What we do

About Us

Charles River Alleycats was founded in 2002 to address the issue of free-roaming cats, also called community cats.  These cats may be feral, meaning unsocialized to people, or may be friendly pet cats that have been lost or abandoned.  We incorporated as a 501c3 nonprofit in 2004 and have since then been steadily expanding our geographic reach. Our mission is to improve the quality of life for street cats in Eastern Massachusetts and surrounding areas.


We use the widely-accepted approach of Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR.)  Cats are humanely trapped and taken to one of our partnering veterinarians to be sterilized and vaccinated.  Feral cats are also eartipped to indicate that they have been sterilized and vaccinated; this prevents them from accidentally being trapped again.  They are returned to their human caregiver who continues to provide food, water, and shelter while monitoring the colony for health and for any newcomers.  Friendly stray cats are either reunited with their owners or if not claimed, are instead adopted through one of our shelter partners.  Little kittens that were born outside are rescued and put up for adoption.


By sterilizing community cats, we keep their numbers under control and they live healthier, happier lives.  And by rescuing friendly abandoned cats and little kittens, we start their journey to a loving home.


We do most of our work with a small cadre of dedicated volunteer trappers who do this work after their day jobs and on the weekends.

Where we work

CRA traps over 1,000 cats per year.  In the last several years we have been focusing heavily on Brockton because of a lack of low cost spay/neuter resources in that area.  Currently, about a third of the cats that we trap annually are from Brockton, but we trap in many other towns in Eastern Massachusetts. If you are feeding community cats and need help, please call us or email us via our Contact Us page.  If there is another group that works in your town, we will let you know.  If not, or if they can't help you, we will.  If you are feeding community cats and need help getting them sterilized and vaccinated, please call us.  We may also be able to provide winter cat shelters.

CRA awarded 2023 "organization of the year" by ACOAM

We were thrilled to be awarded for Organization of the Year by the Animal Control Officers Association of Massachusetts (ACOAM) in October 2023 and for special recognition of our efforts in Brockton. We are so proud of the hard work our volunteers do to help cats get the help they desperately need and having a great working relationship with Brockton Animal Control has been critical to that mission. We are appreciative of the commendation and for the partnership with animal control officers throughout the over 60 towns/cities we work in around Eastern Massachusetts. 

Listen to 'The Community Cats Podcast' Interview CRA President, Kit Lilly

Learn about the impact CRA has made on reducing the number of shelter intakes and euthanasia of cats. From the beginnings of CRA to TNR best practices to Mexico, this podcast has it all!