We’ve been busy this summer with our Boardwalk Cats Project! After 17 years, this Atlantic City, NJ, Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) program continues to be an example for other communities and to capture public interest. Recently, Alley Cat Allies held two events to celebrate the long, lifesaving history of the project, and the people who make it happen.
On July 16, we held our first-ever guided tours of the community cat colonies at the boardwalk, and more than 85 attendees from around the country came to get an insider look at our city-endorsed TNR program. In June, our Cat Hero Celebration honored the volunteers who keep the project running and leaders who support it, including the Atlantic City mayor and police chief.
The Boardwalk Cats have received national and local media attention for years, but most recently PhillyVoice, SNJ Today, and the Philadelphia Inquirer have reported on the cats and how our TNR program lets them live long, healthy lives in their seaside home.
The nearly 90 community cats who live under the Atlantic City Boardwalk are a famous and beloved part of the local scene, and even a top tourist attraction. Since we started TNR on the boardwalk in 2000, the cat population has naturally declined by more than 72 percent. Every cat was humanely trapped, spayed or neutered, vaccinated, eartipped, and returned to the boardwalk. No new kittens have been born for years, and many of the cats are well into their teens!
This program’s enormous success is due to the cooperation and support of city officials and our 30-plus volunteers, who put in a combined 160 hours per month to care for the cats. These volunteer caregivers feed the cats daily, keep their homes clean, and ensure they have warm shelters.
Our Boardwalk Cats Project is proof of all we can achieve when city officials, the public, and cat advocates work together for compassionate policies and programs. Together, we’re showing the world how cats and communities can coexist.