Nearly 12,000 Cats in One Neighborhood

A two-mile square in South Los Angeles has almost 12,000 cats – the area falls within the 90037 zip code. A non-profit called the Stray Cat Alliance hopes to trap, neuter and return about 7,000 of them. If they are successful in neutering more than half, they say many will die later of natural causes and the total population will decline. The non-profit’s founder said, “When people are struggling to put food on the table, they don’t focus on feral cats. We’re stepping in to fill a need. Animal Services doesn’t have the budget, and residents often don’t know what to do.” (Source: LA Times) When the finish their work in the 90037 zip code, which could take three years, they hope to move on to others and continue sterilizing stray cats.

According to one estimate there are three million cats in the Los Angeles area. In the United States there is an estimated 60-100 million cats and about half are fed by people. The cost for housing, euthanization and disposal can be over $100 per cat.

The number of people in the neighborhood is about 60,000.† Though this area may have some residents living in poverty, LA does have some free and† low cost Spay and Neuter programs.

Last year, actress Katherine Heigl pledged one million dollars towards spaying and neutering LA animals.

Image Credit: Luis Miguel Bugallo SŠnchez/Wiki Commons


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Cindy L.
Cindy L5 years ago

Oh! Such a big problem - but thanks to the few humans who do something about it since we created this problem in the first place with our irresponsible pet ownership ways. Adopt from a shelter/rescue organization, spay/neuter and offer shelter, food & love to the pet you committed to caring for. Not that hard, right? Otherwise, please don't commit.

Debra B.
Deb b5 years ago

good luck!! here in phoenix its making a difference! PLEASE everyone do this! here in phoenix its free by the zip code... it works!!!!!!!!!!!!

mari s.
Mari S5 years ago

thank you to Ms. Heigl for contributing to help free-roaming cats, who are probably adoptable if only more people got involved. Also, thank you to the rescue groups mentioned for spaying and neutering -- please, in the meantime, find homes for the many who are probably not feral -- and, don't forget, to return the true ferals to areas where they will be taken care of properly. Thank you to all who are getting involved to help these cats -- you're doing great work -- keep it up -- and let's all contribute whatever we can to help alleviate the population and to adopt these babies out to caring and loving people. If humans don't step in to help the animals when they truly need it, then who will?

Winn Adams
Winn A5 years ago

Please, please, please spay and neuter your pets and please adopt from shelters and rescue organizations. You can find pure breed pets if that what you want at shelters and rescue places. Do your part to control the over population of pets so the shelters aren't forced to kill our precious animals. And, please go to to find out how successful we have dealt with the feral cat issue here in Whatcom County, WA.

Yulan Lawson
Yulan Lawson5 years ago

We can all be responsible and stop buying cats bred but instead go to the pound and or a rescue place and make sure they're desexed.

Terry V.
Terry V5 years ago


Aimee A.
Aimee A5 years ago

Thanks for posting!

Carol P.
Carol P5 years ago

I take it there aren't many song birds in that neighborhood.

Dent H.
Dent H6 years ago

Here is a perfect example of why all pets should be fixed. There is no reason for all of these poor animals and more than there is a reason for people in the states to be hungry. If we passed some laws making it mandatory to fix our pets this would not happen. They live healthily lives and fight less and make better pets overall. If someone want to bread animals let them get some kind of license to do so and be accountable for the little ones produced. In just a decade or so there would not be a problem with over population of cats.

I love my little critters and they are my friends and I try to make sure they get everything they need. I live in an area where cats are dumped because of a lake and river and the forest seem like a good place to place cats to people who are too stupid to understand that house cats have been removed from the hunt for so many centuries they cannot fend for them self any longer. Out in the forest where I live they will starve to death in about two months or become food for larger cats, raccoons, eagles or some other horrible death.

People just don't understand that the Pacific Northwest forests do not have much food at all. The animals that live out in the forest have to fight to survive and they know how to live in the forest. House cats that cannot find some kind person to help them will end up dead 99 percent of the time. I am still amazed how many people think a house cat can survive on it's own. There may be rare cases where one finds a

Danuta Watola
Danuta Watola6 years ago

Great article. Thanks.