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Our Story

It all began January of 2018

An Idea Is Born to Help a Rural Town

It began as a way to help control the cat colonies in a very small town. Soon we had a team of community volunteers and a plan in place, but discovered something was not quite right. There was a mixture of feral cats and socialized cats. TNR was underway when we stumbled upon our very 1st "feeder house" and were able to educate and help the ladies get their kitties to and from surgery appointments for the whole crew. Soon we found that this was happening throughout MANY towns. During those cold months we were focused on TNR and owner spay/neuter. Then "Kitten Season" hit and changed our approach yet again. We use the Jefferson County Humane Society Clinic for all of our spay/neuters, but the veterinarian likes the kitties to be at least 5 months old (this is breeding age). We couldn't leave those babies outside fighting for their lives, so we started momma and kitten care. We can give early socialization to these babies and change the course of their lives forever. Every momma and baby is "fixed" and offered for adoption. 

2 Years Later

There are 3 of us who volunteer our time to The St Gertrude Cat Initiative. We are foster-based, meaning, we do not have a physical shelter, but have volunteers that foster our kitties in their homes, until they are cleared for adoption. Each of us have our own families, full-time jobs, and pets. So, if you are trying to reach us by phone, please leave a message and we will return calls in the order they come in. During Kitten Season, we receive a minimum of 20 phone calls each day! Please know that we do care and we are trying to help everyone, but time, space, and funding all determine what we can do. We do almost all of our adoptions at Pet Supplies Plus in Steubenville, OH. The staff there provide all of their care (and daily cleaning) and are trained on our application procedure. They are GREAT to us and even collect donations at the store for our kitties! Every item and every penny is used directly for the kitties.

Lucky Luke

This sweet boy is one of many homeless cats that was recently trapped through our TNR program. It was apparent that he was having much difficulty breathing and struggled to do so, making a terrible noise. The veterinarian discovered that poor Luke had been suffering with a tumor blocking most of his airway and immediately removed it while under anesthesia for his neuter. Most likely, if he would have been left outside to fend for himself, he would have died outside, homeless, alone, and afraid. Lucky Luke was able to receive his treatment through donations and support from fellow cat lovers. This sweet boy is not feral, so after he is medically cleared, he will need a home to call his very own.


This sweet mama has been a street cat for a couple of years and finally has a sanctuary to birth her next litter. We do not encourage cat pregnancy, but if a kitty is almost to term, we allow her to birth them to avoid terrible complications, among other issues. She will be spayed, along with her babies (at age) as soon as they are no longer nursing. This will be her very last litter of kittens, and I bet she is relieved! 


Let me introduce you to Mickey, not the mouse, but just as special. This fella really isn't liking the indoor life and we had planned to simply TNR and put him back....BUT he had a pretty big wound on his ear that still needed monitored. The vet shaved around it and thoroughly cleaned it while he was under anesthesia for his neuter. While in our care, a wonderful opportunity arose to fulfill Mickey's life long dream of the simple life of a barn cat. That's right, he has gone country! A very kind human is giving this boy, shelter, heat, food, love, and vet care...along with a smorgasbord of mice to catch...and the best part , a barn to call home. Home is a word that poor Mickey does not know yet, but all good things are in store for him. Thank you for giving Mickey all the endless love that he deserves. The St Gertrude Cat Initiative Together, loving the unloved. 

"Fighting" Franklin

Let me introduce you to Franklin. He is a kitten that came to us with his brother. Sadly, within minutes of receiving these brothers, one passed away in our hands. The thing that killed this kitten, was none other than FLEAS! . Fleas can cause severe anemia, followed by death, and sadly this is a completely preventable condition that simply wasn't caught in time to save the kitten. BUT... Franklin was spared and all of the fleas removed before it was too late. He found comfort with Mama Luna and her babies, as they accepted him as their own family. Franklin is a fighter, so we nicknamed him, "Fighting Frankie". He is still too young to be placed through adoption, but soon he will be on the search for a family to love him. The St Gertrude Cat Initiative

We Run Solely On Donations

 We are a nonprofit corporation that is trying to tackle a very big issue in almost every neighborhood, over -population of cats.

 Check us out on WTOV 9 News Steubenville, Ohio

   I'm going to share a  very tragic experience with a homeless kitten. The little kitten was about 6 weeks old and was brought to me in a listless state. A lady had found the kitten and saw that it was not doing well, so sought assistance. Upon holding this fragile baby in my hands, I noticed that its skin was moving! Actually, it really wasn't the kitten's skin moving, but rather, heaping piles of fleas all over this poor little baby. Even with the best medical care, the baby slipped away. This is a prime example of a completely preventable death! The fleas literally sucked the life out of that precious, tiny kitten, had someone helped it just 2 days sooner, that baby would still be alive today.  Just imagine how many more kittens and cats are out there slowly dying only because they don't have anyone that cares enough to help and love them. The St Gertrude Cat Initiative is designed to give love and care to the forgotten cats. Saving more and more lives as the days go on.  Please consider donating to help us save the cats! We raise funding for spay/neuter, vaccinations, equipment, (and it's upkeep), food, medication, supplies (for building shelters), bottles, kitten formula, heating pads, and veterinarian bills. 

Please consider donating to help us save more and more lives.

To donate: Make checks payable to The St Gertrude Cat Initiative.

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