Doing the right thing for #allthecats and the people who care for them

The Million Cat Challenge launched in 2014 as a shelter-based campaign to save the lives of one million cats in North America over five years. When the more than 1,000 participating animal shelters across North America reached and exceeded that goal a full year early, an even bolder goal was conceived: #allthecats.

#allthecats means finding the right outcome for every cat who comes to a shelter, even if that “outcome” is never being admitted at all. It means building the community safety net so that many cats and kittens can get the care they need right where they are. It means providing sufficient space and humane care in the shelter so the cats that do come can be moved quickly and safely to the best possible result: Lost cats go back to their families, cats who have lost their homes are placed in new ones, and cats who are thriving in the community are spayed or neutered and returned to their outdoor home if possible, or placed in a working home if not. And it means that for cats whose suffering can’t be remedied any other way, euthanasia will be available with the most kindness and comfort that can possibly be provided.

This life-saving campaign is a joint project of the UC Davis Koret Shelter Medicine Program and the Maddie’s Shelter Medicine Program at the University of Florida, led by Drs. Kate Hurley and Julie Levy. It is supported by the generosity of Maddie's Fund. Read More


Our Five Key Initiatives

These five initiatives to save cats’ lives were pioneered by shelters across North America. They offer choices for shelters of every size and type to balance intake, humane capacity within the shelter, and live release.

alternatives to intake

Alternatives to intake:

Provide positive alternatives to keep cats in the home or community when admission to a shelter is not the best choice.

managed admission

Managed Admission:

Schedule intake of cats to match the shelter’s ability to assure humane care and safe movement through the shelter system to an appropriate outcome for every cat.

capacity for care

Capacity for care:

Match the number of cats cared for at any one time with the capacity required to support the Five Freedoms of Animal Welfare for all cats in the shelter.
removing barriers to adoption

Removing barriers to adoption:

Expand the pool of adopters by removing barriers to adoption such as cost, process, or location.

return to field

Return to field:

Sterilize, vaccinate, and return healthy un-owned shelter cats to the location of origin as an alternative to euthanasia.