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CAT’s commitment to diversity, equity & inclusion

A person in a blue plaid shirt holds two tabby kittens in front of a window

(December 5, 2022) — CAT is focused on cats, but we also have a deep respect and appreciation for people. That’s why we are committed to building more diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) into our systems, programs, services, and organizational culture.

The welfare of cats and people is inextricably tied. For one thing, it’s people who do the work of saving cats (we haven’t seen any kittens doing laundry around here!). What’s more, CAT’s ability to connect with people from across our community determines how much impact we can have. Without those connections, we won’t reach all the cats who need our help. And we will miss opportunities to meet and engage with people who want to join us in helping cats.

In summer 2020, CAT established a DEI committee of staff, volunteers, and board members. The committee’s first act was to develop a multi-year framework to drive impactful change at CAT. This framework includes a variety of short- and long-term goals. Here are just a few things we’ve completed so far:

  • Developed a DEI statement of principle (see below) to clarify our position and inform future efforts
  • Conducted a gender inclusivity training for staff and volunteers
  • Identified and addressed accessibility issues on our website and social media
  • Created a DEI assessment tool to help measure and track our progress over time

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) Statement of Principle
Respect for people is a core value at Cat Adoption Team. We’re working to create a space where all people are welcome, respected, and valued. We know that we have a long way to go to address issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion—both in our organization and within the animal welfare field. Bias and discrimination have prevented people from accessing employment, volunteerism, programs, and services. 

At CAT, we believe that every cat lover deserves to enjoy the love, laughter, and companionship of cats. We are committed to learning and growing so that we can better reflect and embrace our full community. Our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee, comprised of staff, volunteers, and board members, is working through a broad range of initiatives to ensure we make impactful change, not only in policy and procedure, but within our organizational culture. We know that this will be an ongoing process and we’re dedicated to transparency along the way.

During the past two years, we’ve made numerous other changes to improve DEI at CAT. But it’s an ongoing process and there’s much more to do. Through our dedication and efforts, we hope to make our world a kinder, gentler place for cats and people.

Questions, comments, ideas, or concerns? Contact our DEI committee.



About Cat Adoption Team

Cat Adoption Team (CAT) is the largest cat shelter in the Pacific Northwest. We offer adoption, foster care, and veterinary services to homeless cats and kittens.

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