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Photo by Susan Guzy

Protect Cats

Cats still make up the majority of the animals euthanized in shelters, and of the 30-40 million community cats in the U.S., only about 2 percent are sterilized. We're promoting best practices and progressive strategies for supporting and managing community (feral and stray) cats, making shelter cats happier, and keeping cats in homes by a focus on behavior.

Spotlight > Protect Cats

Cats and public health

Get the facts about community cats and the risks to public health

Many animals, both wild and domesticated, can pass diseases to people. These are known as zoonotic diseases. Although we should be concerned about such diseases (like rabies, toxoplasmosis and more ), there are some common myths about the public health risks associated with community cats. In most cases, a compassionate coexistence between cats and humans can be established—and knowing how to prevent zoonotic disease is the best medicine.

Read Cats and public health

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  • Blog Post

    Finding a cat a home

    Are we missing the good apples while trying to catch the bad?

    I was traveling recently to conduct a series of Rethinking the Cat trainings in Kansas and Oklahoma through our Humane State program. Having done many of these cat trainings around the country, we hear many of the same concerns, challenges and questions—often with a unique local flair. 

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  • Magazine Article

    A room with a view

    A Good Mews Animal Foundation resident checks out a chipmunk.

    Cage-free cat shelter and wildlife habitat peacefully coexist in Georgia

    What do you get when you mix a cat shelter, a barren yard and eager volunteers with green thumbs? A wildlife habitat certified by the National Wildlife Federation—or, as community outreach chair Lisa Bass of Good Mews Animal Foundation in Marietta, Georgia, calls it, a “big-screen kitty TV.”

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  • Magazine Article

    Finders keepers

    Although it has a dedicated kitten nursery, Miami-Dade works to keep young kittens out of the shelter, where they’re at risk of contracting a disease.

    Florida shelter’s Milkman Program delivers care kits to kitten finders

    “I’ve found a litter of kittens. Can you take them?”

    It’s the type of call your shelter likely receives multiple times a day during the height of kitten season—Good Samaritans stumble across a litter and look to you to provide a solution. That’s all well and good if your organization has the capacity to meet this need, but if you’re already swamped with tiny fluffballs who need a lot of care, these calls can fill you with a sense of panic or dread.

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  • Magazine Article

    Working-class cats

    Milly was placed at a small farm in Manassas, Virginia in April. "She patrols the crops and has made friends with the resident chickens!" says the Humane Rescue Alliance's Erin Robinson.

    Through an urban relocation program, a D.C. shelter finds places—and jobs—for its last-chance cats

    “Enjoy the lovely Dupont Circle fountain amongst our furry city companions,” recommends the reviewer, awarding the “Dupont Circle Rat Sanctuary” five stars on Yelp. The sanctuary is a “wonderful place for 100% organic, free-range rats to frolic in a safe environment without predators,” says another, awarding it four stars, plus the extra-large rodents are “healthy strong riding stock,” a fellow Yelper adds.

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  • Blog Post

    The ogre that wasn't

    My cats, including 17-year-old Monroe who had never shown interest in going outdoors before, now spend the majority of their time in the catio.

    I finally got my catio built, and my cats couldn't be happier

    A few years back I attended a panel discussion at Animal Care Expo where Barbara Carr, then director of the Erie County SPCA, talked about the Ogre of Procrastination. You know—that big ugly monster of an incomplete project that looms over you, causing you to lose sleep and remaining undone? It’s the thing that, no matter how simple or how complicated, has morphed into a mythical creature of such proportions that the task seems impossible.

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  • Magazine Article

    A day in the life: Susan Spaulding

    <b>Midnight</b> I’m just finishing up midnight feeding for 3-hour litters; kittens are fed by weight, not age, so different litters may be on different schedules. I feed and potty everyone, do a mini exam on kittens in a fragile new litter who are not thriving, and make a note to contact their sponsor group in the morning to provide updates.

    The National Kitten Coalition’s co-founder, instructor and director of neonatal programs shares a day in her life … during kitten season

    My name is Susan Spaulding—for 25-plus years I have fostered neonatal orphaned kittens, as well as kittens needing specialized medical care. Neonates, ill and underage kittens are one of the most at-risk groups within the animal welfare system; as little as 10 years ago, the vast majority were euthanized because rescue groups and shelters had little knowledge of how to care for them.

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