NRHS-hoarding cats
#AdorableAdoptables & Shelter Stories,  Cat Behavior 101,  Cats,  Holidays,  Shelter Cats

Hoarding Cats Rescue Update: Six Months Later & Meet The Three Musketeers

If you love cats, sharing makes us purrrr :-)


Gray boy-NRHS

Six months ago the New Rochelle Humane Society now called Humane Society of Westchester where I volunteer, rescued over 60 cats from an extreme hoarding situation. Summer is a busy time for all shelters and the rescue taxed the shelter’s capacity. When it rains it pours and it rained kittens a few days later when someone dumped 15 more cats and kittens from another hoarder. There were no free cages and many of the cats were housed in large dogs crates. I’d never seen anything like it and marveled at the can-do attitude of the staff, vet, vet techs, volunteers and those who opened up their hearts and homes to foster.

I’ve chronicled the progress week by week; the adoptions, the medical issues, the heartbreaks and the victories. Sometimes it feels like a bottomless well of need and hopelessness but the rays of sunshine of progress propel us forward one purr at a time. In the sunshine room, several hoarding cats including our famous Marco are waiting but yay, tuxie queen Coretta got adopted. Will Marco be next?

Marco-hipster cat

Many of the hoarder cats are still in foster homes and some are likely to be happy “failed fosters”. Some of the more socialized cats have been adopted. Some have transitioned from cages to cage-free free rooms, while others remain in cages. Sadly some of the cats have died or given their medical condition had to be euthanized. Everyone involved in rescuing and caring for shelter cats try their best but the reality is no shelter can save them all. It’s not all roses and rainbows but there is much sunshine among the clouds.

My favorite hoarder kitty “Gray Boy” is this column’s muse and died six weeks after being rescued. One of oldest hoarder cats Pa (featured with his cage-mate Babe) died recently. Shortly after I’d featured him and his cage-mate Babe no longer liked other other and they were separated.

New Rochelle Humane Society

After he and baby split up, he’d look for her and this was the last time I saw them together. He’d made huge strides and happily roamed the vet tech back room with a few other cats. At least he was out of a cage, lapped up attention and always climbed into my lap when I sat on the floor. He never got to know the joy of sunshine or a forever home but he was loved. Rest in Peace, Pa.

shelter cat out of cages


Hoarder cats can be as adoptable as any other cat and sometimes more so. I’ve seem some of the most incredible hoarder cats be adopted. They carry a certain aura of endurance, grace and gratitude. The biggest issue with many hoarder cats is the shyness, fear and anxiety of an undersocialized cat. These are the cats the slink to the back the cage, try to hide and make no effort to engage with humans. It’s hard to be adoptable when they don’t present well. It takes a patient person to consider adopting a cat who may hide under a couch for weeks. With a little effort and a lot of love, all cats eventually turn around. They may or may not be super snugglers or lap cats but they all deserve a second chance.

3 hoarder rescue cats
We’re still waiting for a foster or forever home.

There was a trio of kittens, I’m calling the Three Musketeers from the second hoarder that are still available for adoption. They are ideal candidates for a foster home for gentle socialization. I met them a couple days after they were rescued and were housed in a crate. The one-eyed gray gal named Vicky is a real character and not as fearful. The other two, Pablo and Uma (name change?) made themselves as small and invisible as possible. They were about six months old. They are now young adults and still fearful. Instead of enjoying kittenhood and adolescence they have lived caged in small, windowless room. It’s not conducive to their socialization. Unfortunately, there isn’t enough time or staff. Vicky is as charming ever as in a droll way and reminds of a character Louis Wain would have painted with a monocle.

cat monocle





She’s wary but will jump out of her cage while her litter-mates are more shy. She is currently alone in a cage. All three are available separately or in pairs. They are small for their age and I’d love to see them stretch out on a sunny window sill, where they would no doubt blossom in no time. They would be eternally thankful for a foster or forever home(s). Happy Thanksgiving and thanks for sharing and caring!

NRHS-hoarding cats

Holiday shopping? Did you know that you can shop at many favorites stores online and they will automatically donate to the shelter of your choice? It’s easy and free. Visit Adopt A Shelter. If your favorite shelter isn’t on the list of over 1400, let them know and they can be added.


  • Flynn

    I hope that many of the kitties get their homes soon. They and other hoarder cats lead such a sad and unnatural life before they get rescued. Even sadder is the fact that so many do not survive long enough or get heard about to enable their rescue.

  • Skeeter and Izzy

    We pray, we purr for all. The shelter situation is at least better than the hoarding and feral situations. It is so good to hear something good about these guys and tho some have crossed the bridge at least they knew a kind touch, care, food and love if only for a mere heartbeat. Sadly there are 3 new “dumps” where my little Peanut and Twig came from and at least two of those are female because they are dilute Calicos. The cycle just never ends and it can crush you. That is why we need to hear the great news that you share about adoptions and progress for the “shelter gang”.
    Much love and Happy Thanksgiving to all!!!! We can do this together, we can.

    Skeeter and Izzy and the Feral Gang + Twig & Peanut & Romeo >^..^<

  • Nerissa's Life

    Oh, those Three Musketeers are adorable! I’m purrin’ and prayin’ that they get their forever home(s) very, very soon. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have a forever family for Thanksgiving?


  • da tabbies o trout towne

    doodz…noe kitteh …ore any animal frank lee…. deserves what they wuz dealt….we troo lee hope by Christmas, everee one haz ther for evers N they be ringin in de new yeer with ther new for evers peepulz !

    heerz two a grate week oh end with plentee oh pie, spuds & NOE BURD ♥

  • easyweimaraner

    I hope that all this cats find a good home and I wish that hoarding-situations would be detected much earlier (that’s not easy, I know). My favorite is Marco, he looks like a popstar from Italy… but I agree with him, a good home and a furever family is much better than to be famous :o)

  • Bev Green

    Layla it is indeed a terrible thing that hoarded cats and dogs have such problems being rehomed…I have sadly dealt with it first hand..the fear and mistrust can take a long time to go..others are so dynamic it is like nothing happened..Pickles was lucky as a small kitten she had limited time in the hell hole she was trapped in..the others not so lucky..i wish all these special kitties a life of is the least they deserve..the cycle of hoarding needs to end..not enough is done to prevent the problem in the first place..i hope you are feeling better Layla and that the weather is treating your body a bit more kindly..hugs Fozziemum xx

  • Summer

    I am sending purrs to all these kitties – they did not deserve what was handed to them, but I hope the ones that are left finally get the home they should have had in the first place.

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