Cat Enrichment

Colorado Feline Foster Rescue: Cat Enrichment Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

The generous $500 Petfinder Foundation Cat Enrichment Grant was used to purchase cat enrichment items, including:

6 cat tunnels
6 small cat trees
6 scratcher poles with marble track built into the base
6 feather wand toys
70 catnip mice
30 mouse toys
24 bell toys
60 ball toys

These items were provided to 10 of our foster families to help in socializing our cats and kittens prior to their adoption to their forever homes.

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

CFFR is an all-foster based rescue with a network of about 60 foster families. One of each foster’s key responsibilities is to socialize our cats and kittens so that they can successfully transition to their permanent adopted homes.

Many of our cats and kittens have been abandoned or surrendered by their original owners, and oftentimes they are wary of people and hide or are afraid of being touched or held. This can be especially heartbreaking since these are innocent animals who may well have been neglected or abused, and it takes time and loving attention by our fosters to help them to begin trusting people again.

The cat enrichment items purchased through the Petfinder Foundation grant enabled our fosters to more effectively socialize our cats and kittens, thereby reducing the time it takes to socialize them prior to adoption and enabling us to foster and rehome more cats and kittens, ultimately saving more lives of these precious and innocent animals.

So far, 40 cats and kittens have benefited from the enrichment items, with 25 of those already adopted, five currently up for adoption and listed on Petfinder, and the remaining 10 not yet ready for adoption. Since many of the items purchased are durable, they will be available to help many more cats and kittens in our foster homes.

One of our fosters is a perfect example: She initially fostered a litter of four kittens who used the items (cat tree, tunnel, scratcher pole, and mice). Those kittens have been adopted and she is now fostering a second litter of three kittens who are also using those same items. We expect that our fosters will each use these items for multiple litters, as well as single adult cats, so in the end the Petfinder Foundation grant will have supported well over 100 cats and kittens!

How many pets did this grant help?

40 cats and kittens have directly benefited from the enrichment items so far, with many more expected over the next few months.

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

Our fosters work hard to ensure their cats and kittens are socialized since cats and kittens that are playful and comfortable around people are adopted more quickly and have more satisfying and loving lives in their forever homes. The cat enrichment items purchased through the Petfinder Foundation grant have played an important part in socializing our foster cats and kittens, as described below by two of our fosters.

CFFR fosters Mark and Heather H. write: “We received the scratcher pole, cat tree, tunnel and toys, and a few mice from the Petfinder Foundation grant and brought them home to our 2-year-old foster mama cat, Miley, and her five kittens — Margy, Milly, Miles, Meek, and Marven (first photo).

“The kittens were initially leery of the toys, but since we showed them how they worked, they have spent hours playing with them. They love climbing up the cat tower and pouncing on each other, sleeping in the cube on the bottom, and ambushing any siblings who walk by.

“The scratcher pole is also a very fun toy, as it has large marbles that roll around in the base. The kittens will pass the balls back and forth to each other and use the top to play king of the mountain (one kitten will climb to the tippy top of the post while their siblings try to knock them down!).

“Miley, our mama cat, is 2 years old and has spent much of her adult life raising kittens (this litter is probably her second or third). She is a great mama, but she has missed out on playing and being a kitten. Due to this, we haven’t been able to engage her with toys — she just wasn’t interested. One night after we brought home the grant items, I caught her wrapped around the scratching post and she was playing with the marbles! She batted them around for a good while and her kittens even joined her. We were so happy to see her being a playful cat! The second photo shows Miley playing with the scratcher pole with her kittens.

“All of the kittens were posted on Petfinder and have been adopted into their forever homes. Miley is currently available for adoption on Petfinder. You can meet Miley here.

“Once Miley is adopted, we look forward to using the enrichment items to help socialize another litter!”

CFFR foster Jennifer D. writes: “My foster kittens loved the enrichment toys! We put the assorted toys that came with the tunnel in a box and presented it to the kittens. They sniffed them and chose their favorites to pull out, which were the mice and the balls with the feathers.

“That particular group of fosters was still pretty shy, and they were hesitant to play and interact with us or each other much, but I saw one of the kittens bat a mouse to one of the other kittens to invite her to play. I saw it with my own eyes!

