Drew moves to “King Street Cats”

By ArthurHoose

Drew, our kitten of dilute calico, has moved to King Street Cats. This private rescue runs its shelter on Dove St. In Alexandria. Street Cats has the advantage of Drew going there. They not only have foster homes but also have cats that live at the shelter. The shelter is homey and has a large room for cats until they are ready to be adopted. Drew will be able to get used to the environment and will also have her own playmates.

King Street Cats

We are proud to be the sole cat-exclusive orphanage located in Alexandria, Va. This is done by reaching out to the community and providing information about proper cat care, behavioral issues, and medical concerns involving cats.

Statement of Mission

We offer a temporary shelter for abandoned or rescued kittens and cats until they are adopted into a loving, permanent home.


We are proud to be Alexandria’s only cat-exclusive orphanage. We are the only cat-friendly orphanage in town, offering free-roaming and no kill shelters for cats. Our primary goal is to educate the community about cat welfare and provide loving homes to the kittens and cats in our care. This is done by reaching out to the community and providing information about proper cat care, behavioral issues, and medical concerns involving cats. We help local residents locate and retrieve lost cats, and guide people through the cat adoption process. We offer a temporary, safe home for abandoned or rescued kittens and cats until they are adopted into a loving and permanent home.

All Cats Have Nine Lives At King Street Cats

Thanks to the tireless efforts of King Street Cats volunteers and foster families, more than 400 cats received a second or ninth chance at life last year.

Many of these cats were seniors or had special behavioral and medical needs. They would have been too weak to make it to regional shelters.

King Street Cats does not have to adopt its cats, unlike other shelters. Melissa Murphy, who has been volunteering with Street Cats since 2004, said that King Street Cats isn’t under any pressure to do so.

King Street Cats receives lists from shelters around the D.C. Metro area each day of cats that are “needing out” or will be put down. Murphy stated that King Street Cats will pull from these lists whenever possible, particularly senior and special-needs cats, Murphy said. If there is space, the organization will take in stray cats. It is KSC’s policy that any cat adopted from the organization will be returned to them. “Recently, we had a 17-year old cat returned. Unfortunately, there is always a long waiting list for cats to come in.

Ethel Beun spearheaded the organization. It was initially run from the Unique gift shop on King Street. In 2003, the Alexandria cat rescue group was made a 501c3 non-profit. In 2009, the group moved to its current location at 25 S. Dove Street, Alexandria.

The group has about 30 free-roaming cats on Dove Street, and over 100 kittens and cats are housed in 65 foster homes. King Street Cats is a state-licensed animal shelter that is also inspected. The Dove Street facility measures approximately 1,000 square feet.

King Street Cats is run entirely by volunteers. 35 of the core volunteers treat it as a full-time job. None of them get paid. Another 65 volunteers also help when they can. Murphy stated that they come from many different backgrounds and places. You might end up scooping litter boxes with a vice admiral!

King Street Cats also partners with the Lyles Crouch Traditional Academy‚Äôs Animal Crusaders Program. “We love having the children visit us. Murphy stated that it’s amazing that children are learning about caring for animals as young as possible.

King Street Cats is not a place where cats stay for too long. However, Salali, a cat from Kuwait, has stayed the longest. Murphy explained that Salali came from Kuwait two years ago. She has had to adjust as cats are not her favorite. We know she will soon pick her owner, and that she has already mellowed a lot.

The rescue group uses 100 percent of all donations to care for the cats. Murphy stated that despite a generous discount from Hayfield and Fort Hunt’s super vets, our largest expense is veterinary care. “We accept a lot special medical needs cases, so it often requires specialists’ visits or surgeries.”

ACT for Alexandria Community Foundation’s Spring2Action is the largest non-profit fundraiser every year. It’s a 24-hour online fundraiser. Murphy stated that “We have been in the Top 5 ever since we started participating in it, which was quite an achievement as we are all amateur fundraisers working towards it.”

King Street Cat’s annual theater night fundraiser at Little Theatre of Alexandria is another big event. It’s this year scheduled for Friday, June 26. You can find more information about KSC’s events at kingstreetcats.org. Murphy stated, “We need to raise enough money to be able continue to save senior or special-needs cats and kittens.”

King Street Cats needs your help, but you don’t have the time. You can visit their website to see their wish list, which includes food, litter, and treats. Murphy stated, “We are so grateful for the support of the local community. Without which we simply couldn’t continue our rescue work.” The government does not provide any funding for the group.