Cat Castles

Pima Animal Care Center: Cat Castles Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

Last year, you made an incredibly generous grant of Cat Castles to our shelter. We are so happy to say that your generous gift is STILL making a difference in the lives of our homeless cats like Toph and Azula. Their story, as well as a photo of them in their new home hanging out next to their familiar Cat Castle, are below.

How did this grant help your organization and the pets in your care?

It saved us thousands of dollars on cardboard cat carriers, which we otherwise would have had to buy. That meant we had more money for medical care for injured and sick pets like Toph.

How many pets did this grant help?

We estimate this donation helped us save over 3,000 cats.

Please provide a story of one or more specific pets this grant helped.

During the middle of summer, we often take in more than a dozen mewling, orphaned kittens every single day. It was during this time that a Good Samaritan brought Toph to our back door. He was just a palm-sized, weeks-old stray, and his eyes were completely crusted shut from a painful herpes virus. Two years ago, we would never have had the staff or supplies during the height of kitten season to save an extremely sick baby animal like Toph. But because of the support we’re getting from friends like the Petfinder Foundation, in 2015 our medical team can and did.

Our doctors immediately started treating Toph with donated eye drops, and they gave him antibiotics to cure his upper-respiratory infection (it’s like a kitty cold). After six weeks of steady care, Toph’s cold was gone, but his eyes had still not improved. The medical neglect he’d suffered in his infancy meant there was no other option for us except to remove his eyes.

And because we have such a caring community that supports our work, we were able to do just that – as well as neuter him, of course, so he does not contribute to our community’s profound pet-overpopulation problem.

After Toph recovered from his surgery, our volunteers paired him with Azula, another young kitten who’d also had a rough start to her life. One of our Animal Care Officers had saved her from an apartment where she’d lived with a dozen other cats. Like many of the hundreds of pets we save each year from hoarding situations, Azula was fearful, under-socialized and going to be hard to adopt out. But it turns out she was just what Toph needed: A seeing-eye guide. And Toph was just what Azula needed: A friend – and, since they were marketed as bonded pair who must leave the shelter together – he was also her ticket to a forever home.

Roselia Sosa fell them both. Azula, she says, is slowly coming out of her shell. She really loves spending time with Sosa’s children, who are small like she is, and therefore less scary than their household’s adults. She continues to enjoy the Cat Castle that came home with her from our shelter. And as for blind Toph, he’s not only figured out how to get around Sosa’s house and onto her furniture, but he’s wiggled his way firmly into the family’s hearts.

“The kids just love him,” she tells us. “He’s so cuddly.”

Some might argue we went “too far” by saving Toph. But not Roselia Sosa.

“He is just as worthy of our help as any animal – or any person, really,” she says. “If something or someone needs help, you give it to them.”

“He is just such a sweetheart,” she adds. “I can’t imagine my life without him.”

Humane Society of West Michigan: Cat Castles Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

To purchase Cat Castle boxes.

How did this grant help your organization and the pets in your care?

It provided a space for the cats to “hide” and gave them a familiar scent through their stay with us. The boxes would be provided to the cats upon intake and then become what they went home in for adoption.

How many pets did this grant help?

1830

Please provide a story of one or more specific pets this grant helped.

Oreo was a cat who was owner-surrendered. She was extremely shy and hissy. We gave her a Cat Castle box that she loved. Over the next few days, she would hide in her box but then started coming out and seeking attention. We believe that giving her space to choose whether or not she wanted to interact had a positive effect on her and her attitude. She has since been adopted!

Williamson County Animal Center: Cat Castles Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

This grant money was used to purchase hiding dens for our adoptable cats. This provides them a comfortable place to sleep and hide if the public gets too much for them.

How did this grant help your organization and the pets in your care?

We have seen a huge improvement in the health of our cats. I think being able to provide this option to hide has reduced their stress level, thus making them happier and healthier. You can also see that the public notices how happy they are and it has caused our cat adoptions to increase! It has been a win/win for everyone involved!

How many pets did this grant help?

This grant money allowed us to order 35 cat hiding dens, but will have a greater impact on our animals than just 35 cats. We are able to reuse these and keep them in the kennels as we move up cats. It will provide a positive impact for every cat that enters our adoption area.

Please provide a story of one or more specific pets this grant helped.

Mongo is a 7-year-old domestic long-haired cat who came into our center as a stray. He was very fearful, and being in a shelter environment made him more anxious. Staff worked diligently to reduce his stress while we waited for his owners to claim him. After he went unclaimed, staffers were excited to be able to move him up into the adoption center. After going slow with him and trying to socialize him, he still seemed to be stressed. Thanks to the Petfinder Foundation, we were able to provide him with a hiding box and his behavior completely changed. He went from being anxious and scared to comfortable and happy to greet adopters! We are hoping that this behavior change will put him on the fast track to getting adopted. He is a sweet boy and this hiding box gave him the opportunity to have his true personality shine! Thank you, Petfinder Foundation, for making such a positive impact on Mongo’s life!

