Cat Enrichment

Iroquois County Animal Rescue: Cat Enrichment Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

Funds were used to purchase two types of hide boxes for our caged shelter cats.

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

The grant has helped our organization to keep the cats in our care happier, more comfortable and above all, healthier. The hiding boxes reduce the amount of stress that a cat experiences after shelter intake. In the past, this stress typically lead to a cat developing an upper-respiratory infection. The boxes have helped our organization reduce our amount of vet visits needed.

How many pets did this grant help?

It helped/will help a total of 360 cats per year.

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

Molly, Pippy, and Mildred were all cats who were terrified upon admittance to our shelter. The hide box provided them with a place to feel safe and decompress. Each was able to come out of their box little by little each day at their own pace, until they eventually came to feel comfortable interacting with our staff.

Melissa's Menagerie's Second Chances: Cat Enrichment Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

The money was used to purchase cat enrichment items for our new cat room, including two food puzzles, a 5×7-ft. sisal mat mounted on the wall for climbing, a LickiMat slow-feeder cat mat, a PetSafe FUNKitty Egg Cersizer Interactive Toy and Food Dispenser, a Catit Senses 2.0 digger for cats, and two water fountains. We also purchase two premade hammocks, and materials to make two sets of double-decker hammocks that hang from the ceiling. We also purchased two cat towers — one for our new room and one for the old room. We purchased an IKEA cube shelf and then purchased cube beds to put on the shelves. We purchased two cat tunnels, packs of toys, and two wand toys, and made mats and beds out of sisal and fleece.

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

The nine cats and kittens who live in our new cat room are the happiest group of felines. Three started out very shy and hid all the time. But the treat puzzles have lured them from hiding, and now they are starting to play with humans more. The cat towers and hammocks provide the cats with relaxing places to nap, and the tunnels and toys keep the younger cats occupied and active. The climbing wall is also very popular among our resident felines. In all, the enrichment items we provide keep the younger cats healthy and active and are helping to socialize the shy cats in our care.

How many pets did this grant help?

Nine cats currently reside in the room. Cats rotate into the room from foster homes when they are ready for adoption. We plan to care for approximately 100 cats in this room each year.

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

Anise (first and second photos) is one of our long-timers and has been in our care since March 2019. She was rescued with her five kittens, all of whom were adopted in the early summer after they were old enough to be spayed and neutered. Anise was not feral, but was extremely shy. She would not make eye contact with humans, and would hide whenever humans tried to interact with her. Since moving into our new cat room in September, Anise has slowly come out of her shell. She is spending more time out in the room instead of hiding in the cat tree. Her favorite perch is a shelf near the window. She recently began interacting with the food puzzles, and playing with the other cats in the process. We are very excited to report that these cat-enrichment activities provided by the grant are slowly bringing Anise out of her shell, which we are positive will lead to a kind and loving purrever home. Meet Anise here.

Humane Society of Cherokee County: Cat Enrichment Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

The Petfinder Foundation funds were used to construct a new catio for our indoor shelter cats.

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

The catio enables all of our indoor cats to experience a safe outdoor environment at their leisure. The concept of a catio is pretty new in our community, and visitors to our shelter express quite an interest in our new catio. Interest regarding our catio has also been generated by word of mouth at our Resale Shop and at community events.

How many pets did this grant help?

About 15 at our shelter now, but it will help all our shelter cats in the future as well.

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

Catio Story: About a New Catio and Two Great Cat Buddies

Our catio is finished and has been in use for a few weeks now. The cats are loving it — especially one cat, Spooky.

A little background on what prompted us to build a catio. Two of our resident cats, Cat Mandu and Spooky (first photo), have been the shelter greeters and office assistants for several years now, working side by side welcoming people to the shelter. Spooky, the black cat, has always had a tendency to want to be outside, but knowing it wasn’t safe, we didn’t let him go out. He and Cat Mandu would spend their time sitting on the windowsill, looking outdoors and waiting for visitors.

Back in the winter, Cat Mandu became ill, and that was when we thought she needed a catio, and that Spooky would enjoy it too. Plans were made and a grant request was written, but sadly, Cat Mandu passed away shortly before we received the funding to build it. After Cat Mandu left us, we noticed that Spooky didn’t greet people or want to hang out in the office any more. He appeared to be depressed and had lost some of his zest for life.

What excitement there was, though, when we heard from the Petfinder Foundation that we were awarded a grant to build a catio. We started immediately on the construction, and in a flash we had a catio off an office window. And guess who was the first cat in it? Yes, it was Spooky. He wasn’t sure about going through the pet window the first time, so we nudged him a little. That was all it took. Now Spooky and his new friends like to hang out in the catio, where they are examples to everyone who visits the shelter of how much cats enjoy and need a catio of their own. Spooky is now greeting people again and likes to show off his catio to anyone wanting a tour.

