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We are no longer accepting applications for the National Feral Cat Day® Awards Program. Thank you for applying!

Feral Cat Day Awards Program. Thank you for applying!
To give all shelters that are interested and meet the awards program requirements the opportunity to apply, we’ve extended the deadline to midnight on Wednesday, Sept. 25. Learn more about the program and see if your shelter is qualified:

You’ve probably heard about shelters that are altering their policies and programs to save more cats’ lives. Would you like to advance the programs in your shelter? If so, this is your chance to be considered for funding and expert help.

This year, our National Feral Cat Day® Challenge focuses on partnering with shelters to take strides to protect even more cats. And our National Feral Cat Day® Awards Program will support five shelters that commit to an official Feral Cat Protection Policy (FCPP), which means that they stop impounding feral cats, and support Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR). There are many “blueprints” for saving cats’ lives, but the Feral Cat Protection Policy is the number one lifesaving program for cats. When shelters stop impounding feral cats, cat intake decreases, community buy-in increases, and lives are protected. Instead of impounding feral cats, also known as community cats, shelters can re-route them to TNR programs where they are neutered and returned to their colony.

You’re just a few steps away from being considered for the resources to make lifesaving programs for your community’s cats a reality. Alley Cat Allies is thrilled to launch this new initiative to work directly with shelters to help them implement humane policies for cats.

Fill out this form if you want your shelter to be considered—only five will be selected. We’ve extended the deadline to Wednesday, Sept. 25. Please email or call 1-855-340-CATS (2287) with any questions.

Shelters chosen to participate will receive:

  • $5,000 in seed money to support your Feral Cat Protection Policy initiative.
  • Written protocol and standard operating procedures for implementing new programs and procedures.
  • Staff support and guidance from Alley Cat Allies as you launch this and other initiatives to save cats’ lives.
  • Increased visibility for your shelter through local promotional support and placement in Alley Cat Allies’ high-traffic news vehicles.


  • Individuals are not eligible; applicants must represent a shelter with 501(c)(3) tax exempt status (or a shelter partnering with a 501(c)(3) organization).
  • Shelter must commit to a Feral Cat Protection Policy and stop impounding community cats (see application for details).
  • Shelter must publish its FCPP on its website if available, and other appropriate communication avenues.
  • Shelter must demonstrate an overall plan for the implementation and long-term sustainability of the FCPP, including local support and/or partnerships.
  • Shelter must commit to tracking the impact of its FCPP, including statistics for intakes, outcomes, and incoming community phone calls, as well as financial tracking for program costs and savings.
  • Shelter agrees to join Alley Cat Allies’ Feral Friends Network and serve as a resource in your community if awarded funding.

Award recipients will be selected by a committee and notified on a case-by-case basis as funding is awarded.

Guidelines for the Feral Cat Protection Policy Plan

Your application should include the following elements (For more information, please refer to our Transforming Shelters to Save More Cats toolkit.

  • Steps you envision taking to launch your Feral Cat Protection Policy
  • Your goal for the future regarding community cats, and your timeline for reaching that goal
  • Your plan for measuring the success of your program (Alley Cat Allies can help you develop systems for tracking the
    impact of your program)
  • Your official written Feral Cat Protection PolicyLanguage can be as simple as: As of [Date], [Name of shelter] no longer impounds healthy feral cats brought to the shelter and no longer traps healthy feral cats for impoundment. Feral cats are not socialized to people and are therefore not adoptable. Instead of impoundment, [Name of shelter] now promotes Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) for feral cats. Through TNR, feral cats are humanely trapped, vaccinated and spayed/neutered by a veterinarian, eartipped for identification, and returned to their outdoor home.
  • Comprehensive TNR program, including volunteer support
  • Partnerships with local resources/supports, including TNR groups and spay/neuter clinics
  • Customer service plan for communicating to your constituents that you are no longer impounding feral cats, including guidelines for how to respond to phone calls from community members, a plan for mediation, and promotional elements for touting the program as a positive element in your shelter and in the community

We expect to receive many applications; therefore, the quality and details of your proposed plan will be critical. Please be as specific as possible.