9 Best Charities for Domestic Cats (Complete 2021 List)

9 Best Charities for Domestic Cats (Complete 2021 List)

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Dennis Kamprad

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Approximately 3.2 million cats are given to animal shelters every year, and perhaps more worrying, there are estimated to be around 58 million stray cats roaming the streets of America. Not only do feline-focused charities provide much-needed homes for these unwanted cats, but they also work tirelessly to dispel the countless myths that surround the behaviors of domestic cats. So we had to ask: What are the best charities for domestic cats?

Overall, the best charities for domestic cats are the EveryCat Health Foundation and the Best Friends Animal Society. Alley Cat Allies is a great choice if you are passionate about helping street cats, whereas the Senior Cat Action Network does amazing work to support elderly felines.

Whether you want to help the homeless street cats that have been abandoned or help fund vital research into common feline diseases, there is a charity for you. Keep reading to learn more about what the best charities for domestic cats are all about, how they work, and what your best way would be to make a contribution.

Here’s What All the Best Charities for Domestic Cats Have in Common

The charities on this list were chosen based on their mission, transparency ratings, and impact on both domestic and feral cats across America and further afield. Many of the chosen charities work with local governments and like-minded organizations to increase the availability of healthcare for cats in local communities, and to improve the way we care for and view homeless cats.

Each charity works to improve the lives of cats in a number of different ways. Whether it’s through passionate campaigning, increasing the availability of spay and neuter services, or raising funds to improve treatments for various feline diseases, every one of these charities has the same goal – to improve the welfare of domestic cats around the world.

These Are the 9 Best Charities for Domestic Cats

Below are our favorite charities for domestic cats (you can click on their link to directly jump to their section in this article):

(At the end of this article we’ll also share our six-step approach on how you can select the best charity to support.)

EveryCat Health Foundation: Advancing Feline Health Research That Benefits Every Cat

EveryCat Health Foundation, formally known as the Winn Feline Foundation, was established in 1968 by the Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA) as a source of funding for research into cat health. The charity was originally named after its first president, Robert Winn, who held the position of CFA attorney for over 30 years. Today, the charity is the largest source of non-profit funding for feline research grants in the world. 

Their impact and transparency ratings: EveryCat Health Foundation holds the Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar, the highest level of rating.

“Every cat, every day”

EveryCat Health Foundation

What they do: EveryCat Health Foundation funds innovative feline health studies that advance veterinary knowledge and expertise in the care of cats, through their annual grant schemes; the EveryCat Grant Award and the Miller Trust Award. The EveryCat Health Foundation website also has an extensive cat health research library where professionals and members of the public can keep up-to-date with the latest innovations and news in cat health. 

What they’ve achieved: To date, the EveryCat Health Foundation has awarded over $8 million to more than 200 cat health studies. This has resulted in a number of major advancements in feline health including the discovery of taurine deficiency in cats which has led to the production of more taurine-rich foods being sold on the market. EveryCat Health Foundation was also integral to the development of rapid in-clinic tests that allow veterinarians to screen for Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV).  

Ways to contribute: You can donate directly to EveryCat Health Foundation through their website. You can also nominate a veterinary professional for providing outstanding care for their feline patients through the charitys’ Make a Tribute scheme. If there is a particular area of feline research you would like your donation to go towards, you can choose one of their more targeted funds by going on to the Special Funds section of their website. 

Best Friends Animal Society: No-Kill Animal Rescue and Advocacy

The Best Friends Animal Society was originally set up in 1984 by a group of 31 individuals, with the mission to create a sanctuary for homeless and abused animals in Utah. Since then, the charity has become a flagship organization for the no-kill movement which aims to end the senseless killing of cats and dogs in shelters across the country. Their Trap-Neuter-Return program (TNR) has resulted in the sterilization and vaccination of thousands of feral and stray cats throughout America, reducing the impact on shelters. 

Their impact and transparency ratings: Best Friends Animal Society holds the Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar which is the highest level that can be achieved by a charity. They also have a 100% rating for transparency and accountability, and a 2-star rating from Charity Navigator due to the money they invest into their fundraising programs.