And it isn’t just a catio. The official name of it is CATIO MANDU, after Spooky’s best friend.

And by the way, Spooky is still looking for his forever home. A photo and more information about this precious cat can be seen here.

HART for Animals, Inc.: Cat Enrichment Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

We used a Petfinder Foundation grant of $988.28 in the following manner to provide enrichment for the cats in the Cattery at the HART Animal Center:
Materials to build three Window Box Catios® – $332
Labor – $480
Three Drinkwell Fountains, including filters and brushes – $176.80
TOTAL $988.80

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

As is true at any organization that shelters animals, adult cats stay longer at the HART Animal Center — an average of six months. In addition, during “kitten season,” orphaned kittens arrive every day and are placed in quarantine to keep them healthy until they are adopted or transported to larger rescues. We used the Petfinder Foundation grant to build a large window-box Catios for adult cats in the Cattery and two small units in the kitten play areas. These window boxes will provide all sheltered cats with the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors without any danger to themselves. They will also allow kittens to familiarize themselves with the world from their play areas. The three Drinkwell fountains became a greatly appreciated addition to the kitten areas, with two or more kittens simultaneously enjoying the running water.

How many pets did this grant help?

An average of 50 felines per month, and a total of 500 or 600 year.

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

The window box Catios were completed and installed the second week of August. The first cat to use them was the Adoption Wing cat, Waylon (first photo), who toured the addition as if he had ordered the window boxes himself! Other cats who enjoyed the improvements were Macie (a spayed surrogate mother who loves to take care of orphaned kittens) and Sterling, a formerly outside cat now enjoying the indoors. The cats currently available for adoption are still checking out the new structures. One of those is Gracie (second photo), a 1-year old female, whose Petfinder profile can be found here.

Paris Animal Welfare Society: Cat Enrichment Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

This grant was used to help us give our felines the best enrichment possible — a CATIO!

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

Shortly after receiving the grant, we started making more plans, and building quickly came after! We are still in renovation, as we are making sure it will benefit the cats as much as possible, but have been successful in taking some of our cats out!

In the photos is a 10-month-old cat with chronic upper-respiratory infections. Unfortunately, even with numerous antibiotics and medical intervention, Scott will always have problems with URI’s. However, since letting Scottie and Clarkson (his cage buddy) out daily in the enclosure, we have seen a tremendous decrease in URIs and an increase in their overall happiness and health! We were able to get some great social-media photos and are hoping to reach his forever family soon! Until then, Scottie is enjoying the outside life — and doing so safely!

How many pets did this grant help?

50 thus far, with 1,200 expected annually.

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

Scottie is still available for adoption, but his health is increasing every day thanks to our new catio! Our staff are still working hard on finishing the final touches (including ladders and climbers that volunteers made) and hope to be finished soon. Scottie can be seen at our shelter location as of now, but is expected to move to an off-site adoption location as soon as his health improves.

Animal Aid of Tulsa: Cat Enrichment Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

Enrichment in our cat room, which houses seven to eight cats at a time and over 100 cats annually.

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

We have been able to provide updated sources of play and entertainment for the cats in our cat room, including an indoor “catio.” The cats love running, hiding and playing with each other.

How many pets did this grant help?

Over 100 annually with the improvements we’ve been able to make.

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

Simon is now able to enjoy our improved catio! This room helps him adjust to being an indoor kitty. He was at the vet’s office for a bit, then moved to a foster home, and now he’s able to socialize in our cat room with the seven other cats! Meet Simon here.

Cumberland County Animal Control: Cat Enrichment Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

The funds were used to purchase 700 Stretch and Scratch scratchers for our shelter cats.

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

This grant helped us provide enrichment items for 700 cats that otherwise we would not have had the funding to purchase. Scratchers are very much appreciated by our cats and kittens, as having one gives them the opportunity to display their normal behaviors in the shelter environment. This, in turn, reduces their stress levels and improves their overall health and wellbeing.

How many pets did this grant help?

700

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

Cherub is a 6-year-old tabby domestic shorthair who was abandoned by her previous owners in an apartment when they moved out. Cherub stayed in our shelter for nearly a month waiting for her forever home, and a Stretch and Scratch scratcher allowed her to be much more comfortable. Cherub was adopted on July 27, after a 26-day wait. Her scratcher was sent home with her, and it will help her adjust to her new surroundings by giving her something familiar with her scent on it.

Without the funding from the Petfinder Foundation, Cherub and 699 other cats who have been or will be in our shelter wouldn’t have the enrichment value of a scratcher.

