Cloudy's Corner


Cloudy gets to live a safe and happy life indoors from now on, but there are plenty of cats in New York City just like her who still need help.

How Can You Help?

By far the best way to help stray and feral cats is to support TNR (Trap, Neuter, Return) efforts. Rescuers all over the city are helping community cats by trapping them, spaying and neutering them, getting them veterinary care, and then either releasing them back to where they live or finding them forever homes (depending on whether or not the cat can be socialized). While TNR rescuers across the five boroughs are constantly hard at work, these people are volunteers, most of them working full-time jobs on top of their work with community cats. You can help these rescuers by donating your time or resources. Here are just a few ways you can help:

  1. Making donations to rescuers
  2. Sending rescuers supplies like cat food, litter, medicine, treats, and toys
  3. Volunteering to watch cat traps
  4. Transporting cats to and from appointments, fosters, and adopters
  5. Offering to assist rescuers with administrative tasks like record-keeping and coordinating appointments
  6. Volunteering to socialize feral cats and kittens
  7. Fostering cats and kittens
  8. Spreading the word about cats and kittens that need fosters or adopters
  9. Getting certified in TNR, if you'd like to become a rescuer yourself

Helping with TNR efforts can look like many different things, and anything you can do to help makes a difference.

Unfortunately, even though TNR professionals aim to help all kinds of cats, friendly, healthy kittens usually get much more attention from the public than older cats, cats with behavioral issues, or cats with illnesses. Offering to foster or socialize these "less popular" cats can make a huge difference in their lives. Cats like Cloudy--shy, adult, and with a chronic illness like FIV--are just as deserving of a loving home as any friendly, playful kitten. Rescuers don't have the time or resources to socialize every single adult stray they come across, but if others take an interest in these cats and do what they can to help them, these cats can have a chance at a better life. Cloudy may be a standoffish cat, but earning her love has been one of the most valuable experiences of my life, and most people wouldn't know she has FIV unless I mentioned it. The truth is that with proper veterinary care, many FIV+ cats live long, happy lives.

Below is a table of resources for people who want to help New York City's stray and feral cats and their caretakers. This is only a small number of resources out there--if you're interested in this issue, I encourage you to do more research!

Resource Name Description Link
Neighborhood Cats TNR Certification Workshop Neighborhood Cats is a NYC organization that offers $10 workshops for those who want to get TNR certified.
Cat Stats NYC Run by Neighborhood Cats, Cat Stats is a database where people can register the cat colonies they care for. This helps keep track of the number and locations of community cats in NYC.
ASPCA Spay/Neuter Clinic for Rescue Professionals The ASPCA offers free spay and neuter services to all TNR certified residents of New York City.
The Feral Cat Initiative Founded as a Mayor's Alliance for NYC's Animals program, the New York City Feral Cat Initiative is now run by Bideawee, a NYC shelter. NYCFCI provides free information, services, and support to rescuers and people interested in helping cats all over the city. They have a 7-days-per-week help desk, which can be contacted via phone or online form.
The Toby Project The Toby Project offers free and low-cost spay and neuter services via their mobile clinics. They have a clinic in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn that is specifically for free spay and neuter of feral cats.
TNR Flyer This flyer, created by Brooklyn Animal Action, outlines what you should do if you have feral cats in your area and how TNR helps cats and the communities they live in. Feel free to print and distribute the flyer!
NYC Area TNR Organizations Bideawee put together this list of TNR organizations in all five boroughs as well as on Long Island and in the Greater NYC area.
Alley Cat Allies Founded in 1990, Alley Cat Allies spearheaded the rise in popularity of TNR in New York City and across the USA. More than 30 years later, they're still working to protect cats.