“Save them all.”

Best Friends Animal Society

What they do: The Best Friends Animal Society now cares for over 1600 animals, making it the largest sanctuary for companion animals in the country. They have also expanded their network to include over 3,300 shelters, spay/neuter organizations, and welfare groups in all 50 states and are actively working towards ensuring that the entire country is a No-Kill zone by 2025. They are doing this by providing innovative training programs for shelters, promoting the use of TNR programs for feral cat populations, and by acting as an online resource hub for local communities. 

What they’ve achieved: Since 2016, the work of the Best Friends Animal Charity has led to a 77% decrease in the killing of cats and dogs in America’s shelters, which equates to approximately 3.4 million lives! They have achieved this by directly supporting more than 1,200 animal shelters who have all now declared themselves to be No-Kill shelters. Around 48% of all animal shelters in America are now officially no-kill.

Ways to contribute: You can donate directly to the charity through their website. They also encourage members of the public to raise funds for homeless pets by holding fundraising events in their local community, or you can sponsor an animal held at the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary.

Alley Cat Allies: The Global Engine of Change For Cats

Alley Cat Allies was founded by Becky Robinson in 1990 after she discovered a colony of feral cats down an ally in Washington D.C. Motivated by what she saw, Becky proceeded to set up a Trap-Neuter-Return program (TNR) to improve the lives of those cats, which soon led to the development of Alley Cat Allies. The main aim of the charity is to revolutionize our understanding of all cats and eliminate the institutional cruelty of animal control measures, through the use of global campaigns and innovative welfare programs.  

Their impact and transparency ratings: Alley Cat Allies holds the Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar and boasts a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator.

“To transform and develop communities to protect and improve the lives of cats”

Alley Cat Allies

What they do: Alley Cat Allies run regular campaigns to change people’s views on community cats, to seek justice for cats that have been the victims of abuse, and call for changes to outdated laws surrounding cat welfare. The charity runs numerous webinars and workshops designed to educate communities around the world on cat welfare, as well as a vast online library containing information on everything from the importance of microchipping, to veterinary protocols on Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) and Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV) testing in feral cat populations. Alley Cat Allies also works with animal shelters across America to implement life-saving programs for all cats and reduce the need to euthanize feral cats that are brought into shelters by implementing TNR policies.

What they’ve achieved: Before Alley Cat Allies was formed, Trap-Neuter-Return policies were unheard of in America. However, thanks to the campaigning of this charity, over 650 municipalities have now adopted the procedure which has saved the lives of millions of feral and stray cats across the country. The charity now boasts over 650,000 supporters worldwide, including veterinarians, animal shelters, and animal welfare activists. Together with the Paw Project, Alley Cat Allies successfully advocated for a ban on declawing in New York which was passed in 2020.  

Ways to contribute: You can donate to Alley Cat Allies directly through their website. They also encourage members of the public to act to protect feral cat populations in their local area by signing one of their many campaigns to end cruelty to cats. Alternatively, you can purchase an Advocacy Tool pack from their website to educate your local community on the benefits of TNR programs and how to live in harmony with feral cat populations.

Morris Animal Foundation: Advancing Animal Health Through Research

The Morris Animal Foundation was founded in 1948 by Mark L. Morris; a veterinarian who funded the initial start-up of the charity by selling bags of dog food he developed for canines suffering from kidney disease. Since then, the charity has grown to become one of the largest animal health organizations in the world, funding scientific research studies to improve the diagnosis, treatment, and management of diseases and illnesses that affect cats, dogs, and other companion animals worldwide.  

Their impact and transparency ratings: The Morris Animal Foundation holds the Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar, as well as a 3-Star rating from Charity Navigator.

“Bridging science and resources to advance the health of animals.”

