Everybody wants to help a cat

People across New York City care for tens of thousands of feral cats while also working to reduce their population

February 3, 2022
A disgruntled cat peaks out from an open cellar door on a NYC sidewalk.
From city sidewalks to secluded parks, many feral cats call New York City home. [Billie Grace Ward | CC BY 2.0]

Like many other volunteers, Brooklyn resident Hailee got involved with feral cat care by accident. After seeing cats in need around her neighborhood, she adopted some, found veterinary resources for others and joined a community of cat-savvy neighbors. 

Throughout New York City a network of volunteers and professionals are working to compassionately reduce feral cat populations. “In 2003, only 25% of animals who came into the shelters got out alive… now what the industry calls the live release rate has been consistently over 90% for the past few years,” says Kathleen O’Malley, director of community cat education for the non-profit organization Bideawee

Armed with humane traps, spay and neuter procedures, cat food and warm shelters, cat lovers have helped lower numbers of feral cats while keeping them safe at the same time. 

Join Scienceline reporter Tatum McConnell as she learns more about managing feral cats in New York City. 


Hardboiled by Kevin MacLeod | Filmmusic.io Standard License

Shades of Spring by Kevin MacLeod | Filmmusic.io Standard License

Modern Jazz Samba by Kevin MacLeod | Filmmusic.io Standard License

Sound effects:

Footsteps in Street Woman by Stevious42 | CC BY 3.0

Cat Meow2 by steffcaffrey | CC0 1.0

Typing on a keyboard by SamsterBirdies | CC0 1.0

Cat Meow3 by steffcaffrey | CC0 1.0

About the Author

Tatum McConnell

Tatum McConnell recently graduated from Columbia University where she studied environmental biology. She’s always loved nature but working with nonprofit Vital Ground as their “bear blogger extraordinaire” helped her discover her passion for writing about it. She’s thrilled to launch a career telling Earth’s stories and has a particular interest in wildlife and conservation. When she’s not writing you can find Tatum running, enjoying a good book, or attempting to befriend Morningside Park’s feral cats.


1 Comment

Luxe Paws says:

Thank you Tatum for shining the spotlight on the one of the most humane “shelter intervention” programs for cats & kittens.

Unfortunately spay/neuter has fallen to the bottom of the animal welfare community’s priority list. Fostering & adoptions absolutely save lives, but something as simple as birth control IS the cure.

We’re so inspired by the grassroots efforts springing up across the country & hope pieces likes yours will draw more attention to the voids that exist & encourage more communities to invest both public & private funds to truly FIX the root of the problem.

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