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Counting all the cats in D.C. is a full-time job

The DC Cat Count initiative is a three-year, $1.5M project

Humane Rescue Alliance/Facebook

There’s an ambitious project in the works to count every stray cat in Washington, D.C., and this so-called “cat census” is going to take some time. The Washington Post reports that $1.5 million and two full-time staffers have been allocated to DC Cat Count, a three-year joint initiative between the Humane Rescue Alliance, the Humane Society of the United States, PetSmart Charities, and the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute.

The hope behind tracking down all these kitties in Rock Creek Park and neighborhoods is that DC Cat Count’s findings will help animal groups figure out how to find adoptable strays a home and work on future population control. You can read more about DC Cat Count’s methods here, which include high-tech cameras, surveys, and more.

“We’re investigating — scientifically — the underlying dynamics of this system,” researcher John Boone told the Post. “We’re not just counting the number of cats but trying to understand how they get there.”