FAQs

Can't find an answer to your question?  Contact us at CatStats@neighborhoodcats.org.

Is Cat Stats really free?

Yes, Cat Stats is free. There are no hosting charges, no advertisements, no hidden terms of agreement, nothing. Neighborhood Cats offers this tool to the animal welfare community as part of our mission to improve the lives of the millions of cats living on our streets and support the dedicated people who care for them.

How is data entered into Cat Stats?

Cat Stats allows caretakers to enter info for their colonies online, saving your TNR program hours of data entry. Through your organization's unique Cat Stats website, a caretaker creates an account, logs in and completes a short form for each of her colonies. The form asks for cat numbers, location, contact info, etc. All the data entered by all your caretakers is cumulated into a spreadsheet which your program administrators can download. Much of the data, including colony locations, can be viewed on automatically generated maps. Caretakers can also log in and update their info at any time.

What if a caretaker doesn't have Internet access?

For caretakers unable to remotely enter colony data, your program can do this for them. Create an account specially for non-Internet active caretakers and enter all their colonies under it, so they're all in one place. You will need to gather the necessary info from the caretakers and then manually enter it.

Who can view the info in a Cat Stats database?

There are three levels of access in a Cat Stats database: (1) colony caretaker, (2) trapper and (3) administrator. Each caretaker can only view the data which she entered for her colony or colonies. Designated trappers can access maps of registered colonies and enter notes on these maps. Selected adminstrators have access to all data entered for your program. Colony, trapper and administrator accounts are password protected.

Does Cat Stats collect data on individual cats?

Cat Stats is designed to track colonies, not individual cats. No cat-specific data, such as medical records, rabies vaccination dates or photos, is collected. A system that did gather this kind of info would have to be exponentially larger (and more expensive!)

What is Neighborhood Cats' involvement in Cat Stats?

Neighborhood Cats runs community TNR programs in New York City and Jersey City, NJ, and on the Island of Maui, Hawaii. We operate one of the most popular websites on community cat care and for years have been leaders in creating educational materials on TNR and designing equipment for feral cats. In NYC, our program includes thousands of caretakers and colonies. Faced with the massive task of tracking them, we created an online system which relies on remote data entry by caretakers. It has saved lives, helped our program strategies and let us measure impact. Thanks to a generous donor, we have updated the technology and can now offer the database to other agencies for free.

Will Neighborhood Cats use any of the data in my organization's Cat Stats database?

Neighborhood Cats will not use any of the data in your Cat Stats database without your organization's express, written permission. This includes all colony, caretaker, trapper and administrator information. We understand the importance of confidentiality to your program and no exceptions to this policy will be made.

What kind of technical support is there for Cat Stats?

We understand many people are not familiar with the inner workings of websites and databases, so we have simplified the operation of Cat Stats as much as possible. That said, it is still a system that may seem complex at first to those of us who are inexperienced at these things. This is why Neighborhood Cats is available to provide whatever technical support you need to get your database up and running, including website design, one-on-one training or whatever else is needed. Just contact us at CatStats@neighborhoodcats.org.

Are there training materials available on Cat Stats?

The Community Cats Podcast hosts a recorded one-hour webinar on how to use Cat Stats. You can also test drive a sample site at www.catstats.org/feralville. The Feralville site is an example of what the public would see and your colony caretakers use to enter their data. Your agency would manage your site and the data collected in the administrative side, which only your designated administrators could access. To test the admin side of the Feralville site, contact us at CatStats@neighborhoodcats.org and we'll send you the log-in info.

Why does Cat Stats have a required confidentiality policy?

As a condition of using Cat Stats, your organization must hold in strict confidence any data that could be used to identify or locate individual colonies or caretakers, like addresses, contact info, etc. In our experience, colony caretakers often value their privacy and are concerned public disclosure of their identities and colony locations could place their cats at risk. By promising confidentiality of this information, your organization will protect caretakers and colonies, and encourage participation in your Cat Stats database.

Does Cat Stats store prior data after any colony or caretaker info is updated?

Cat Stats does not store data that has been overwritten. For example, if a caretaker initially reports six current cats in her colony and later updates this to five cats, the original entry is not stored. In order to track changes in data over time, and to create backups, you should periodically download your Cat Stats' spreadsheet. At least once a month is recommended.

Do I need to create a separate account for each colony?

No, multiple colonies can be entered under one caretaker account, using the same user name and password to log in. There is no need to create more than one account per caretaker.

Who will view the information I enter for my colony or colonies?

The information you enter will be accessible to the organization operating your area's Cat Stats database. As a condition of using Cat Stats, participating organizations must promise to keep all data on colony locations and caretaker identities confidential.