Cats haven’t always lived indoors. In fact, for most of history, cats have lived outdoors, alongside people. Today, it’s estimated that there are just as many unowned cats living outdoors as are there are pet cats. As the national experts on cats, Alley Cat Allies works to inform the public on the truth about cats. We correct misinformation and misunderstandings about cats that all too often result in misguided polices that lead to cats being killed.

In addition to decades of hands-on experience observing and working with cats, Alley Cat Allies has taken a science-based approach: conducting research and analysis and publishing our findings–all to deepen our understanding of cats. Because of our work hundreds of communities nationwide have changed their animal control policies and shelter practices to take into account our relationship to cats in our communities.

The Natural History of the Cat

The domestic cat species evolved from Middle Eastern wildcats (felix silvestris lybica) who, research suggests, adapted to living in close proximity to people. The relationship between cats and people evolved over thousands of years. Only recently, when cat litter was invented in the 1950s, did keeping cats indoors become mainstream.

  • Cat History – Understanding cats’ place in history and human evolution reveals how very recently domestic cats came indoors and how millions of this species—feral cats—continue to live healthy lives outdoors today, as all domestic cats are biologically adapted to do.
  • Biology and Behavior of the Cat – A look at cat biology and behavior shows they have a place in the natural environment and play an important roles in balancing the local ecosystem.

Setting the Record Straight

Misinformation about cats–like the myths that feral (community) cats suffer outside, that cats should be indoors-only, or that cats are responsible for wildlife depletion–often result in misguided polices that lead to cats being killed. It’s important to look at the facts, rather than believe sensationalized media hype or emotional arguments.

Alley Cat Allies works to protect cats by correcting misinformation about cats, combating policies that get cats killed, and championing policies that protect and improve the lives of all cats–whether they’re owned or unowned, indoor or out, friendly or feral no matter where they live.