Cat Care Society is a private, non-profit cat shelter founded in 1981 that was established to improve the quality of life for cats in need in the Denver metro area. Our unique approach views all cats as worthy, regardless of their age or abilities. Our shelter is free-roaming, meaning cages are only used when medically necessary; our cats enjoy plenty of space to roam, play and lounge. We even have outdoor catios they use when weather permits!
We are non-discriminatory in our love for cats and take in many cats who may not have a chance anywhere else. This includes cats that have tested positive for FIV or FeLV, or have been diagnosed with chronic health conditions such as diabetes or kidney disease. We pride ourselves in going the extra mile to provide life-saving medical care, finding these cats loving homes and educating owners on the care requirements for cats with special needs.
As a limited-admission shelter, we only accept new cats as quickly as our current cats can find homes and only if we have the space and resources to properly care for them. This means that we aim to take in as many cats as we can, but often have a waiting list. Veterinary care, premium diet and human interaction are lovingly provided for all. Approximately 1,000 cats and kittens come into our care each year!
As we receive no government funding, Cat Care Society is supported by a number of loyal volunteers, donors and partners, without whom we could not operate. Our staff and board of directors work together to ensure that every cat receives an enriching environment and the opportunity to find a home where they can flourish.
We’re proud to be a strong community partner and closely collaborate with many other shelters, non-profit organizations, and individual and corporate partners. We’re active members of the Animal Welfare Association of Colorado, the Association of Animal Welfare Advancement, the Metro Denver Animal Welfare Alliance, and the West Metro Chamber of Commerce.
The Cat Care Society is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization. Our tax identification number is 84-0869447.
Welcoming of all cats. None are too old or ill to be valued, loved and treated with dignity. We are compassionate of the cats in our care and the people whose lives we touch.
Committed to excellence in operations, ensuring the highest quality of care for cats and delivering trusted service for people who love cats.
Unique in our approach, offering free-roaming and enriching spaces for cats, embracing cats that need specialized support, and providing superior medical care.
Connected to our community as a regional leader, inspirational model and educational resource in cat welfare.
Inclusive of the diverse backgrounds and perspectives of the people we welcome through our doors and engage with in our community.
Commitment to DEI & Inclusivity
Over the past 40+ years, Cat Care Society has been dedicated to improving the lives of ALL cats. Although our shelter’s focus is — and will always be — providing care and finding loving homes for cats, we feel that to be inclusive of all cats, we should also be inclusive of all people. Our non-discriminatory approach also applies to the people who love cats.
We also believe in supporting our community and the people in it. This includes all humans who care for and love cats just as much as do, without stipulation. We believe that an individual’s ethnicity, sexual orientation or gender identity has no bearing on their ability to provide loving care for a pet. This sentiment extends to our staff, volunteers, adopters and beyond.
Cat Care Society recognizes that prejudice and inequality disproportionately affect underrepresented communities, and we aim to provide equitable and fair opportunities and access for all through our services, programs and in the spaces in which we show up. The more people that know about Cat Care Society, the more homes we can place our animals into and the more lives we can save!
We want everyone to feel welcome here. No matter what you look like or how you identify, please know that our doors and phone lines are open, and we can’t wait to work with you.
Cat Care Society (CCS) was founded in 1981 by Linda East, DVM and Lynn Rowe. It began on the second floor of East’s Lincoln Street cat-only veterinary clinic near downtown Denver and became an official 501(c)(3) federally tax exempt non-profit organization in October 1982.
In 1985, the founders purchased a small home at 11th and Harlan in Lakewood, which served as a shelter for the next 16 years. The house was sold when the shelter later relocated but still stands there today.
Kathy Macklem Hill was the organization’s first executive director, serving 20 years through January 2006. The first statistics collected in 1986 for eight months showed 146 adoptions, an average of 16 per month.
The current property was purchased in the fall of 1994 after much work rezoning the area from office to industrial use. A capital campaign was established to raise funds to build a new shelter. It took six years of fundraising to break ground on the $1.2 million facility located at 5787 W 6th Avenue in Lakewood, which opened in 2001, and is where we still are today.
By 2002, adoptions increased to 862, an average of 72 per month.
In October 2005, we completed the lower level of the shelter and opened The Cat Clinic at Cat Care Society, which served both private-pay clients and low-income families. In 2018, the clinic was closed as it was no longer financially sustainable. However, the shelter cats are still taken care of in this area by our medical care team as all medical and treatment care remains in-house.
The small white house on the front of the property is the original farmhouse. When the property was originally purchased, it was renovated to house a thrift shop called Cajun’s Closet. When the thrift shop closed, it was again remodeled for much-needed office space and now holds five administrative offices and several very special cats.
The first-ever Tails of the Painted Cats event was announced in 2010 and debuted in 2011.
Learn more about us in this 40th-anniversary video.
We believe in transparency and always want to be available for questions, concerns or clarifications around our statistics, policies or procedures, and ask that you simply reach out if you hear any information about us and want to ensure its validity. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to set up a time to talk or learn more about or work!