“The larger toys — the scratcher pole, the tunnel, and the tree — were huge hits with both recent groups of fosters I’ve had. The marbles to chase at the base of the scratcher pole got them interested right away. They love doing surprise attacks from the other side of the pole. The tunnel has been great for a group because they can pounce on each other from several entrances, or even from the top opening (third photo). They love the crinkly sound it makes when they’re running through. They also like to hide or relax while peeping out (fourth photo).

“The tree is so soft that it has become a favorite spot (fifth and sixth photos). Of course, they like to be up high, so the top perch is very popular, but the middle perch gets a lot of use when the top one is occupied. The bottom, partially enclosed, area doubles as a private sleeping area, but it might be used even more as a position for attacking and being attacked. The two openings are great because they keep every kitten on his or her toes, deciding which way to go.

“Last but not least, you can’t go wrong with a feather wand (bottom photo)! They love it so much that they’ll attack it and carry it around during solo play, but they will happily watch it and chase it for as long as a human will dangle it and shake it, so it’s a great way to spend playtime together. It’s a good way to get the kittens to interact with each other, too. It’s funny to see all their heads bobbing at once to watch it, and then they wind up wrestling each other, so it’s a win-win. Kittens will play together no matter what, but the right toys, like these, help them socialize no matter how shy they are. Play helps them become the best adoptable kittens they can be.

“All of these kittens were posted on Petfinder and have been adopted, and I am now fostering another litter of three kittens who are reusing the same cat enrichment items!”

Colorado Animal Rescue: Cat Enrichment Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

4 Bluetooth speakers
Feather wand toy
Squiggly worm wand
30 wire teaser cat toys
10 Feliway calming sprays
2 aromatherapy sets
Strategy game cat toy
2 puzzle-and-play cat toys
3 slow feeder mats
4 Fun Cat feed mat
5 slow feeders
18 harnesses and leashes

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

This grant allowed us to purchase enrichment supplies to boost our enrichment program and better the lives of the cats in our care. We were able to buy some supplies to help cats with their transitions to new homes as they get adopted, including stress-reducing pheromone sprays, nutrition supplements, and interactive prey play toys to go home with the adopted cats.

We were also able to make smart long-term purchases of items that we can use continuously over time for all the cats in our care, both now and into the future, including interactive prey play wand toys with interchangeable ends, puzzle feeders and slow feeders, portable Bluetooth speakers to provide calming sounds to cats in specialized spaces throughout the shelter, and an inventory of various-sized cat harnesses and leashes for training and enrichment.

How many pets did this grant help?

This grant has already helped all the cats in our care and will continue to help countless more. Almost of the items we were able to get will be able to be used for years to come, so this grant has truly provided enrichment for an endless number of cats.

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

Sweetie (pictured) is a senior cat who has had a long stay with us. While she’s a senior in age, she acts like a kitten in energy. One way she shows this is in her enthusiasm for food and her high intelligence level. To help her live the best life she can while at the shelter, we give Sweetie her food in treat puzzles and slow feeders. This helps her eat at a healthy pace while keeping her mentally stimulated and challenged. Because of this grant, we were able to provide Sweetie with a variety of these tools to keep her life fully enriched and ensure she is always using her brain and staying healthy. You can meet Sweetie here.

Upper Peninsula Animal Welfare Shelter: Cat Enrichment Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

Nine Kitty Kasas Duro Bedroom Cubes for our shelter cats.

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

Having Kitty Kasa Duro Bedroom Cubes enhances our cats’ lives, making for happier, more relaxed, healthier cats while they wait for their new, loving homes. A happier, healthier, more relaxed cat is a cat who will be adopted much faster. Cats like hidey spots, and Kitty Kasas are perfect for them to hide in and relax or decompress.

How many pets did this grant help?

Hundreds

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

Gayle is a gorgeous kitty cat who arrived as a lost orphan. We estimate her age at 5 years and she is declawed in the front. She is shy at first so she hides in her Kitty Kasa. She is a petite, quiet, and pleasing girl who likes to be pet and talked to once she is comfortable. She enjoys the company of all people and would love it if you came in to meet her. Gayle would love to keep you company this winter and in the years ahead.

UPDATE: Gayle has been adopted.

Animal Lifeline of Iowa: Cat Enrichment Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

We purchased a very large cat tree, wall shelving/perches, and benches for our cat rooms.

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

The benches have been a great addition to the rooms, allowing potential adopters to sit and have the cats come to them in a relaxed environment. They also provide a great space for adoption photos!

The cat tree and shelving/perches have really allowed the cats currently in our care to explore the room, while giving them a safe space to perch and observe.