Morris Animal Foundation

What they do: The Morris Animal Foundation invests in scientific research projects that cover every aspect of companion animal health, with the knowledge that many diseases are not species-specific. The charity also runs a Veterinary Student Scholar Program which provides veterinary students with grants of $5000 to complete research projects into animal health, as well as professional mentoring throughout the project. 

What they’ve achieved: The Morris Animal Foundation has invested more than $142 million in over 2850 studies into companion animal health, including more than 430 feline health studies that have helped over 42.7 million cats in the US so far. Their funding has been integral to the development of the world’s first vaccine for Feline Leukemia and has highlighted the ground-breaking benefits of the drug Clopidogrel which is now used to treat blood clots in cats.

Ways to contribute: You can make a direct donation to the charity via their website, where you also have the option to donate directly to the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (ACVIM) to help advance veterinary care through continued research. You can also organize a fundraising event to raise money for the charity, or donate via AmazonSmile.

International Cat Care: Pioneering Change For Cats Since 1958

International Cat Care (formerly known as the Feline Advisory Bureau) is a global charity established in 1958 by a group of passionate cat lovers, led by Joan Judd, who were frustrated by the lack of available information about cat health and welfare. Today, the charity works internationally to improve the welfare of cats around the world, through the promotion of evidence-based research into feline wellbeing, and by acting as a trusted cat health resource for both cat owners and those working with cats. 

Their impact and transparency ratings: The Cat Friendly Clinic program launched by the veterinary division of International Cat Care, is an internationally recognized accreditation scheme for veterinary clinics around the world. International Cat Care releases its financial reports annually and as of 2019, spent 83.7% of its income on charitable activities and 16.3% on fundraising. 

“A world in which each cat’s life experience will be as good as it can be.”

International Cat Care

What they do: The veterinary division of International Cat Care, the International Society of Feline Medicine (ISFM), works with veterinary professionals around the world to provide high-level resources on all aspects of cat health and welfare. The charity also acts as an information hub for the public, providing accurate and comprehensive information on all areas of cat care, and runs regular campaigns to improve the lives of cats on a global scale. In 2012, the veterinary division of International Cat Care launched the worldwide Cat Friendly Clinic program, which aims to address the high levels of stress cats are faced with when visiting the vets.

What they’ve achieved: In 2012, the veterinary division of International Cat Care (the ISFM) launched the Cat Friendly Clinic program, designed to address the causes of stress for cats in veterinary clinics. The charity has now accredited 2000 Cat Friendly Clinics in 31 countries across the globe, with hundreds more seeking to gain Cat Friendly Clinic status. The charity now has 4,110 veterinary members in 109 countries and works with veterinary national partners in 18 countries.  

Ways to contribute: You can make a donation to the charity by visiting their website, or you can raise funds by holding your own Cat Cocktail Party!

PetSmart Charities: Strengthening Communities By Supporting Pets and Those Who Love Them

PetSmart Charities was founded in 1994 by Jim and Janice Dougherty who also founded the PetSmart retail brand, within which they chose to never sell cats and dogs in any of their stores. Today, PetSmart Charities work to save the lives of homeless pets, as well as to increase the availability of spay and neuter services in local communities.

Their impact and transparency ratings: PetSmart Charities holds the Silver Seal of Transparency from GuideStar, as well as a 4-Star rating from Charity Navigator which they have held since 2004. 

“Big Hearts, Local Impact.”

PetSmart Charities

What they do: PetSmart Charities is now the leading funder of animal welfare in North America and works with nearly 4000 non-profit organizations and government bodies to improve the lives of cats, dogs, and other companion animals across America and Canada. The charities’ adoption grants help local animal shelters connect animals in need with more loving families by providing in-store adoptions and by holding special events to promote responsible pet ownership. 

What they’ve achieved: To date, PetSmart Charities has provided more than $400 million in grants to animal welfare organizations throughout America, with over $100 million going towards supporting low-cost spay and neuter clinics for cats and dogs. The charity has also helped to save 9 million animals through their rehoming efforts and has now integrated Cat Adoption Centres in nearly every one of their 1,600 PetSmart stores. PetSmart Charities has also provided emergency relief assistance to over 330,000 pets by providing funds to authorized designated responders.

