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About Us

Our History

JCN was founded by American expats, who had been living in Japan, teaching English, and helping cats since 1993. They started the group after having had success helping the cats in their own community through TNR, a method of population control in which stray cats are trapped for neutering and returned to the location. When they first arrived in town there were very sad cases of sick and dying cats, all over the community, and they found this completely intolerable.

After researching, and deciding on TNR as the best plan, they got started. TNR has worked wonders in their community. The remaining cats are healthier, look better, are less annoying to neighbors, and are no longer reproducing. They realized that this could work all over Japan, and also thought how much easier it would have been to get started, if there had been a group to turn to for support. JCN is that group, and we'd like to help others who want to start TNR programs in their communities.

On March 11, 2011, the Tohoku area of Japan was devastated. A magnitude 9 earthquake off of the east coast triggered a tsunami that damaged the Fukushima Daiichi Power Plant, causing a nuclear disaster. Hundreds of thousands of residents were displaced or evacuated, forced to leave behind companion and farm animals. One of the founders began working in Fukushima in March 2011 to rescue animals left behind and to take in animals from evacuating owners with nowhere to turn. The JCN Inawashiro Shelter was established in May 2011 as the focal point of this effort. For eight years the shelter continued to serve the people and animals of Fukushima whose lives remain overturned. Due to aging Fukushima rescued animals with multiple health issues the decision was eventually made to move the shelter to Tokyo. In 2015, a secondary JCN base was started in Kyoto, eventually working in cooperation with Maneki Machiya guest houses.


The JCN shelter has been enjoying a wonderful opportunity in Tokyo. For more details please contact us at [email protected]

What other people say about us? Did you had a good experience while volunteering or visiting the JCN shelter? Tell us about it!

"My partner and I are responsible for a cat colony of 11. It started with one, Sofi, a feral, whose caretaker took her own life just as we were about to relocate. With the help of JNC in the form of excellent advice, a trap (sent to me on short notice) and cage (hand-delivered!), we managed to bring Sofi with us, to acclimate her to the new neighborhood, and to eventually turn her onto an affectionate companion. In the process, 10 other feral cats have joined our family, all but two now sterilized -- and all thanks to JNC, whose continued generosity has made this possible. Mutsu, in a JNC cage, post-neutering." - Tamarah Cohen

"I have visited Japan Cat Network, both in Shiga and in Inawashiro. I am always extremely impressed with the work that this group does. They are not only helping the animals under their care, but they also do a lot of good work in raising awareness of animal issues. They work hard to stretch every single yen they receive, and nothing goes to waste. You can be assured that any donations you make to this group (either monetary or in kind) are going to be used wisely, and in a way that directly impacts the animals under their care. This is a humane and intelligent organization that deserves the active support of all animal lovers in Japan." - Shaney Crawford

Read Tracy's moving article about Japan Cat Network. Article - Tracy Wang

"JCN introduced me to my best friend in 2010 and without Tora (aka Scooby) I probably wouldn't have got through everything with a smile on my face. The work all the volunteers do just amazes me. I owe them a lot and I wish I could write something beautiful to sum up what they have done for me but I really can't find the words. From the bottom of my heart you guys are just the most amazing people and I want to make it my new years resolution to do more to help...Thank you so much...here's to another year saving so many lives, and enriching others You guys rock xxx" - Rose Miller

"JCN is wonderful in how it spreads out. People give advice to each others on helping animals in their neighborhoods, on cat care, the activities are not only shelter-based, but you can donate your musical, organizational and other skills in Tokyo and elsewhere. The foster home activities are a great example of this."- Eija Niskanen

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