How many pets did this grant help?

ongoing

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

Sunny (first photo) is a shy cat and used to hide under the furniture when potential adopters would come into the room. With our new set-up, she has become a more relaxed feline when potential adopters are visiting the room. She is able to check them out from a perch and make her way down for pets when she’s comfortable. The new furniture is letting her show off her loving personality. She has not yet been adopted, but it is only a matter of time! You can meet Sunny here.

Paw Warriors, Inc.: Cat Enrichment Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

Enrichment toys to help socialize many cats and kittens to become more adoptable, giving them rich, loving lives by being able to accept love and care from people. Our volunteers, fosters and visitors were able to work with many of the cats, individually and in groups. As a rescue, we bring in many ferals/strays and, this year, many kittens found in woods or yards with no people skills. These toys will continue to give us very meaningful opportunities to help them get great homes. Some of our most feral cats are starting to come around by trying to figure out what is so neat about these people and toys. It’s great to see the results and we are thrilled. Thank you, Petfinder Foundation, for allowing us this grant! It truly is making a difference in lives!

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

We have been able to work with many feral kittens, and these enrichment toys have made a huge difference — they love them! They are not too sure about people, but they come with the toys, and the toys make the difference! It is a win-win situation. Many are becoming loving, sweet kittens and many are finding awesome homes. These toys give more opportunity for stimulation and gaining trust with people. One of the simplest toys, the wand with string, got one of our very feral cats to finally come out of his tree and join people for play time. We were thrilled — such a huge accomplishment in gaining trust! We look forward to many more success stories with these awesome toys.

How many pets did this grant help?

100

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

Several kittens were born to a feral mama cat. They had a rough start in life, but they are learning to just be kittens and trust. The toys help bridge the gap and get the kittens to let their guard down so they can have fun and trust. They are now in foster care with several of the Petfinder Foundation Enrichment Grant toys, and these toys are making a huge difference in helping these kittens learn to play, socialize, and love people. We know they will be adopted into the best of homes. There’s been a huge difference in their lives thanks to these toys! One of the kittens has been adopted already!

“Fearful Daffodil” — what joy, after many days of Daffodil being afraid of all human contact, to see her come down out of her tree of safety and join the world of play and people just because of one of the enrichment toys (second photo). We were so surprised and thrilled! Interaction with these toys makes a huge difference! Hooray, Daffodil, you have found a new friend and are making great strides in becoming a friendly, happy kitty! Thank you, Petfinder Foundation!

Wish Upon a Rescue: Cat Enrichment Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

Cat enrichment supplies including:
Food Tree (2)
Feliway Scent Spray (3)
Organic Cat Grass (2)
Interactive Tower Toys (5)
Interactive Cat Ball Toys (3)
Natural Cat Sticks (2)
Petstages Grass Patch Hunting Box-Toy (2)
Catit-Senses Food Toy (2)

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

These items truly helped the cats in our care feel more secure in their environment, and provided much-needed mental and physical enrichment. We were able to ensure that every foster home had multiple toys geared toward enrichment of the foster cats in their care. We found that when cats are mentally stimulated, they are more likely to aim their energy towards toys and move more throughout their space.

How many pets did this grant help?

32 and counting!

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

Although we feel this grant has given the rescue the ability to provide all of our cats and kittens with enrichment tools, we feel that those who benefitted the most have been the cats and kittens housed at our Petco partner habitat locations. These are located in Romeoville and Downers Grove, Illinois. These tools provide endless amusement for cats and kittens of all ages.

One of those cats is Romeo (first photo). In his cat habitat, he had toys and an interactive food dish that helped him “hunt” for his dry food, and occasionally a treat!

The Feliway Scent Spray has helped kittens like Tobias, Gob, and Maeby settle into the habitat and feel more like it is home. All of these cats and kittens have been adopted! Thanks to this grant, we have seen an increase in activity and a decrease in stress and fear!

Tri County Humane Society: Cat Enrichment Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

This grant was so helpful to us. We were able to provide enrichment toys in our free-roaming cat area and for our new kittens in their enclosures. We were also able to fix the door and screen so the cats can safely go inside and outside.

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

Adult cats are the hardest to adopt out. With these toys, families were able to see that adult cats can be just as playful as kittens. It improved our adoption numbers.

How many pets did this grant help?

75

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

We Barney for three years, through no fault of his own. With the new cat tower and toys, families who visited him saw his wonderful personality, and he was adopted!

