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Our Impact

Making it a better world for cats and the people who care for them


In the fall of 1999, three neighbors on Manhattan's Upper West Side came together to help a colony of  over 30 feral cats living in an empty lot on West 97th Street. They decided to try TNR. Kittens were removed and adopted, adults were fixed and returned, and regular food and shelter were provided. Neighbors appreciated the greatly diminished noise and odor, as well as the absence of endless litters. Soon residents on adjoining blocks wanted TNR done behind their buildings, too, and so Neighborhood Cats was born. In the years since, we've grown from a community to a city-wide to a national leader when it comes to the care of feral and stray cats.

Feral Firsts

  • We introduced TNR on a community-wide basis to New York City and have trained over 7,000 residents to trap and manage feral cats. This in turn has led to tens of thousands of altered ferals and contributed to dramatic drops in cat intake and euthanasia at City shelters.
  • The first online course available for colony caretakers on Trap-Neuter-Return was authored by Neighborhood Cats.
  • We wrote the first guide on how to set up and run a large-scale TNR program, published by The Humane Society of the United States.
  • "Mass trapping" - the TNR of an entire colony at once - is a method developed by us. We invented now popular techniques, like using traps as cages, which made it possible to handle large numbers of cats at the same time. We then produced the first instructional video on the approach.
  • We pioneered "targeted TNR." The practice of TNR used to be done randomly, but we taught communities to focus their resources on areas with high cat overpopulation and achieve the greatest impact.
  • The first mass-manufactured drop trap, as well as a line of equipment specially for feral cats, was designed by Neighborhood Cats in partnership with Tomahawk Live Trap company.
  • By hosting the National Feral Cat Summit from 2004 through 2007, we drew attention to TNR and helped bring it into the mainstream of animal welfare.
  • Neighborhood Cats designed Cat Stats the first online cat colony database based on remote input of data by individual caretakers.


  • Muse Medallion (Best in Category: Books - Other) in the Cat Writers Association's 2014 annual contest for Community TNR: Tactics and Tools, published by PetSmart Charities.
  • Muse Medallion (Best in Category: Video, DVD or Television Production) in the Cat Writers Association's 2008 annual contest for Trap-Neuter-Return: Fixing Feral Cat Overpopulation (video), distributed by The Humane Society of the United States.
  • AKC Companion Animal Recovery Award for Implementing a Community Trap-Neuter-Return Program, published by The Humane Society of the United States (2007).
  • Guardian of the Month - Neighborhood Cats' co-founder, Bryan Kortis, was named In Defense of Animals' Guardian of the Month (Jan. 2007).
  • ASPCA Special Humane Award and a Muse Medallion (Best in Category: Long Special Publication) in the Cat Writers Association's 2005 annual contest for the Neighborhood Cats TNR Handbook (1st ed.)
  • Muse Medallion (Best in Category: Video Production) in the Cat Writers Association's 2005 annual contest for How to Perform a Mass Trapping (video).
  • Muse Medallion (Best in Category: Color Photography Series) in the Cat Writers Association's 2004 annual contest for Meredith Weiss' photos for Trap-Neuter-Return: The Humane Alternative in ASPCA Animal Watch, November 2003.
  • Feral Cat Organization of the Year (2002) from Alley Cat Allies.