Ways to contribute: You can donate directly to PetSmart Charities via their website or you can adopt an animal through their website or by visiting one of their stores.  

North Shore Animal League America: Leader in the No Kill Movement

The North Shore Animal League America was founded in 1944 by animal advocate Marianne H. Sanders, as a rescue shelter for homeless cats and dogs in and around North Hempstead, Long Island. The charity declared itself a No-Kill sanctuary a few years later. Today, North Shore Animal League America is a leader in the No-Kill movement, with 2000 shelter partners across America dedicated to helping cats and dogs find their forever homes. 

Their impact and transparency ratings: North Shore Animal League America holds a Silver Seal of Transparency from GuideStar and a 3-Star rating from Charity Navigator.

“Rescue. Nurture. Adopt. Educate.”

North Shore Animal League America

What they do: North Shore Animal League America is committed to rescuing and rehabilitating homeless cats and dogs throughout the country, and also works to educate the public on the needs of shelter pets through their online Mutt-i-grees curriculum program. Over the years, the charity has introduced the concept of mobile adoption and launched the SpayUSA network which is a national referral network for low-cost spay and neuter services for cats and dogs. Their Feral Cat Program provides funding for stray and feral cat caretakers in local communities and actively promotes the benefits of Trap-Neuter-Return programs locally and nationally. 

What they’ve achieved: To date, North Shore Animal League America has saved over 1,100,000 cats, dogs, puppies, and kittens from shelters and rescue groups that are often forced to euthanize animals as a form of population control. In a single year, the charities’ veterinary staff perform 65,000 medical examinations and vaccinate over 58,000 animals, while the shelter staff find forever homes for more than 18,000 of their canine and feline residents. Their Mutt-i-grees program has reached over 3,000,000 students so far.  

Ways to contribute: You can make a direct donation to North Shore Animal League America through their website. There are also numerous opportunities to volunteer with the charity or you can register as a foster parent for one or more of their special needs animals. 

Petco Love: Creating A Better World For Animals And The People Who Love Them

Petco Love, formally known as the Petco Foundation, was set up in 1999 by American pet retailer company Petco, to raise funds and offer support to animal welfare groups across America. The foundation also supports animal-assisted therapy programs, spay and neuter efforts for community cats, and promotes public education in the humane treatment of cats and dogs. 

Their impact and transparency ratings: Petco Love holds a Gold Seal of Transparency from GuideStar. The charity also boasts a 4-Star rating from Charity Navigator.

“Pet’s change our lives, let’s save theirs!”

Petco Love

What they do: Petco Love invests funds to support animal welfare organizations that are making a difference in the lives of cats (and also dogs) throughout America. The charity also allows rehoming shelters to set up adoption centers in its stores, to increase the number of animals adopted. In addition, the charity runs regular campaigns to raise money for animal welfare issues such as ‘the fight against pet cancer’, and their free Petco Love Lost database assists owners in finding their lost pets, using facial recognition software.

What they’ve achieved: Since their launch, the charity has invested more than $300 million in over 4000 animal welfare organizations throughout America. They have also rehomed 6.5 million cats and dogs through Petco stores nationwide. Together with Blue Buffalo, Petco has additionally invested $16 million in the fight against pet cancer campaign. 

Ways to contribute: You can donate to Petco Love via their website or you can register to foster one of their many companion animals in need.

Senior Cat Action Network: Working to Protect Aged Felines

The Senior Cat Action Network was founded in 2020 by Veronica Iocona after her own adopted elderly feline Zoey sadly passed away in 2017. The charity serves as an advocate for all cats over the age of 15 and also directly cares for a number of elderly cats through their own foster network.

Their impact and transparency ratings: The Senior Cat Action Network holds a Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar, the highest level of rating.

“Where senior cats are at the heart of everything we do.”

