ARL only large MA animal welfare agency with dedicated community cat program

With mild winters becoming common place, there is no such thing as kitten season anymore, however, the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) has seen a drastic increase in the influx of community kittens from outdoor cat colonies throughout the Commonwealth in 2024.

ARL is now seeing dozens of kittens coming through its doors on a weekly basis, and is working diligently to provide medical care, behavioral assessments and placing these animals into homes as quickly as possible.

One of over 60 community kittens ARL has rescued in May.

ARL is the only large animal welfare organization in Massachusetts directing resources to help community cats, and while 2023 was a record intake year with 885 community cats and kittens, 2024 is shaping up to be even busier, particularly in regards to kittens.

To date in 2024, ARL has taken in 129 kittens, 62 in May alone, compared to just 55 kittens being rescued in the same time period in 2023.

Current data estimates there are approximately 700,000 community cats living in communities across the Commonwealth, 70,000 in Boston alone.

While community cats are incredibly resilient, kittens born outdoors are extremely vulnerable to fluctuating weather conditions, predators, illness, among others, and sadly many don’t survive.

Community cats and kittens can be found literally anywhere – under decks, in basements, woodpiles, dog houses – anywhere a mother cat can provide relative safety and warmth for her offspring.

ARL is committed to caring for these animals and reminds the public to be on the lookout for community cats and kittens.

If you come across these cats and kittens, it’s important not to attempt to move them, instead contact ARL Field Services for assistance at (617) 426-9170 (option 1).

Once the cats and kittens are rescued, ARL provides veterinary care, including vaccinations and spay/neuter surgery, and the cats are also assessed behaviorally to determine adoption potential.

Adult cats who are truly feral and do not want to rely on humans for care are returned to the field.

More information about ARL’s Community Cat Program.