"New York has had prominent neuter/return programs for feral cats for decades, and is home of Neighborhood Cats, one of the most influential organizations teaching neuter/return technique...." Animals 24-7 (Dec. 6, 2015)
Throughout the United States, millions of feral and stray cats roam our streets and countrysides. From the gritty urban landscape of New York City to the tropical islands of Hawaii, they struggle to survive when left on their own. Neighborhood Cats is changing this by practicing and promoting Trap-Neuter-Return. In New York City and Jersey City, NJ, and on the Island of Maui, Hawaii, we work directly with the cats and their caretakers, trapping, rescuing kittens and helping others perform TNR. We take what we learn in the field and use it to educate other communities on how to do the same. Our combination of working hands-on locally and leading the way on TNR education nationally is what makes Neighborhood Cats such a unique and effective organization.
Our local programs
- Targeted TNR projects. Neighborhood Cats was among the first to recognize TNR is most effective when resources are concentrated in high need areas. Currently, in Jersey City, NJ, we're trapping and fixing 1,000 free-roaming cats in a single zip code. On Maui, we're focusing on the town of Lahaina, a well-known tourist community below the West Maui mountains.
- TNR training workshops. Neighborhood Cats has trained almost 7,000 New York City residents to safely trap, fix and care for their colony cats at our TNR workshops.
- TNR Coach program. Upon request, workshop graduates are provided with experienced trappers to assist them with their projects.
- Shady's Fund. Cats and caretakers with special needs are given the support they need whether it's veterinary care, trapping help or extra food.
- Eartipped cat alerts. When a cat with a tipped ear (the sign of a neutered feral) enters a NYC shelter, we work to return that cat to his colony or find another suitable placement.
- Winter shelters. Early each fall, we distribute hundreds of free and low cost feral cat winter shelters to caretakers in the NYC region.
- Placement of friendly adults and kittens rescued during our TNR projects. In 2016, we adopted out or transferred to shelter partners 257 cats and kittens for a 99% live release rate! In 2017, as of June 1, we've adopted or transferred 62 cats (98% live release). See our data.
Our national programs
- Educational materials. The Neighborhood Cats TNR Handbook, now in its second edition, and our How to Perform a Mass Trapping video are two of the leading instructional resources on Trap-Neuter-Return and have been distributed by The Humane Society of the United States and the ASPCA. We also authored the first online course available on cat colony caretaking.
- Website. Hundreds of thousands of people, primarily from the United States but reaching into all corners of the globe, visit our site to gather information on feral cat care.
- Presentations. Our National Programs Director, Bryan Kortis, is a frequent presenter on TNR. In the past year, Bryan presented at The Humane Society of the United States' Animal Care Expo, Best Friends Animal Society's National Conference and conferences sponsored by the New England Federation of Humane Societies, New Mexico Humane and Delaware's Office of Animal Welfare.
- Equipment design. With Tomahawk Live Trap, we've designed a line of equipment specially for TNR, including traps, carriers, kitten screens, clear rear trap doors and the first mass-manufactured drop trap.
- Veterinarian training. For veterinarians committed to working with feral cats, we provide scholarships for training in high quality, high volume spay/neuter techniques at Humane Alliance.
- Online feral cat colony database. Neighborhood Cats designed and administers Cat Stats, an online feral cat database, available to any organization running a TNR program.
- Mentoring. We mentor groups new to TNR on organizing and growing their programs, like Operation SNIP in Troy, NY.
All this work is possible because of the support of generous donors who care as much as we do about the well-being of the cats and the dedicated people who look out for them. Please consider making a gift today.