skip to main content

Featured Mini-Grantee | JerseyCats

2024-06-10T20:24:07-04:00June 10th, 2024|

Curbing the Feral Cat Population

JerseyCats is a nonprofit, volunteer-run, foster-based rescue organization dedicated to improving the lives of homeless cats and kittens through rescue and adoption in Jersey City, Hoboken, Union City, and Weehawken.

Anyone who’s lived in Jersey City for any length of time has likely seen feral cats patrolling neighborhoods in ever-increasing numbers. Since Covid-19, it has become increasingly difficult for lower-income households in all wards to feed, care for, and spay/neuter pet cats living both inside and outside the home.  As a result, the  Jersey feral cat population has exponentially increased in recent years.

To depopulate, JerseyCats has simple and clear objectives to responsibly manage the feral cat population in Jersey City.

  • Homing – finding homes for cats in need by facilitating foster care and adoption
  • Reducing overpopulation – supporting and encouraging the spay/neuter of cats
  • Outreach – improving people’s understanding of cats and their care through community education

+ Jersey Cats

JerseyCats believes that building a Culture of Health means managing the population of stray cats for both the welfare of the cats, and the welfare of the community.

The primary tool that JerseyCat uses to manage feral headcount is called Trapping, Neutering, and Releasing (TNR). Once a feral cat is caught, it is then neutered and released back to their neighborhood of origin.  Sometimes cats and kittens are not actually trapped, but rather rescued from unsafe or undesirable situations.  These non-feral felines are often good candidates for adoption.

HealthierJC acknowledges the humane public service being performed by JerseyCat, and the importance of preventing feral cat populations from threatening the quality of life and health of Jersey City residents.  

How was the Mini-Grant Used?

JerseyCats used the HealthierJC mini-grant to fund a rigorous block-by-block TNR campaign in 2023, which yielded the following results:

  • 36 feral cats were spayed/neutered + vaccination and returned to their outdoor homes and feeders.
  • Neighborhood feeders/caretakers were supplied with outdoor shelters to shield feral cats from extreme hot, cold, and rain.
  • 25 friendly cats and kittens were rescued + spayed/neutered + vaccinated, then made available for adoption.
  • Launched the “100 Cat Project” which stabilized the cat colonies on two lower-income blocks on Randolph Avenue. The project reduced animal suffering and helped residents who feel underserved and overwhelmed.

JerseyCats  partnered with residents in all neighborhoods as the eyes and ears on the ground tracking the composition, distribution and health of feral cat colonies. Leveraging resident partner intelligence, it was not unusual that an estimated initial population of 10 feral cats – turned into a colony of 100.  And many cats they encountered were sick, malnourished and suffering from preventable diseases. As needed, the JerseyCats TNR operation would provide needed medical services and work with resident partners and neighborhood feeders/caretakers to nurse these infirmed animals back to health.

Making a Difference…

“One of the things cats are good at is making more cats. They can get pregnant when they are four or five months old and start having babies when they’re babies.”

— Beverly Parsons, JerseyCats Founder

“It costs 700 bucks to get a cat neutered or spayed at the local vet,” Parsons said.  Most people, and especially those living in low-income neighborhoods, could not afford to neuter or spay the number of cats that haunt these communities.

“The populations are exploding,” Parsons said.  “Unfixed males are a nuisance, spraying and howling, and all these behaviors stop with spaying and neutering.” She said the TNR team rounds up some 50 cats per block.

The TNR program not only helps cats, but it also improves the lives of residents who no longer have to live with the disruptive and unpleasant consequences of feral cats going unchecked.

The TNR team works in tandem with compassionate humans who have been feeding these cats and are grateful that the problem is finally being dealt with.

For more information on JerseyCats visit: