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Tens of thousands of feral cats in New York City, also called community cats, are now under the watchful eye of Bideawee, one of the country’s oldest and most respected animal welfare and pet adoption organizations.

It was announced today that Bideawee has assumed responsibility for the operation and management of the New York City Feral Cat Initiative (FCI) – a program launched by the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals (the Mayor’s Alliance) in 2005. Since its inception, FCI has served as a model for and provided training to groups in cities across the country and the world who are seeking humane ways to manage feral cat overpopulation in their communities.

For more than 14 years, FCI has supported the efforts of organizations and individuals who work to reduce the City’s population of community cats through Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR), which is recognized as the most humane and effective approach to managing the growing population of community cats. Feral cats are not socialized to humans and are not suited for adoption. Left unfixed, community cats will breed prolifically. TNR controls population growth as well as many of the nuisance behaviors associated with unneutered cats, such as yowling, fighting, and marking territory.

In line with its current strategic plan, the Mayor’s Alliance concluded that transitioning FCI to a new organization would be the best way to continue to reduce the number of feral cats in New York City while serving the growing community of Certified TNR caretakers and organizations that volunteer their time and expertise to perform Trap-Neuter-Return.

Jane Hoffman, President of Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals, said, “After evaluating the field of potential partners equipped to take over this important program, we came to a mutually enthusiastic agreement with Bideawee – which possesses tremendous vision and capacity – as the logical and preferred choice to spearhead the New York City Feral Cat Initiative. We are confident that under Bideawee’s leadership, FCI will not only continue to deliver the same critical services and resources currently enjoyed by NYC’s community cat caretakers, but also will take the program to the next level in improving the lives of NYC’s community cats.”

“It is with great pleasure and pride that Bideawee takes on responsibility for leading the New York City Feral Cat Initiative,” said Leslie Granger, President of Bideawee. “For 14 years, this important and impressive program has dramatically changed the landscape for our feral cat population and ensured a better quality of life not only for the cats but for their human neighbors as well. In taking on this initiative, we plan to continue making New York City a safer place for our animals and for the people who care for them.”

Under the agreement with the Alliance, Bideawee will continue to provide a host of important FCI services including:

• Free TNR training and certification workshops;
• Free specialty training workshops, such as bottle-feeding, taming kittens, shelter building, and neighborhood relations;
• Access to free loans of TNR equipment including traps, dividers, and cages;
• Free transport of cats to and from clinics where the animals are spayed or neutered; and
• Free community outreach materials.

In a related development, Bideawee unveiled a $200,000 fundraising initiative to support FCI. A Bideawee Board Member pledged to match up to $100,000 to support the effort. Alley Cat Allies, the leading national advocacy organization dedicated to protecting and improving all cats’ lives through innovative, cutting-edge programs, pledged the first $10,000 grant.

Granger added, “Jane and I would also like to thank our extremely generous Board Member and Alley Cat Allies, whose support will benefit TNR caretakers and the colonies they care for. We urge New Yorkers to donate and to learn more about how they can take part in this critical program.”

The Mayor’s Alliance transferred its FCI assets, including personnel, training and outreach materials, and physical supplies, including a transport vehicle, to Bideawee.

Bideawee, which means “stay awhile,” in Scottish, is one of the country’s oldest and most respected animal welfare and pet adoption organizations. Founded in 1903, Bideawee’s mission is to be Greater New York’s leader in rescuing, caring for, and placing homeless cats and dogs with people who love them. Bideawee provides an array of high touch services including adoption centers, animal hospital, pet therapy programs, and pet memorial parks that serve pets and pet lovers on their lifelong journey together. Bideawee is a not-for-profit 501(c) 3 humane animal organization and 100% of Bideawee’s funding comes from private sources. Bideawee operates in New York City, Wantagh, and Westhampton. For more information, visit:

The Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals is a 501(c)(3) non-profit charity that works with more than 150 partner rescue groups and shelters to offer important services that save the lives of NYC’s homeless animals. The Mayor’s Alliance is supported entirely by donations from foundations, corporations, and individuals and receives no government funding. Since its founding in 2003, the Mayor’s Alliance has remained committed to transforming New York City into a community where no dogs or cats of reasonable health and temperament will be killed merely because they do not have homes.