Help! A cat followed me home. He needs to be gone tomorrow.
July 17, 2019 7:41 PM   Subscribe

I'm in NYC. He's a sweetheart, but I can't keep him, and if he doesn't have somewhere to go by tomorrow night I'll have to release him back onto the street.

I'd actually love to keep him, but I can't keep him because I already have a horrible bitey bitch street cat and simply no space to sequester them for weeks on end while they adjust. She already flew into the bathroom and attacked him. My roommate is allergic to cats and two in here is too much. This is not a situation where I can keep him for a bit while I call around for places. He needs to be gone tomorrow. I don't even really have the capacity to keep him tonight (I only have one litter pan and two cats that need to be kept in separate rooms...), but I felt terrible just leaving him in the street. Help!
posted by unannihilated to Pets & Animals (20 answers total)
Well, the most obvious solution is to contact a no kill cat adoption centre. Have you tried any of them, they might be able to take it right now.
posted by Jubey at 7:55 PM on July 17, 2019

Response by poster: To clarify, I'm looking for specific solutions, like names and numbers of rescue groups or people that you know could take this cat right now or tomorrow.
posted by unannihilated at 7:58 PM on July 17, 2019 [1 favorite]

I've found a possible resource here: Phone: (212) 330-0033 (Your message will be returned as quickly as possible, but we suggest that, for a speedier reply, that you email the NYC Feral Cat Initiative at
posted by elsmith at 9:12 PM on July 17, 2019 [1 favorite]

I'm on the opposite coast, so am not sure which rescue groups would be closest to your part of NYC. However, you could start by contacting the North Shore Animal League, which is a huge no-kill shelter on Long Island. They might not be able/willing to take your visitor, but would have a good sense of other groups in the area that might. In addition, check the Best Friends rescue network map for rescue groups close to you. Best Friends is in Utah, but their network is huge and nationwide. From what I could see on the map, there are loads of groups listed near NYC.

Also, call your vet first thing in the morning to see if they have suggestions or can temporarily take the cat.

Because it's kitten season, shelters and rescues are under a feline tidal wave right now. Expect that you will need to do a little schmoozing and proving yourself to be an animal person in order to get a response from overwhelmed volunteers. But if a specific group turns you down, definitely ask whom they would contact if they were in your situation.
posted by Nerdy Spice at 9:44 PM on July 17, 2019

KittyKind runs the adoption centre in Petco in Union Square. Try contacting them.
posted by essexjan at 2:24 AM on July 18, 2019 [1 favorite]

Seconding kittykind. They’re my pals. They’re amazing. Please don’t abandon kitty back to the streets.
posted by spitbull at 3:46 AM on July 18, 2019 [1 favorite]

I’d give Sean Casey a call.
posted by thejoshu at 4:00 AM on July 18, 2019 [3 favorites]

Response by poster: spitbull, are you just saying they're my pals in a friendly way, or do you actually have a connection with someone there, like you adopted from them? If anyone has personal connections, please hook me up!
posted by unannihilated at 5:25 AM on July 18, 2019

Is it clear that the cat is homeless? I know it's less common that people let their cats outside in NYC but it does happen...did you try posting on Nextdoor to ask if anyone recognizes it?
posted by pinochiette at 6:55 AM on July 18, 2019

Response by poster: Sorry, it’s not possible to join Nextdoor at this time. Click for more information.

Address Problem

We’re sorry. An issue with your address is blocking your ability to join Nextdoor.

To fix this problem, please email us at, and we will follow up as quickly as possible.

To speed up the process, it is helpful if you write to us using the same email address that you just used to sign up for Nextdoor and to confirm your name and full address (including unit number if you live at a multi-unit residence).

Our apologies for the inconvenience.
posted by unannihilated at 7:29 AM on July 18, 2019

Response by poster: Please don’t abandon kitty back to the streets.
That's a lovely sentiment, but so far no groups have replied back with any actual offers of help.

My autoresponse from kittykind says:
If you are looking to relinquish your cat or have rescued a stray cat, our intake team will reply with further instructions, but please note, that we cannot take cats directly off the street or accept drop offs.
posted by unannihilated at 7:48 AM on July 18, 2019

Try Social Tees
posted by cakelite at 8:07 AM on July 18, 2019

Go to one of the Animal Care Centers of NYC locations! They take in stray animals from 8am-8pm every day (info here).
posted by =^.^= at 8:40 AM on July 18, 2019 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: The ACC has an open letter on the front page of their website that says they are currently overrun with animals. I'm concerned if I take him there he'll just spend a few terrifying and miserable days in a cage then be euthanized. Maybe putting him back on the street is better?

(Mods, sorry for so many responses from me in the thread.)
posted by unannihilated at 8:43 AM on July 18, 2019

You are making a lot of terrifying assumptions about what's going to happen without enough information. Take a deep breath and do the following:

One by one, contact all the shelters on this list. Ask them their procedure. Chances are they will tell you to take the cat to a vet and scan for a microchip. If the cat has one, there will be contact info for its owner. It could be as simple as that.

If the cat is friendly, as you seem to be saying it is, it's not likely to get immediately euthanized. Feral cats are another story. This cat is not feral. If were a feral cat, you wouldn't be able to get it in your house. It would not approach you, and in fact you probably wouldn't ever see it.

Finally, if the cat has to go back outside, it's not the end of the world. You can only do what you can do.
posted by Stewriffic at 8:50 AM on July 18, 2019

Also, both call AND email the organizations. The one I volunteer for is really bad about answering the phone/voicemail, because it's all-volunteer and there isn't someone at the office a lot of the time. Other places may have the opposite problem.
posted by Stewriffic at 8:56 AM on July 18, 2019

I second Best Friends though I don't know if they handle incoming animals directly or just handle foster placement and adoption. They will likely be able to steer you in the right direction regardless.
posted by Skorgu at 9:13 AM on July 18, 2019

I second ACC. We got our kitten from there and not only is she wonderful, the staff also go above and beyond to help. We looked far and wide across many shelters and kept coming back to ACC because the more selective shelters were... well, they were shittier. The ACC adopts many animals out — anecdotally, we went there once a week and only a couple of the animals went unadopted for more than a couple weeks. After that they try to place the animal with an external agency like the ones mentioned elsewhere in this thread. If you’re this concerned about the cat, and you don’t like the looks of any of these shelters, then sure put the cat back on the street. But I don’t think it’ll hurt to try and get a chip scan.
posted by =d.b= at 9:21 AM on July 18, 2019 [1 favorite]

ACC says nothing in their letter about resorting to euthanasia. The letter simply says they need extra help spreading the word about the animals they have to adopt out. Presumably, people volunteer there because they like animals, want them to be happy, and want to do the most they can for them. Regardless, their lost and found service is separate from the shelter; they hold any stray animals for 72 hours and try to reunite them with their families before letting the shelter place them. If this cat in question is a lost pet, I would say the lost and found service is a good bet to get him back to his family. And if he's not a lost pet, then at least he would get guaranteed food and shelter and safety from the multitudes of cars and current scattered thunderstorms.
posted by =^.^= at 9:50 AM on July 18, 2019 [1 favorite]

Your question is a couple of days old now, but in case you're still looking...
We adopted from Brooklyn Animal Action, which is a volunteer-run network of foster homes. Their contact page has an email address and a phone number that you might try, in hopes that someone in their network might take the cat in. Failing that, you might find their info on rehoming to be helpful.
posted by D.Billy at 8:29 PM on July 19, 2019

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