While you can see the story of Cat Town below, for me the story became very personal back in March. I had been running ads for Cat Town on FB for over a year when our cat Annabelle passed away at the age of 13. After less than two months of saying we'll never have cats again because how can you replace the cats we had, Susan and I found ourselves in Oakland at Cat Town looking for the perfect addition to our family.
It didn't take long before the relaxed environment that Cat Town fosters for the cats and for the humans helped us find Pliny, a tuxedo kitty full of life. So full of life, in fact, that not even a week later we were back at Cat Town in search of her perfect companion. In little time we met Stormy and now the two girls are inseperable, routinely making zoomies through the house at 530 AM and engaging in all sorts of shenanigans. But more than that, they're wonderful additions to our family that make our house a home, a fact I am quickly reminded of every night when the girls greet me at the door as I come home from work.
What is truly remarkable about this story is that while they were at Oakland Animal Services (OAS), both of our girls were considered to be unadoptable as both hid in the back of their cages. In Stormy's case this is hardly shocking - she was there after being given up by her first family through no fault of her own and I can only imagine what she was feeling in those days back in a cage after having a home. But at Cat Town Stormy showed signs of her real personality and within about a day at our home, she quickly went from being a foster to a full-fledged family member.
This is the magic of Cat Town - cats that otherwise are deemed unadoptable get to show their real personalities and a new lease on life. What difference does this make? For the cats it means the feline euthanasia rate at OAS has dropped from 42% to below 10% and for families like ours it means that we have two wonderful family members that we would have otherwise missed out on.
Of course, pulling off something this remarkable is not really magic - it's hard work and takes a lot of money. To that end, Cat Town is engaged in a fundraising challenge from July 5th through August 4th that if we win could mean an extra $50k on top of what we raise here. Imagine the number of stories just like ours that could be facilitated by that kind of injection of money. It is for that reason that I ask of you to contribute whatever you feel is appropriate to a cause that means so much to me personally.
CAT TOWN wrote -
Cat Town was started in 2011 by volunteers at Oakland Animal Services (OAS, the city shelter of Oakland, CA) who knew that adoptable cats were being euthanized at a very high rate and had an innovative idea to help fix the problem. We ignored repeated discouragement from those who said there was nothing we could do for the cats at OAS; instead, we set out to change the paradigm of how shelter cats could be saved from unnecessary death and matched with loving adopters. We are proud that in just over five years Cat Town has helped over 1,300 cats find fantastic homes and been instrumental in decreasing the feline euthanasia rate at OAS from 42% to less than 10%.
Today, Cat Town has a small, hard-working staff and over 250 committed volunteers. While we are a wholly independent organization, we retain close ties with OAS. It is through the close collaboration between staff, volunteers, and the community that Cat Town continues to expand and improve our ability to help rescue cats in most urgent need from OAS and other shelters. We help them bloom at Cat Town Café & Adoption Center, where prospective adopters can meet them as their authentic selves.
Cat Town’s mission is to increase the live release of cats from OAS by focusing on cats who would otherwise be killed—the hardest-to-place cats who wouldn’t be made available for adoption at the shelter, nor helped by OAS’s other rescue partners. We primarily serve adult or senior cats that are shy, under socialized, extremely stressed (from shut down to aggressive), and have medical conditions.
The Cat Town foster program that was created in 2011 to support our mission is now a network of over 50 foster homes that are absolutely vital to the success of our mission and the survival of our cats.
We opened the Cat Town Café—our cage-free adoption center and the first cat cafe in the United States—in October 2014. In just one year, our adoption rate doubled!
Saving Pets Challenge
Cat Town is participating in the Saving Pets Challenge, a nationwide fundraising campaign from July 5 to August 4. The organization that raises the most money will be awarded an extra $50,000. This would be a game changer for Cat Town, but the only way we could ever get there is with your help!
Every donation, regardless of size, contributes to our life-saving mission. Please give what you can to help deserving, adoptable cats find relief from shelter stress and put their best paws forward to potential adopters in the uplifting environment of Cat Town Café & Adoption Center.
Every summer the Oakland shelter fills with kittens, which creates a real crisis for them because they are so vulnerable to illness. When the shelter is full, shy, sick, and senior cats who are the heart of our mission are the highest risk for euthanasia. By creating a special kitten adoption area, we can help all of the cats—from the very young babies to the seniors—in a big way.
The cost of caring for vulnerable cats
The significant increase in the number of cats that Cat Town helps means that our expenses have increased dramatically.
For each non-senior cat we rescue, our costs average $285.
Caring for a senior cat can easily cost $1,000 or more. Senior cats often arrive at municipal shelters with untreated medical conditions. To support adopters of older cats, Cat Town covers medical expenses for the life of cats age 10 and older.
Since Cat Town is the only resource to the Oakland shelter for cats that are injured, we also need an emergency medical fund to cover unexpected costs.
No donation is too small!
Whatever amount you can give will be joined by the donations of others to make a powerful and positive change for cats that would otherwise be euthanized. Together, we truly can save the lives of adoptable cats and bring joy to the people that will love them for the rest of their days. Thank you.