Choctaw County Animal Shelter: Cat Castles Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

Cat Castles are placed in the cages of resident cats and sent home with cats when they are adopted.

How did this grant help your organization and the pets in your care?

Gives the cats places to hide and sleep on and provides a carrier for adopters to take their new pets home in.

How many pets did this grant help?

We have used about 40 so far.

Please provide a story of one or more specific pets this grant helped.

We have a very shy cat, Miss Motley. The Cat Castle gives her a place to hide when she is nervous. She has gone through three boxes because she comes out and sits on the top at night and she is a little chunky. She is a 6-year-old spayed, front-declawed house cat who weighs close to 15 lbs., so she needs a little weight loss. We are working on it. Friendly, but a little nervous right now. Meet Miss Motley: https://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/27504555/

Pima Animal Care Center: Cat Castles Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

Last August, the Petfinder Foundation generously granted us 4,500 Cat Castles, valued at $8,145.

How did this grant help your organization and the pets in your care?

This amazing donation has helped us save the lives of thousands of kittens and cats! Not only are we able to use the Cat Castles as enrichment items for our kenneled cats, they serve as carriers for our cats and kittens who are adopted, too. Because cardboard cat carriers are something we always have to purchase, this donation saved us a great deal of money that we were able to put toward our cats’ critical medical care.

By saving our shelter from spending thousands of dollars on cardboard cat carriers, this grant helped us have more desperately needed funds available for pets in medical need. And no pet was more in need than Gracie, who came to us shot through with an arrow.

How many pets did this grant help?

By the time all the Cat Castles are used, they will have helped more than 4,500 cats!

Please provide a story of one or more specific pets this grant helped.

In December 2014, a Good Samaritan found a horribly injured 2-year-old tabby wandering through her neighborhood. Knowing we were the only shelter in our community that could be counted on to take her in, she rushed Gracie to us. Our medical team performed immediate emergency surgery to remove the arrow, which had narrowly missed Gracie’s spine. After the surgery, we gave Gracie the pain medications and antibiotics she needed to heal, and we sent her to a foster home for further recovery. Still, we did not know if Gracie would make it, since her injuries were so significant.

Amazingly, Gracie survived her horrible ordeal and went on to be adopted by a fantastic woman named Kate. Kate tells us Gracie now lives a spoiled indoor life, and that she even sleeps on her bed at night!

Your donation of Cat Castles helped us have the funds we needed to treat and save Gracie — who is now aptly known as Lucky. Thank you so much, Petfinder Foundation, for all your amazing support of Pima County’s pets!

UPDATE JULY 2015: Gracie’s adopter writes, “The Petfinder Foundation helped a cat at Pima County Animal Care Center a few months back and featured her on your Success Stories. I thought you might like to see how she is today, looking very normal (fifth photo). She’s had a few issues — having to get a double root canal as the most severe. Apparently she broke off her canine teeth trying to get the arrow out of her back! Poor thing! But she’s healthy now and one of the sweetest animals I’ve ever had. Every night she either sleeps on me or right next to me, and is a total lap cat. Love her!!”

Animal Rescue League of Iowa, Inc.: Cat Castles Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

The Animal Rescue League of Iowa, Inc. (ARL) received a grant of 1,200 Cat Castles for the comfort and enrichment of the cats in our care as they wait to be available for adoption, and in adoption.

How did this grant help your organization and the pets in your care?

In 2013 the ARL took in over 7,000 cats and kittens in our shelter and sadly we do not anticipate our intake numbers to be reduced dramatically (but hopefully lower — our many community outreach programs efforts are focused on reducing the number of intakes and to help keep pets in their homes). With so many cats/kittens in our care we are grateful for the grant of the Cat Castles. We have witnessed a decrease in stress, a faster healing time for cats while in isolation, an increase in enrichment and stimulation; all of which helps the cats to be adoptable. The Cat Castles have had a huge effect on the cats and the staff at our shelter; we are not sure who is happier about the boxes: the cats or the animal care techs who care for the cats. Either way it is a win-win for all!

How many pets did this grant help?

1,200+

Please provide a story of one or more specific pets this grant helped.