Small Lives Matter Kitten Rescue: Cat Enrichment Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

We used the money for two tall, rugged large scratching posts (SmartCat Pioneer Pet Ultimate Scratching Post and PetFusion Ultimate Cat Scratcher Lounge), an On2Pets Luxury Cat Tree that is 60″ tall and has fake leaves to make great hiding places for our bush dwellers, and four other types of cardboard scratchers.

We purchased eight electronic interactive toys and several tunnels that entertain the cats for hours. We also purchased 100 feather refills because our visitors love to play with the cats with these teaser toys. The feathers have to be replaced daily, but they are, by far, our kitties’ favorite toys. We also purchased a large stock of healthy cat treats to help with meet-and-greets.

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

This grant supplied scratching posts for our largest cats. These guys needed an extra-tall, extra-long place to scratch! It also helped adoptive families see that giving cats the right enrichment toys can prevent damage to furniture in the home.

We feel that interactive enrichment toys which actually move like prey are very entertaining to our kitties. We also believe that encouraging human interaction with the cats helps potential adopters get to know our felines, and the feather toys are the cats’ favorites. We used to only have one or two of these toys; now we are able to supply dozens, which makes our kitties very happy.

We also have a number of treat-mongers who love to meet people with treats. We had not been able to buy good-quality snacks for picky eaters, but we bought a dozen packs to get our hard-to-reach cats interacting.

How many pets did this grant help?

More than 50, and it has helped support 25 adoptions so far.

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

Pumpkin (first photo) is a very big orange tabby cat who weighs more than 15 lbs. He desperately needed a scratching post that was tall enough to allow him to completely stretch out. We positioned the post at the front window and everyone greeted him as he scratched his post when they walked in. Pumpkin is also very picky about snacks, but he loves Churu push pops! His debut at the cat window got him adopted in nine days!

Wish Upon a Rescue: Cat Enrichment Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

Cat enrichment supplies including:
Food Tree (2)
Feliway Scent Spray (3)
Organic Cat Grass (2)
Interactive Tower Toys (5)
Interactive Cat Ball Toys (3)
Natural Cat Sticks (2)
Petstages Grass Patch Hunting Box-Toy (2)
Catit-Senses Food Toy (2)

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

These items truly helped the cats in our care feel more secure in their environment, as well as provided much-needed mental and physical enrichment. We were able to ensure that every foster home had multiple toys geared towards enrichment of the foster cats in their care. We found that when cats are mentally stimulated, they are more likely to aim their energy towards toys and move more throughout their space.

How many pets did this grant help?

32 and counting!

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

Although we feel this grant has provided the rescue the ability to provide all of our cats and kittens with enrichment tools, we feel the most benefited have been our cats and kittens housed at our Petco partner habitat locations. These are located in Romeoville and Downers Grove, Illinois. These tools provide endless amusement for cats and kittens of all ages.

One of those cats is Romeo. In his cat habitat, he had toys and an interactive food dish that helped him “hunt” for his dry food and occasionally a treat! The Feliway Scent Spray has helped kittens like Tobias, Gob, and Maybe settle into the habitat and feel more like it is home. All of these cats and kittens have been adopted! Thanks to this grant, we have seen an increase in activity and a decrease in stress and fear!

All About Animals Rescue: Cat Enrichment Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

We spent $1,000 on Amazon for over 1,000 toys. Each cat currently in the rescue was given $10 worth of toys to play with interactively and independently during their stay with the rescue.

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

Fosters work on high-fives, sitting, and rolling over so our fabulous felines can show off their skills and cuteness. We provide additional toys that cats can utilize independently, such as tunnels, towers with balls, and any kind of catnip-infused toys. This is especially helpful because we work with many community cats that are friendly enough to get adopted. Some of these cats arrive scared or not yet socialized completely. The play time with cats builds trust and makes adopters see the potential in shyer cats.

How many pets did this grant help?

This grant will assist over 100 cats.

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

Ghostrider (first photo) and his three siblings came in a trap to the Humane Society of Yuma. The shelter reached out to All About Animals Rescue to intake and work with these unsocial 6-week-olds. There was no space in the shelter for these cats to blossom. They came to the rescue as “popcorn” kittens, hissing and jumping at us every time they saw us. Fortunately, we had just received the Cat Enrichment Grant from the Petfinder Foundation. With lots of fun toys and love, these boys warmed up in one week! They are now available for adoption.