Looking Past the Fear

The Oakland shelter takes in thousands of cats each year. Some are confident, and greet you purring, while others hide behind their litter boxes, or hiss at the sound of their cage door rattling open. Before Cat Town, many cats never left the shelter because of how they react to life in a cage.

I wanted Cat Town to focus on these cats at the back of the shelter. The ones who rescue organizations wouldn’t risk taking. I thought, if people could see these cats, there would be others who would want to help them, too. Thankfully, I was right.

  At the shelter, we weren't sure who Teslas would be, but we knew we had to get him out. Phot by Andrew Dorman.

At the shelter, we weren't sure who Teslas would be, but we knew we had to get him out. Phot by Andrew Dorman.

People like you help us take in cats who, in a cage, act aggressively — hissing, growling, swatting. You help us take in cats who, in a cage, freeze with fear — trembling, avoiding human touch, wincing at the constant sound of nearby barking dogs.

It always feels risky pulling one of these cats from the shelter. But because of your support, when we meet a shelter cat overwhelmed stress, we look past their fear. We bring them to Cat Town.

  At Cat Town, Tesla was able to relax and learn to trust people. Photo by Cathy Niland.

At Cat Town, Tesla was able to relax and learn to trust people. Photo by Cathy Niland.

Cage stress makes many cats forget themselves, but the same cats who flounder in a shelter setting thrive in foster care. Aggressive cats turn playful when they can burn off their energy. Once-fearful street kittens learn to trust humans in our cage-free Adoption Center.

Suddenly, these cats feel safe enough to show us who they truly are.

Before Cat Town started taking these chances, we were told these cats couldn’t be saved. Now, your support helps cats with nowhere else to turn get adopted every day. 

Thank you for making Cat Town possible!

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