Tom and Huck were 3-year-old Siamese cats that came to the ARL as strays. The ARL has a bonded buddy program which “bonds” animals that come to the shelter from the same home or are found as strays together so then they will be remain together and must be adopted to the same home. This bonded pair were very shy, Tom in particular. It was determined by our cat behaviorist that Tom was too shy to go to directly to adoption, so they were office fostered in one of our administrative staff members’ office. Tom and Huck were set up in the office with everything they needed, which included a Cat Castle! When Tom and his brother Huck were brought to the office, Tom went right to the Castle and for the first few days he only came out of the Cat Castle at night. As he became more comfortable in the office and with the staff member, he slowly started to gain confidence and trust of the staff member and others. After about two months of office foster time, Tom and Huck were ready to be available for adoption; instead of being moved to the adoption area, they stayed in the office and were made available for adoption on the ARL website. Soon a potential adopter inquired, and came to the shelter to meet Tom and Huck in “their office.” Tom and Huck were adopted together and the Cat Castle went with them to their forever home to help with the transition.

RescueCats, Inc.: Cat Castles Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

adoptions

How did this grant help your organization and the pets in your care?

The adopters have been very happy about being given carriers

How many pets did this grant help?

50+ so far

Please provide a story of one or more specific pets this grant helped.

Bridget was happy to get into the carrier to go to her new home

Pennington County Humane Society: Cat Castles Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

Cat Castles used for environmental enhancement of cats in cages.

How did this grant help your organization and the pets in your care?

The Cat Castles were/are great in some of our cages, but are too large for most of them. We have put them out in our colony rooms and replace them once every week or so as they become scratched up, torn up, squished or otherwise made unusable.

How many pets did this grant help?

30

Please provide a story of one or more specific pets this grant helped.

Right now we have a batch of five kittens who are mostly unsocialized. Putting the Cat Castle in their cage provides them with a place to “hide” and definitely reduces the amount of stress they showed before we put the castle into their cage. We even have a couple of more brave kittens hanging out in the parapet portion of the castle. This is very encourging and helpful in our socialization attempts for them.

Fayette County Humane Society: Cat Castles Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

The Cat Castles have been used to provide a safe and comfortable means of transport to their furr-ever homes following their adoptions for multiple cats and kittens.

How did this grant help your organization and the pets in your care?

Not only have the Cat Castles provided safety, they’ve also provided peace of mind for our employees and the adoptive pet parents. Knowing that a cat or kitten we’ve put so much love, time and effort into will travel securely to their furr-ever home is a great feeling. They’ve also helped us retain our own carriers that sometimes have been forgotten and not returned after being lent to an adopter, which results in extra costs to replace them. Cat Castles accompany our cats and kittens to off-site adoption locations as well, where they are used to help grant an adopter the ability to take their newest fur-baby home with them immediately.

How many pets did this grant help?

So far this year, the Cat Castles have helped transport over 70 cats and kittens to their new homes and will help countless more, as kitten season is just beginning.

Please provide a story of one or more specific pets this grant helped.

One recent example of a kitten the Cat Castles helped travel safely to her new home is Mallory. Mallory was the only girl in a litter of five healthy kittens, so she struggled for everything. Her entire life she’d been in competition with her four bigger, stronger, and rougher brothers. She fought for every inch she gained and every battle she won, including the race to be adopted.

On that wonderful day, a very special young lady named Brandy came to us to find her furr-ever friend. Brandy had led a similar life growing up due to her disability. Everyday tasks that may seem simple to most were difficult for her to complete. Brandy was determined not to let anything hold her back, much like Mallory. Now living independently, Brandy was ready and able to make the commitment of a loving home to a cat or kitten.

As Brandy entered The Cattery, Mallory pushed her way to the front of the pack of kittens waiting eagerly to meet the new person coming through the door. As soon as she and Brandy met, there was an instant bond, one that will only grow stronger over time, just like Brandy and Mallory have grown stronger through their struggles.

After completing Mallory’s adoption, Brandy was able to take Mallory home due to the availability of the Cat Castles. Brandy loved how the castle has multiple uses, providing Mallory with a place to play and nap for some time to come. We at the Fayette County Humane Society wish the best of luck to Brandy and Mallory as they begin their life journey together thanks in part to the Cat Castles!!

Humane Society of York County: Cat Castles Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

The Cat Castle Carriers are being used to help our cat population be more comfortable within the Shelter as well as helping them when transitioning to their adoptive homes.

How did this grant help your organization and the pets in your care?

We have a large population of cats and this spring, expect the usual influx of kittens. The Cat Castle Carriers have helped with transitions both into the Shelter and then to the adoptive home.

How many pets did this grant help?

~25 thus far, but we intend to use all of the carriers that were donated as needed.

Please provide a story of one or more specific pets this grant helped.

There is not one cat that I can single out for this grant. I expect the big impact to be this spring as we get more and more kittens in.

Thank you for your support!