Cat Town - Founded in March 2011


Cat Town was founded by Ann Dunn while she was a volunteer at Oakland Animal Services, Oakland’s municipal shelter. Ann saw the challenges faced by the severely under resourced shelter to adequately care for the number of animals it receives each year, and the specific difficulties cats face in a shelter environment. Ann was quickly joined by other shelter volunteers to create an alternative to the shelter for the cats who are at greatest risk for euthanasia.

Part of what makes Cat Town unique is that several members of our core team are still volunteers at OAS and work closely with the cats there. This helps us identify the cats who most need our help. And, while we are fully independent of OAS, we work in close collaboration with shelter staff and consider supporting that shelter to be integral to our mission.

Cats Adopted by Year from Cat Town

Starting with a foster-based program in 2011, we now have a network of more than 50 foster homes in and around Oakland.  We reserve the foster homes for the cats who most need a calm, quiet environment to thrive. Generally these are cats who are more sensitive to change, such as older cats, cats who don’t do well with other cats and/or cats with special needs. Potential adopters meet these cats in their foster home, where they are most relaxed and able to show their true personalities.

In 2014, we launched Cat Town Cafe (now Cat Town Cafe and Adoption Center) in collaboration with Adam Myatt — aka the Cat Man of West Oakland. Today, our adoption center allows us to give cats a place to socialize, learning from other more confident cats how to interact with humans. In our free-roaming space, guests and cats alike can enjoy a relaxed environment and get to know one another without the stress of the shelter, reducing the barriers to the adoption process. 

In 2017, we expanded our adoption center and opened The Studios at Cat Town, where Oakland's most difficult to place shelter cats can get dedicated attention from our staff and volunteers, while being afforded greater opportunities for adoption. Visitors to Cat Town can ask to see the expanded space and visit with approved cats. We'll have our grand opening for The Studios in the coming months. 

Cat Town is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation, and all donations are tax-deductible. Our tax ID is 27-3838132.