Cat enrichment items
We used the grant to purchase enrichment items for our cats, including cubbies for their kennels, cat grass, scratch pads, and a music player. These items are providing lots of enrichment opportunities for the cats we have waiting for adoption. The idea behind the cubbies was to give fearful kitties a place to hide, and they do work for that purpose! Having that safe spot is so important to reduce the cats’ stress levels. However, there are also plenty of kittens who prefer to use their cubbies as jungle gyms or launching boards from which to hop around their kennels. Whatever makes them happy!
The scratchers are GREAT for the kitties, both for their claws and to help them stretch their bodies. They also like to “mark” their scratching posts, so once we’ve given a cat a scratcher (we’ve been giving them to every kitty who comes in), that scratcher moves with them wherever they go in the Village to provide a sense of security and familiarity, and then it goes home with them when they get adopted! We also like to rub dry scents like catnip, lavender and chamomile onto the scratchers to provide some fun scent enrichment.
The cats LOVE the cat grass. We’ve had our shyest cats (even Freddy!) come out to check out the cat grass. We regularly spread a little in their kennels, but we also keep a cat-grass plant growing in the window in our adoption suite. I think it gives them a little something to grab their attention and help them relax during meet-and-greets, since so many of them get nervous in those situations.
Yzma was one of our most energetic kittens! She was constantly bouncing off the walls of her kennel, or trying to “door dash.” We all thought she was hilarious, so she was a favorite around here. She thought the cubby was the best thing ever — she had so much fun climbing it, bouncing off of it, or just dashing in and out of it. The scratcher was also super great for her — she loved to scratch, but I also caught her climbing it on a pretty regular basis. We rubbed lots of calming lavender on it for her too, which she seemed to love! Yzma was adopted into her forever home recently, too!