The Washington Heights Cat Colony (aka "WaHi Cats") is an all-volunteer, non-profit TNR (trap-neuter-return) group located in upper Manhattan. We are dedicated to humanely reducing the local feral cat population by using the TNR method; to educating the surrounding community about the benefits of TNR programs; to placing adoptable cats and kittens from cat colonies in homes where possible; and to maintaining the health and well-being of our neighborhood feral cat colonies by providing ongoing care (food, water, shelter, and medical treatment) for the feral, stray, and abandoned cats in our community.
The Washington Heights Cat Colony has been making a critical difference for feral cats in upper Manhattan since 2005, when we TNR'd our first colony. We became a registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization in 2008. Every year, we TNR (trap-neuter-return) hundreds of feral cats, and find forever homes and foster care for dozens of "friendlies." Everything we do is made possible by the generosity of our volunteers and donors.
TNR (trap-neuter-return) is a way to reduce unwanted feral cat populations by sterilizing cats so they cannot reproduce. TNR, when accompanied by ongoing management of feral cat colonies, is a proven, effective, and humane method of controlling local cat populations.
Feral cats are trapped and taken to participating veterinary clinics where they are sterilized, vaccinated, and ear-tipped so they can be identified as part of a managed colony. Healthy adult feral cats are returned to their colonies, and domesticated cats and kittens are socialized where needed and adopted out.
Sterilization helps make cats better community citizens by reducing or eliminating the yowling, fighting, and wandering associated with mating. TNR also makes colonies themselves more stable, and decreases the number of new cats that will move into a neighborhood. Over time, managed colonies gradually diminish in size.
TNR saves money. It costs cities up to $250 to pick up, house, and euthanize one homeless cat. For the same price, the city can spay/neuter five cats.
With the help of the Mayor's Alliance for Animals and the member organizations of the NYC Feral Cat Council (including the ASPCA and the Humane Society of New York), TNR is now practiced in neighborhoods all over New York City. Hundreds of volunteers working in neighborhoods all over New York have made NYC a model for TNR efforts nationwide.