Language That Harms Cats

Recorded On: 08/18/2021

How we talk about cats can influence public attitudes and behavior, so it is important to consider the words, images and stories we use - particularly when we are trying to change the way the public views and responds to our work.

Does the term “feral” hamper efforts to gain public support for community cat programs? How might your fundraising appeals accidentally create backlash against those same programs? In this fast-paced and thought-provoking webinar from Million Cat Challenge, we’ll see how we often talk about cats may actually be bad for them and make our work harder. We'll have time after the webinar for discussion and figuring this out together. Plus, there may be bingo.  


Danielle Bays, Senior Analyst, Cat Protection & Policy, The Humane Society of the United States

Monica Frenden-Tarant, Maddie's Director of Feline Lifesaving, American Pets Alive!

Julie Levy, Co-Founder, Million Cat Challenge, Maddie's Shelter Medicine Program at University of Florida


community cats, Million Cat Challenge, Animal & Population Management, marketing, Keep companion animals in their homes and neighborhoods, Rehome Pets Without the Shelter System, foster care, maximize in care welfare, optimize foster care

Julie Levy, DVM (Moderator)

Co-Founder, Million Cat Challenge, Maddie's Shelter Medicine Program at UF

Maddie's Shelter Medicine Program at UF

Dr. Julie Levy is the Fran Marino Professor of Shelter Medicine Education at the University of Florida, where she focuses on the health and welfare of animals in shelters, feline infectious diseases, and humane alternatives for cat population control. She founded Operation Catnip, a nonprofit university-based community cat trap-neuter-return program that has spayed, neutered, and vaccinated more than 65,000 cats in Gainesville since 1998. In 2008, she joined Dr. Cynda Crawford to found Maddie’s Shelter Medicine Program at the College of Veterinary Medicine, an educational and discovery initiative with a global impact on the care of homeless animals. In 2014, she joined Dr. Kate Hurley to launch the Million Cat Challenge, a shelter-based campaign to save millions of cats in shelters across North America.

Monica Frenden-Tarant

Maddie's Director of Feline Lifesaving

American Pets Alive!

Monica Frenden-Tarant is the Director of Feline Lifesaving at American Pets Alive!, an instructor for the American Pets Alive!'s Maddie’s® Lifesaving Academy, and a City of Austin Animal Advisory Commissioner. Before teaching the Austin No Kill Model to students, she founded a trap-neuter-return organization in rural Illinois and pioneered one of the nation's first, and largest, working cat programs. In 2012, she joined Austin Pets Alive! where she served as the Cat Program Manager, led her team to an 88 percent growth in cat adoptions, and helped Austin achieve a citywide 98 percent live release rate for cats. Monica is a frequent speaker and advisor on innovative ways to save every cat, including cats with feline leukemia, community cats, and shelter cats in need of medical care.

Danielle Jo Bays

Senior Analyst, Cat Protection & Policy

The Humane Society of the United States

Danielle Jo Bays is the senior analyst for cat protection and policy at the Humane Society of the United States, with more than 20 years of experience advocating for various animals. Danielle began her journey to professional cat lady by conducting trap-neuter-return in her own backyard. Now she works with animal shelters, cat advocates, policymakers, and other stakeholders to broaden support for and increase the impact of community cat programs nationwide. She is a co-author of The Return-to-Field Handbook, which recently won a Muse Medallion from the Cat Writers Association. Just prior to joining the HSUS in 2015, she spent 5 years building a pro-active community cat program in Washington DC and has TNRd more cats than she can count. Danielle holds a B.S. in Animal Science from Cornell University and a M.S. in Animals and Public Policy from Tufts University. She lives with five cats and a catio in Washington, DC.


Language That Harms Cats
Recorded 08/18/2021  |  30 minutes
Recorded 08/18/2021  |  30 minutes
Certificate - CAWA CE
1.00 CAWA CE credit  |  Certificate available
1.00 CAWA CE credit  |  Certificate available
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