Kauai Humane Society: Cat Enrichment Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

Cat Towers: Four large and four small
Four big bags of cat toys
Music for Cats CDs and CD player
Feliway dispensers (two full kits and four refills)
Cat treats (large bag)

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

Our goal for this grant was to help our fearful feline residents become more friendly in order to improve outcomes for our cat population. It is significantly harder to place fearful cats than friendly ones, either by adoption or transfer, so we used this grant to provide enrichment options for our fearful cats to calm their nerves and increase their confidence.

Through the use of Feliway kits and calming music, we were able to help turn what can be a stressful environment into a more soothing one for our cats. Cat towers gave our timid cats a safe place to watch staff and volunteers in order to get more accustomed to the presence of people. Additionally, our staff and volunteers were able to use the new toys and high-value treats to promote and reward interactions. This encouraged our fearful cats to be more social.

Upon adding these enrichment options into the daily care of our fearful cats, we started to notice many of them warming up to staff and volunteers. Not only were they more inclined to interact with people, they also solicited attention. This grant made a substantial difference in the lives of many of our fearful cats, enabling more of them to get adopted or transferred to partner organizations on the mainland more quickly. We are grateful to The Petfinder Foundation for helping enrich the lives of our most in-need feline residents!

How many pets did this grant help?

30

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

Krishna (first and second photos) arrived at our shelter on April 29, 2019. Found as a stray, he was standoffish and afraid of people. As a result, he was not a cat who received much attention from adopters or our transfer partners. After we began implementing our new enrichment options for our cats, we started to notice a change in Krishna. He became calmer and began tolerating being petted. This improvement in his behavior resulted in interest from our mainland transfer partners. After Krishna had spent 63 days at our shelter, Seattle Humane Society agreed to transfer him to their facility, where he was adopted just four days later!

Masterpiece (third photo) and Banquo (pictured with Masterpiece in the fourth and fifth photos) were both helped by this grant and have really enjoyed the new cat towers, toys, and treats! They were brought in as kittens — Masterpiece on April 22, Banquo on May 9 — from separate litters. All of their siblings have been adopted. We placed them together and they have really bonded and now love playing together on their shared cat tower. They are so friendly and cute together and we know that they are enjoying all the new enrichment activities. Meet Masterpiece here. Meet Banquo here.

Humane Society of Utah: Cat Enrichment Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

The generous $1,000 grant from the Petfinder Foundation was used to purchase items to stock our new enrichment room with, including cat toys, beds, and supplies to be used for cats who are awaiting adoption at our facility. The toys we purchased include items like target sticks, spinning balls, cardboard scratchers, catnip toys, Kong balls, teaser wands, and bed caves.

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

Enrichment improves our ability as a shelter to help with behavior and training issues while supporting the overall health of our animals. Enrichment also decreases stress in animals, which decreases the rate of illness. Our new enrichment room is a tremendous asset to the shelter, and having the necessary toys and supplies for the cats helps provide them with an environment where they are engaged and healthy, which ultimately increases their adoptability.

How many pets did this grant help?

With help from the Petfinder Foundation, we are able to offer enrichment opportunities to all the cats who enter our shelter. Over the next 12 months, we anticipate adopting out approximately 235 cats, and they will all benefit from the supplies and toys we purchased using the generous Petfinder Foundation grant.

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

As a sassy 5-year-old cat, Elsie (first photo) served multiple bite quarantines during her stay because she only enjoys being pet on her terms. Once we introduced interactive toys and clicker training, she became a completely different cat. With the enrichment, we showed her ways to interact with people that still allowed her to be social but didn’t always involve petting. As training progressed, she became easier for staff and visitors to handle, and the clever girl even learned how to jump through a hoop. After 136 days at Utah Humane, she went to loving forever home.

Memphis Animal Services: Cat Enrichment Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

This grant was approved by City Council on May 21, and we were able to access the funds on May 31. We purchased 712 hanging cat scratchers from stretchandscratch.com, and due to the volume we purchased, they donated an extra 50 scratchers. They arrived on June 7, and we have begun putting them on adult-cat kennels.

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

They are cardboard scratchers that hang on kennel bars via twist ties on the back. They help our cats practice normal cat behavior (scratching), reduce stress, and help make them more adoptable.

We haven’t had to euthanize a cat for space in over two years. That is great, but does mean that we sometimes have cats that stay here for months. It’s really helpful for us to be able to offer them 24/7 at-will enrichment to help combat kennel stress.

How many pets did this grant help?

762

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

Penny is an FeLV+ cat who has been with us since April 30. She’s very friendly and social but, unfortunately, due to her specific adoption needs, she hasn’t found the right match yet. Being in a shelter long-term is stressful for any pet and compromises their immune system, but an FeLV+ cat especially needs to minimize stress and maximize immune system functioning. When we put the scratcher in her kennel, she immediately began playing, scratching, and even climbing. This scratcher is going to help keep her stress level down and show adopters just how fun and lively she is! Meet Penny here.