Island Cat Resources & Adoption

Who is ICRA?

Island Cat Resources & Adoption (ICRA) is an all volunteer 501(c)3 non-profit humane organization in the Alameda-Oakland area dedicated to reducing the suffering of the mistreated, abandoned, and feral (wild) cat populations and to educating and empowering the local community to aid in their plight.

Since its establishment in 1994, ICRA has found homes for over 2,500 cats through our adoption program, spayed or neutered over 11,300, and assisted in getting many hundreds more off the streets and into "no kill" community shelters.

ICRA is a small group with limited resources. We owe our accomplishments solely to the hard work and compassion of a dedicated corps of volunteers and supporters who share a passionate concern for the health and welfare of the overwhelmingly large population of abused and unwanted cats in our community.

ICRA's rescue program is devoted not just to saving homeless cats but also to evenhandedly evaluating the suitability of individual felines for socialization and adoption. Experience consistently has shown that the demand for assistance in the rescue and rehabilitation of abandoned cats far exceeds the capacity of ICRA's volunteer force. Although we continue to conduct limited rescue, trapping and spay-neuter projects ourselves, the unfortunate reality is that we simply cannot tackle the enormity of the cat overpopulation problem alone. Consequently, over the past few years ICRA has committed itself to shifting focus from hands-on rescue to working smarter by providing education, tools, and resources to those in the local community who can make an immediate difference in their own backyards.

ICRA's foster home and adoption programs are based firmly on the premise that all of the abandoned cats and kittens we take in deserve to bond with and become part of safe, responsible, and nurturing permanent homes. Our ultimate goal is to place the right cats with the right people, i.e., those who share our profound sense of commitment to these unique and noble creatures as lifetime companions. ICRA's established screening and home visit process is a close collaborative effort between our adoption site volunteers and the foster homes who play such a critical role in the physical and emotional well-being of the often injured, abused, and minimally socialized animals in their care. ICRA reserves the right to refuse any adoption that, in our judgment, is not in the best interest of the specific cat or kitten involved.

ICRA is in constant need of donations and funds to defray the cost of low-cost spay-neuter initiatives, vaccinations, FeLV/FIV testing, medical treatment for sick and injured cats, cages for recovering animals, and the purchase of humane traps for feral cats. In addition to cash donations, there are number of other ways you can support us in helping cats in need. All donations are tax-deductible.

ICRA's greatest asset lies in its dedicated and compassionate corps of volunteers and we are always looking for new ideas and fresh energy to accomplish our mission. If you love cats and want to make a difference by helping diminish the suffering of the abandoned cat population in the Alameda-Oakland area, there are a number of ways you can help to include: foster parenting; adoption site volunteer; stray and feral cat management; cat transport; public relations and fundraising; administrative support and data entry; newsletter; and graphics support. Just tell us where your talents lie and we can put them to good use for a great cause. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact us for more information. We would love to hear from you!

Stray vs. Feral
...There is a difference.

A "stray" cat is one who has been abandoned or who has wandered away from home and become lost. Because they have not completely shed the effects of domestication, stray cats can usually be re-socialized and placed into adoption programs.

A feral (wild) cat is an unsocialized cat born as a stray and never exposed to human companionship or one who has reverted to wild behavior after becoming lost or abandoned. Feral cats avoid human contact. The adults usually cannot be tamed or adapted to indoor living with people. Kittens under 10 weeks of age can be tamed and placed into homes.

...But the result of neglect and indifference to their plight is the same.

We as a society are to blame for the ongoing abandonment, neglect, and uncontrolled breeding of stray and feral cats. As such, we share the responsibility for finding humane, non-lethal, and effective ways to break the reproductive cycle that brings staggering numbers of unwanted kittens into the world each year. Dumping cats at the shelter or rounding them up for removal and/or euthanization is not only cruel but simply doesn't work.

oscar outside

Spay-Neuter is the heart of ICRA's policy and a mandatory prerequisite of its adoption program. We fully embrace the practice of Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) to reduce feral cat populations and improve their quality of life. Stray and feral cats are humanly trapped, evaluated, vaccinated, and altered. Tame cats and kittens can be adopted into quality homes; those too wild for adoption are returned to live out their lives under the watchful eye of volunteer caregivers.

ICRA Adoption Statistics (PDF files)