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Alley Cat Allies Milestones Project

A historical, multimedia look at all that we've accomplished together.

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History of Alley Cat Allies

Alley Cat Allies is the only national advocacy organization dedicated to the protection and humane treatment of cats. Alley Cat Allies has charted a course set on animal control and shelter industry reform and humane treatment through activities including:

  • Advocating for pounds and shelters to keep public records of animal intake and kill rates, for public and mandatory government oversight, and for increased pound and shelter accountability;
  • Mobilizing and educating the public and leading the national movement to end the killing of cats and to protect and improve their lives;
  • Supporting the efforts of, and acting as the national voice for, thousands of individuals and groups across the U.S. who provide humane care for stray and feral cats. 

Alley Cat Allies was founded in 1990 by two women who recognized that stray and feral cats’ needs were not being met by the animal control pound and shelter system. They realized that when well-meaning citizens called pounds and shelters about feral cats, their only response was to kill them.

They developed educational materials and wrote step–by-step instructions on the care and protection of stray and feral cats.

Alley Cat Allies also introduced the practice of spaying and neutering entire colonies with Trap-Neuter-Return in the United States. Since then, Alley Cat Allies has led the progressive movement for the protection of these cats and continues to educate the public about the lives of cats.

Today, Alley Cat Allies has earned the support of more than 260,000 caregivers, animal friends, and activists who share our dedication to protect all cats—feral, stray, and companion. And, our movement is expanding to other countries. People of conscience everywhere are seeking to abolish outdated and cruel policies and procedures that result in the deaths of millions of cats annually.

Alley Cat Allies has helped tens of thousands of individuals save and improve the lives of millions of cats and kittens. We have also motivated and assisted scores of grassroots activists to establish feral cat groups in their communities, and they in turn have mobilized and pushed for reform of their city’s animal control policies and procedures. Veterinarians, wildlife biologists, humane organizations, animal control agencies, and animal shelters frequently turn to us for guidance and information in their efforts to transform their practices and develop humane programs and policies for cats.

In our more than 20-year history, protecting and improving the lives of cats has been at the center of everything we do. Learn more about our issues, programs, and resources.