury and prepare them for adoption all over the world. 

SHE’s mission is guided by two core values: dedication and compassion. Once a cat has been rescued and brought into the Haven’s care, they are there – safe and loved – until they are matched with a family and adopted. Should a cat go overlooked for years or for the rest of its life, the Haven will remain dedicated to its care. 

• The rescue of abused, neglected, ill, and abandoned animals in Cairo.
• Providing medical care, appropriate vetting, food, and shelter to those in our care.
• Promoting spay and neutering to end the overpopulation and avoidable suffering of unwanted and unclaimed animals.
• Adoption of healthy animals into loving homes worldwide. 
• Connecting people all over the world with the common goal of saving and improving the lives of cats.

At SHE, we strive for a world where every cat has a safe, loving forever home. To that end, no step is too small. From taking care in the placement of each adopted SHE cat, to expanding our work beyond the sanctuary through educational and Trap-Neuter-Return programmes, we aim to build a better future for cats in Egypt and all around the world. We also hope to one day bring international awareness to governmental practices which are currently an affront to animal life.

From small, daily interactions to wide scale, organised programmes, the team hope to bring forth the change Egyptian cats so desperately need.


Years ago, my father bought a new apartment. I went to move my things and found two tiny cats, maybe seven months old in the empty building. Maybe their mom gave birth in this place and left them? I shared my lunch with them; I happened to have tuna with me. The next day, moving more of my belongings, I found these babies again and shared the lunch I brought just for them. Finally, we moved permanently. 
On this day, I could only find one of these young cats. I hope the other found a safe place to stay… Each day, this sole little girl came to me to eat. She was wild for a long time but over the years, she became trusting of me. 
She gave birth to a few litters there on the front doorstep, where she was familiar and fed. I helped her to care for her babies and, then, their babies. All of her family members became my responsibility, because I so loved them. 
My wild little Noosa was the beginning of Safe Haven. 
She flew to a loving home with a family who gives her all that she needs. Her children and her grandchildren, too.
It is because of Noosa that many others have been saved and have homes. She will always be our special First One.

– Walae Besada, founder