A Cat Has No Name

A Cat Has No Name logo

A donation-based service to help support forensic examinations of cats without a name

In every community, there are stray or feral cats. Some of these cats are fed and cared for by the community; whereas, others will live more independent lives without much human interaction. Some of these cats will also be enrolled in Trap-Neuter-Return programs where they will be spayed or neutered, vaccinated, ear-tipped, and then returned to their home. Some of these cats will live long lives. Others will not survive, as they succumb to natural diseases, accidents, or, in the worst cases, become victims of animal abuse.

The purpose of the A Cat Has No Name program is to attempt to tell the story of those cats that died without a name, and, in doing so, also examine these cats for natural disease and evidence of trauma.

If we identify a case in which animal abuse is suspected, we will provide the information gathered during our examination to the appropriate authorities so a criminal investigation can be initiated. When a case of animal abuse is identified, our program will ensure that the jurisdictional agency has the well-documented evidence needed to successfully investigate and potentially prosecute these cases.

The objectives of our program include:

  • Determine the cause of death to provide a better understanding of why these cats died
  • Identify the individual cat as best as possible (via microchip, tattoo, ear nip, previous surgery, DNA analysis)
  • Track infectious feline diseases by location
  • Educate veterinary students and veterinary residents on how to perform forensic death investigations
  • Provide law enforcement with the forensic evidence needed to investigate the animal crime, when a case of animal cruelty is suspected

Frequently Asked Questions

Cat standing in the grass next to a sidewalk

Where do submitted cases come from?

This map shows where cases submitted to this program have originated:

The map above shows where the cats examined were found. Results of our research will be periodically updated on this map.

Who pays for the forensic examinations?

Our ability to examine cats without a name relies largely on the generosity of animal lovers like you. We encourage animal lovers to make a donation to the A Cat Has No Name program, to assist with funding these important examinations.

Who receives the results from the forensic examinations?

The person or agency that submitted the dog for examination will receive the results.

How do I submit a case to the program?

Please contact us by email to discuss your particular case. The submitting agency must fill out an ACHNN request form, linked below.

For more information please contact:
Dr. Adam W. Stern
Professor of Forensic Pathology
University of Florida, College of Veterinary Medicine
(352) 294-4077