We are currently undergoing maintenance and you may experience operating difficulties while using the website. We apologize for any inconvenience.
Toggle Bar

Animal Shelter

Cats and kittens adopted from our shelter have received at least one vaccination to protect them against feline distemper, calcivirus and herpes virus. Most cats that are old enough (over 14 weeks) have also received a rabies shot.
As a cat owner, you should discuss with your vet the vaccine schedule that will be best for your pet.

Cats and kittens adopted from our shelter have received at least one vaccination to protect them against feline distemper, calcivirus and herpes virus. Most cats that are old enough (over 14 weeks) have also received a rabies shot.

As a cat owner, you should discuss with your vet the vaccine schedule that will be best for your pet.

In order to remove cats that cannot be handled, it is necessary to confine them in a humane trap. We will loan you a trap and pick up any cats caught between 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. on weekdays.


No trapping is done on holidays or weekends. This service only available to towns that contract with Bergen County Animal Control.

It is your responsibility to watch the trap and notify Animal Control when an animal is in the trap. The trap is to be closed at 4:30 pm unless you are attempting to trap a skunk, raccoon or opossum.

For more information, call Animal Control at 201-229-4616.

Adopting from a shelter or rescue group has several advantages. First and foremost, you are saving a life. A responsible shelter or rescue group will carefully screen adopters. They will have you sign a contract, stating the obligations of both the shelter and the adopter. They will require that the pet be spayed or neutered. They will take the cat back if the adoption does not work out. They will spell out what they will do if the cat has medical problems. They will offer support and advice if you encounter problems with your new cat. Please see our adoption page for more information on the Bergen County Animal Shelter's adoption policies. Visit our selecting a cat page for more information.

Many of the people coming to the shelter looking for a lost cat say, "But he always stays right in the yard." As animal control officers, we see all too frequently the tragic results of letting cats outdoors. Our answer to the question "indoors or out?" is definitely indoors.

URIs (upper respiratory infections) are one of the most common medical problems with adopted cats. Because the virus is airborne, it is nearly impossible to eradicate in a shelter setting where new cats are introduced daily. Fortunately, most cats recover with no problems. Symptoms include runny noses and eyes - just like a human cold. While there isn't much you can do for the viral infection, many vets will treat with antibiotics to prevent secondary bacterial infections. If your cat starts sneezing, it's time to see the vet.

Cats adopted from our shelter are covered by the 2-week medical care guarantee for treatment. When a cat can't smell because its nose is stuffy, it often won't eat. This can be very serious in a young kitten. It is critical to see a vet immediately if a young kitten stops eating.

Rabies is probably the most serious disease that can be transmitted from an animal to a human. New Jersey law requires that bites be reported to your local health department. The health department will enforce a 10-day quarantine. If the biting animal is not available for quarantine, the person bitten will probably have to undergo rabies treatment. The rabies vaccine is HIGHLY recommended as rabies is a fatal disease that has been found in New Jersey. Visit the New Jersey rabies page for more information.

Unfortunately, there are no perfect answers to the feral cat problem. In some municipalities there exist feral cat colonies managed by volunteer partners in the neighborhood. In those cases the shelter veterinary staff or a contracted private veterinary hospital will spay or neuter and vaccinate the cat. The cat will be returned to the managed colony. The shelter staff is prepared to train and help support individuals or groups of neighbors who are willing to manage feral colonies in municipalities where feeding feral cats is not prohibited by local ordinances. If you would like information about how to establish and maintain a feral cat colony, please call the shelter at 201-229-4600.

Feral cats brought to the shelter are housed here for a period of 7 days. During that 7 days, behavioral assessements are performed to determine if the cat is a candidate for adoption. If the cat has a serious, untreatable or zoonotic disease and/or is unable to be handled without risk to humans and there is no managed colony to return the cat to, sadly the cat must be euthanized.

If your cat is from our shelter it will already be spayed or neutered. This webpage addresses some concerns about spaying or neutering your cat. Just about every website for an animal organization, including ours, also provides spaying and neutering information.

While the Internet is a great resource for learning more about feline health issues and receiving support from other cat owners who have been through similar problems, it should never be a substitute for seeing your veterinarian. Before you follow anyone's advice, please consult your veterinarian. With that disclaimer, here are some feline health links that may be useful:

The Bergen County Animal Shelter does not provide emergency medical care for owned pets. In Bergen County and Northern New Jersey, The Oradell Animal HospitalNorth Jersey Veterinary Emergency Services and the Animal Emergency & Referral Associates provide 24-hour emergency service.

During the first 2 weeks of adoption, our medical care guarantee includes treatment for parasites. We ask all adopters to bring in a fresh stool sample during that period. If parasites are found, we will provide treatment.Visit the worms, protozoan parasites, and mites webpage for more information.