Giving feels good. You know what can make it feel even better? When your gift is not only meaningful to its recipient but also goes to benefit the four-legged friends they love best: cats. If you’re looking for a gift for a cat-loving friend or family member, consider making a donation in their name to a charity that helps all those cats they only wish they could.
To give you some ideas, we’ve put together this list of a few great cat charities. We know not everyone sees eye to eye about the best way to make the world a better place—so while our editors like these cat charities, we encourage everyone to do their own research and follow their convictions when it comes to donating. Any donation that benefits cats and the organizations that care for them makes our hearts fuller and the world a little brighter.
Here are some organizations you might consider donating to as the perfect gift for a cat lover in your life.
It’s a sad fact that many senior cats end up in shelters for a variety of reasons—perhaps their owner has passed on, their family can’t afford the medical bills that come with age, or maybe they just don’t have the time to provide the extra care some senior cats require. The Senior Cat Action Network helps to provide for senior cats “at a time when they most need and deserve a safe place to call their own.”
This all-volunteer nonprofit advocates for “super” senior cats (aged 15 years and older) who no longer have the loving homes they deserve. Because some shelters euthanize animals with medical problems—even minor ones—due to age, the Senior Cat Action Network funds the medical costs of aged felines in the care of partner rescues and provides foster care where it can. If you’ve ever experienced the love of a senior cat, then you know what a difference supporting cat charities like the Senior Cat Action Network can make.
Usually when you think of animal research, the pictures in your head aren’t too pretty. You know what else isn’t pretty? When something is wrong with your cat and you get the same old answer from your veterinarian: “Well, there really hasn’t been a lot of research into this, so we don’t know why it’s happening or how to stop it . . . .” Obviously, research into feline health is severely lagging—especially when you consider how many cat companions there are out there in the world.
Enter EveryCat Health Foundation. This groundbreaking foundation is the largest source of nonprofit funding for feline medical research grants in the country. EveryCat Health Foundation only funds studies with strict humane guidelines, and its funding has advanced research into possible cures for everything from Feline Infectious Peritonitis to Feline Inflammatory Bowel Disease. When it comes to kitty health, we could all use more answers. A gift to this cat charity is a great way to help get them.
A true cat lover discriminates against no cat. Whether it’s a dirty cat, grumpy cat, feral cat, or senior cat—it’s still a cat and therefore impossible not to love. Alley Cat Allies works to better the lives of all cats by advocating for cats of all kinds, with a focus on unowned cats, through lifesaving shelter programs, education, anti-cruelty advocacy, and legislation.
It is estimated there are over 70 million feral or unowned cats in the United States, so this is no small task. From helping communities implement Trap-Neuter-Return programs to assisting with disaster planning and response, Alley Cat Allies has long been a leader in fighting for the rights of ALL cats—especially the feral and forgotten ones. It’s a cat charity to keep on your radar.
North Shore Animal League America is dedicated to progressing the No-Kill movement, with 2,000 shelter partners across the country committed to helping cats (and dogs) find their forever homes. In addition to educational campaigns focused on the needs of shelter pets, North Shore Animal League America offers funding for community feral cat caretaking programs and oversees the SpayUSA network, a national referral network for low-cost spay and neuter programs.
North Shore Animal League America not only operates a shelter of its own but has pioneered lifesaving programs, including mobile adoptions and humane relocations. The group also conducts rescue missions to save cats (and dogs) from euthanasia in overcrowded shelters, breeding mills, and natural disasters. This cat charity even collaborates on international animal rescues.
And last, but in no way least, is the highly impactful gift to . . .
Your Local No-Kill Shelter
It’s a sad statistic, but it’s estimated that 70 percent of animals euthanized in shelters are cats. Shelters committed to being no-kill have pledged to never euthanize animals for space and work hard to put in place creative programs to care for, and adopt out, cats—from mobile adoptions to satellite adoption centers.
Most community shelters are mainly publicly funded and depend on donations to continue making direct impacts in their communities. To find a no-kill shelter near you, or in the area where your lucky gift recipient lives, check out this map from the No Kill Network. You can always depend on your local no-kill shelter to help save a cat’s life—which makes a donation an especially meaningful gift for cat-lover you care about.
There are lots of cat charities that could benefit enormously from a gift you give in the name of a loved one. Whether it’s senior cats, feral cats, wonky cats, or sick cats that inspire your giftee, a donation is a gift that keeps on giving, benefitting everyone, and every cat, far beyond what the “usual” gift can.