A University Collaboration

 The Million Cat Challenge is a joint project of the UC Davis Koret Shelter Medicine Program and the University of Florida Maddie’s Shelter Medicine Program, two of the most widely-recognized shelter medicine programs in the world.

Both have been pioneers in research, education, and practical service benefitting shelters across North America. Faculty with these two programs have published dozens of articles in the scientific, professional, and lay literature related to all aspects of homeless cat management and care.

The Million Cat Challenge will be led by the directors of the shelter medicine programs, Dr. Julie Levy and Dr. Kate Hurley. The Challenge provides a venue to powerfully leverage their combined 50-plus years of career experience to help shelters help cats.

Between them, they bring a unique and complementary combination of practical and theoretical expertise spanning every aspect of community cat health, care, and management. They have co-authored major guidelines related to shelter animal health including spay/neuter, standards of care, vaccines (1, 2), and retrovirus management.

Dr. Hurley and Dr. Levy regularly consult for shelters, cities, counties, elected officials, clinics, and community groups to put their research to practical use in a wide variety of environments. One of the benefits of working with agencies throughout North America is seeing firsthand the challenges shelters face and the innovations that are emerging to solve the problems of homeless cats. The academic principles of evidence-based outcome assessments have been used to identify the highest yield solutions to share with other shelters in the Million Cat Challenge.

This academic background, combined with in-the-field experience, creates a credible voice for alternative solutions rooted in science. The specialized discipline of shelter medicine within well-regarded academic institutions can engage policy makers in a way that can be elusive for cat advocacy groups. This brings a new opportunity to present both emerging and well-established approaches that acknowledge the needs of communities, pets, and wildlife, as well as un-owned cats.

Our Founders

  • Julie Levy

  • Kate Hurley