A Cat Has No Name


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.  Some of these cats will also be enrolled in Trap-Neuter-Return programs and will be spayed or neutered, vaccinated, ear-tipped, and then returned to their home.  While some of these cats will live long lives others will become will not survive as they succumb to natural disease, accidents, or in the worst cases, they become victims of animal abuse.

The purpose of A Cat Has No Name is to attempt to tell the story of those cats that died without a name, and in doing so, we will examine these cats for natural disease, evidence of accidental trauma, and identify those cases in which animal abuse is suspected so a criminal investigation can be initiated. When a case of animal abuse is identified, our project will ensure that the submitting agency has the well-documented evidence needed to successfully investigate and prosecute these cases. Within the College of Veterinary Medicine, and throughout the University of Florida, we have access to a multitude of forensic experts including a veterinary forensic pathologist, forensic entomologists, forensic DNA analyst, forensic anthropologist, and forensic toxicologists, as well as state of the art imaging facilities.

In order to obtain our goal the project will have a number of objectives including:

  • Determine the cause of death
  • Estimate the time of death
  • Identifying the individual cat as best as possible (microchip, tattoo, ear nip, previous surgery) and collect a DNA sample
  • Track infectious feline disease

As any case can possibly be flagged as an animal abuse case, all cases enrolled in this project will be handled in a manner appropriate for forensic investigations. Once our investigation is complete, the submitting agency will then be in the position to take over and begin a criminal investigation if determined to be necessary.

Frequently asked questions

Where do submitted cases come from?

This map shows where cases submitted to this program have originated from.

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 A Cat Has No Name, to assist with funding of these important examinations.

Who receives the results from the forensic examinations?

The agency that submitted the cat for examination will receive the results.

How do I submit a case to the program?

Please contact us via telephone or email to discuss your particular case.
The submitting agency must fill out a submission form.

For more information please contact:
Dr. Adam W. Stern
Professor of Forensic Pathology
University of Florida, College of Veterinary Medicine