Senior Cat Action Network

What they do: The Senior Cat Action Network partners with rescue centers to fund the medical costs of senior cats in their care to give them the best chance of adoption. The charity also operates as a safe haven for elderly cats via their House of Purrs Eldercare (HOPE) program

What they’ve achieved: In the short time since the charity was launched, the Senior Cat Action Network has already partnered with 17 rescue organizations for their Rescue Partner Medical Funding Program, and raised over $11,000 for the care of elderly cats that would have otherwise been deemed ‘too expensive’ to rehome. 

Ways to contribute: You can donate directly to the Senior Cat Action Network through their website. Or you can donate items from the Senior Cat Action Network Amazon Charity Wishlist or the Senior Cat Action Network Charity Chewy Rescue Wishlist

How Can You Select the Best Charities to Support?

The charities on the list are, we deem, the best charities for domestic cats. However, you may have a particular charity you want to support. Let’s look at what you can do to ensure your contribution has the most significant impact.

  • Check out the charity website. Charities that are worthy of your donations are transparent in their mission and their figures. Familiarise yourself with their history, mission, and values. Their website usually is the best place to start.
  • Identify the charity’s mission. Without a goal, the charity is likely to fail. If the charity’s mission isn’t clear, it’s probably worth looking for a charity that does have a clear mission. 
  • Check if the charity has measurable goals. An effective charity has clear goals. You want to know your donation will help the charity reach its goals. But if it doesn’t have targets, it’s likely to fail or squander your gift. The charity should be able to account for its spending and supply evidence of the work they do.
  • Assess the successes or goals the charity has achieved. You wouldn’t invest in a business if it kept missing its targets. In the same way, charities are like this too. If no one is assessing the progress a charity makes in reaching its targets, the chances are not making positive change.
  • Check the charity’s financials and stats. Trustworthy organizations will publish financial statements and reports each year. Some might be exempt from having to do so, but they should be able to provide them to public members who are interested in donating.
  • Locate sources who work with or benefit from the charity. Word of mouth and first-hand experience of a charity’s work lets you know the charity’s quality. If you’re able to do so, check out the charity for yourself or speak to someone familiar with it. This way, your donation will go to the right place. 

How Can You Best Support These Charities?

After you’ve made your decision, it’s time for you to decide on how you’d like to help the charities you’ve chosen. Check how you can help – each charity runs specific programs that have unique aims. Find out what the aim of such programs is and whether they are right for you. 

Here are a few ways you can help your chosen charity:

  • Donate money. You can find donation pages on the website of most charities. Your donation can be a one-time payment, or you can set it to be deducted regularly at different intervals. You can mostly pay via credit card, but some charities also take PayPal or Bitcoin payments.
  • Buy their official merchandise. The charities can also raise money by selling merchandise. So, you can support them by buying the mugs, shirts, caps, pens, pencils, and any other such items they may be selling. Ideally, you should buy as much as you can to share and spread the word about the charity’s activities.
  • Donate a percentage of your online purchases. If you bought anything on sites like Amazon lately, you’d find a prompt asking you to donate to your favorite charities through their Amazon Smile program. You can set this up so that your chosen charities will get a fraction of your online purchases.
  • Engage in volunteer work. As you’ve seen from our descriptions above, some charities engage in a lot of local and grassroots programs. You can help by taking on and organizing the program in your local area.
  • Help their fundraising efforts. You can spread the word about the charity in your workplace, school, church, etc., and hold creative fundraising drives on social media or offline within your small circles.
  • Share their stories. Most charities have compelling stories that you can share with your audience to attract more people to the cause.

Final Thoughts

Now it is just up to you to select the charity that resonates most with you. And whichever charity you end up choosing and contributing to, we are sure that they will immensely appreciate your support. Hopefully, the information within this article has made this selection process a bit easier for you to support charities dedicated to domestic cats – based on the causes that matter most to you.

Stay impactful,



PS: Finally, I want to leave you with a thought-provoking TED talk from Dan Pallotta, a leading philanthropic activist and fundraiser, about what is wrong with the way we think about charities – and what we can do about it:

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