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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.

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Tools and Resources >

  • Magazine Article

    Born free-roaming

    A cat from Baltimore’s Cherry Hill neighborhood awaits surgery.

    Return-to-field programs reassess ‘the right thing’ for community cats

    Until recently, Miami-Dade County Animal Services in Florida was drowning in cats and burdened with low live-release rates. Yet today, the shelter is achieving largely positive outcomes. The turnaround can be traced to a commonsense change in policy: The shelter now vets and returns the majority of cats it receives. Learn why the return-to-field approach is sometimes the most logical and humane strategy for overburdened shelters.

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  • Magazine Article

    Positive outlook

    Arizona shelter doesn’t let FIV stand in the way of a good home

    An Arizona facility markets its FIV-positive kitties.

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  • Magazine Article

    Not here, kitty, kitty

    Gardens and landscaping can present tempting lounging spots, but not every homeowner welcomes community cats.

    Practical solutions can keep community cats away from areas where they’re not welcome

    High- and low-tech solutions keep community cats away from where they're not wanted.

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  • Magazine Article

    Baby love

    Kitten nurseries often specialize in caring for unweaned kittens (commonly referred to as “bottle babies” or “neonates”) who need to be hand fed.

    In its new kitten nursery manual, the National Kitten Coalition provides an in-depth look at innovative solutions for kittens who need extra time and care

    For shelter workers and rescue volunteers around the country, spring can seem the cruelest season. That’s when kitten intakes typically peak.

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  • Magazine Article

    Shedding a heavy burden

    Hidey lost 2 pounds of fur during the haircut of a lifetime.

    Hidey loses her locks and comes out of her shell.

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  • Magazine Article

    The cats in the hats

    Adoptable felines boost New York City’s reputation as a fashion mecca

    Adoptable cats in Brooklyn are making a fashion statement—modeling colorful bonnets in styles ranging from the whimsical to the avant-garde.

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