The Cat Connection is an all-volunteer 501(c)(3) nonprofit no-kill organization whose primary mission is to rescue abandoned, abused, unwanted, stray, neglected, and injured cats, and to facilitate their adoption into responsible permanent homes.
The second part of our mission is to control the feral cat population through our Trap-Neuter-Return-Maintain (TNRM) program and through the trapping and socialization of feral kittens.
Our Trap, Neuter, Return, Maintain Program
Feral cats are the offspring of stray or abandoned household pets. Raised without human contact, they quickly revert to a wild nature and form colonies where food and shelter are available.TNRM, or Trap-Neuter-Return-Maintain, is a plan in which stray and feral cats already living outdoors are humanely trapped, then evaluated, vaccinated, and sterilized by veterinarians. Kittens and tame cats are adopted into good homes. Healthy adult cats too wild to be adopted are returned to their familiar habitat – a “colony” – under the lifelong care of volunteer “caretakers”. Feral cat colonies can be found behind shopping areas or businesses, in alleys, parks, abandoned buildings, rural areas… just about anywhere.
The Cat Connection works to end the growth of the feral population through TNRM programs in many local communities including Waltham, Newton, Brighton, Allston and Watertown. We maintain many colonies in these areas, as well as several “unofficial” colonies where volunteers feed one or two ferals in their back yards every day.
TNRM begins and ends with volunteer caretakers, the dedicated individuals who take the first action to help hungry cats living outdoors. Caretakers:
- Organize and fulfill daily feeding schedules in all seasons and all weather
- Monitor the health of the colony, trapping and obtaining veterinary care (paid for by The Cat Connection) for any ill or injured cats
- Convince resistant neighbors that TNRM is in their best interest
- Remember that this is a long-term commitment that must be met every day.
Foster Care and Adoption Programs
In our adoption program we work to locate new homes for stray and abandoned cats and kittens. We provide food, medical attention, and – when space allows – temporary shelter in one of our foster homes, while we work to find permanent placement with responsible, loving families. Our foster parents provide a safe and loving environment for these homeless animals. And because our cats are fostered in private homes we can offer insight into their personalities – whether they will be good with children, dogs, other cats, etc.
All prospective adopters are carefully screened to ensure that they are ready to take on the responsibilities inherent in caring for a cat. The Cat Connection asks for a tax-deductible donation for each cat adopted. This donation, which is used to feed and care for other cats in our system, allows us to provide a vet exam, sterilization, and initial vaccinations to the adopted cat.
For more information on adoption, see the Adoption Process page.
Our volunteer foster parents make all of this possible. By being a foster parent, you, too, could provide a safe, healthy, yet temporary home for a cat in need.
Foster parents have saved many cats from a painful and dangerous life on the streets. Having a place to live until they’re adopted saves the cats from the euthanasia they’d face in most animal shelters. Foster parents truly are lifesavers, and the gratification of helping a family adopt a loving companion animal is the best reward.
For more information on fostering, see the Foster page.
Our Surrendered Animal Program
The Cat Connection is not a shelter, but there are occasions when we are asked to take cats from their owners for a variety of reasons. We can offer advice, but limited resources prevent us from accepting all of these cats into our care. We may at times be able to assist in seeking new homes if the present owners are able to assist us with housing the cat in need of a new home until we find one.