Cat Enrichment

Lee County Domestic Animal Services: Cat Enrichment Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

To purchase enrichment items for cats in all adoption rooms as well as both stray-holding rooms. The items included four Through a Cat’s Ear speakers, four mobiles, and four laser toys.

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

The items are offering auditory, visual, and play-based enrichment opportunities. Notably, the speakers appear to have reduced the amount of vocalization noted in the rooms in which they are located. The laser toys are utilized to encourage play and activity in the adoption-floor cats, as a means to expend energy and allow the cats fun time.

How many pets did this grant help?

2,000

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

Enrichment toys have helped a kitten named Stuart Little, who has several congenital issues, enjoy as normal a life for a cat as can be expected. Although his vision is compromised, he enjoys the laser toys, attempts to focus on the mobiles, and is soothed by relaxing music. Stuart Little was a foster fail, and the enrichment toys continue to make a significant impact in other cats’ stay in the shelter by reducing stress as much as possible.

Humane Society of Wicomico County: Cat Enrichment Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

Our 2021 Cat Enrichment Grant was used to update our outdoor cat area. We purchased ivy for the walls and cat trees for the cats to climb and hide in. Our cats love their new environment.

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

Our cats love to go outside in our outdoor cat area, but it was very sparsely decorated. Now they have a great place to hang out and play, even in the cooler temperatures.

How many pets did this grant help?

30

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

Madeline (first photo) loves hanging out in her new cat sanctuary. She loves to go outside and get fresh air and climb in her new trees. The ivy is great for making the cats feel safe and secure. You can always find her waiting for us to open the window to let her go exploring. She is still up for adoption with HSWC. You can meet Madeline here.

PAWS Animal Welfare Society, Inc.: Cat Enrichment Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

We used the $900 grant from the Petfinder Foundation to purchase a cat enclosure that is 8 ft. tall, 6 ft. wide, and 6 ft. long. It has four shelves on the walls and is very well constructed. The enclosure is attached to the building and the cats get in and out of it by climbing out a window. The enclosure was purchased from Safe Kitty in Buxton, Maine.

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

The cats having access to the outdoors while remaining completely safe is a benefit to the cats and to Paws Animal Welfare Society, Inc. The cats will have greater stimulation and exercise and will be able to enjoy the outdoors. This will make them more content and may decrease the transmission of diseases, since they will have access to fresh air. We visited another shelter that had a large outside area and they found that to be true. Also, the general public will view this addition to the shelter in a favorable way and perhaps be inspired to provide a similar enclosure for their pets.

How many pets did this grant help?

It will help all of the cats that are in this particular room of our shelter. It is the room where our semi-feral cats roam. The number of cats in the room at any one time varies. Right now there are only three, but we are in the process of moving others into the room. We have a larger room where cats that are ready for adoption roam. We want to have another enclosure to attach to this part of the building so that these cats can have the same advantages as the cats now will have in the smaller room. We are in the process of ordering one.

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

As you can see, several cats did enjoy the enclosure until we had to close it due to winter weather. Bingo, a gray and white older cat, was an outside cat, so the enclosure gave him an opportunity to get outside again. He has been adopted.

Charles and Logan, black and white siblings, liked to play outside and hide in our igloo. You can meet Charles and Logan here.

Ice, a white cat, liked her privacy with regard to other cats, so she would come outside to look around and and sit in the sun. She has been adopted.

Next year our cats will have from spring to fall to enjoy the benefits of our enclosure: sitting in the sunshine, having extra space to explore, walking on and lying in the grass, being in the fresh air, jumping on the shelves, and watching the birds. Best of all, they will have access to these benefits and remain safe from harm.

Des Moines County Humane Society: Cat Enrichment Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

We got a TV with a built-in DVD player for our cat room.

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

It has been great having the cats get some stimulation while sitting in their kennels. We picked out DVDs that have nature sounds, cat sounds, and fun things to watch. They do enjoy this very much and there has been an improvement in our shelter! We run the TV at night while we are gone so they are getting used to sounds of all kinds. Thanks so much for helping us out.

How many pets did this grant help?

We have 60 cats at this time; 39 are in the cat room with the TV. Once those 39 are adopted, we will have 39 more going in. Cats are never ending in our area.

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

We had a litter of kittens we put out in our main area. They were scared at first, like most are. We turned on the TV and the sounds and things to watch caught their eyes; before we knew it, they were much better at being around us and noises. Most of the cats enjoy lazily watching the TV while stuck in their kennels, so they still get some stimulation each day. It has helped a lot with them messing up their litter boxes, since they now do have something to do.

La Crescent Animal Rescue: Cat Enrichment Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

Grant money was spent on building honeycombs on a wall for the cats to climb into, building a bridge with platforms at each end and different levels of platforms on the wall to jump to and on, building a 5′ x 3′ tiered cube unit in the main cat room for cats to nap on or play in, a muffin tin for hiding food under toys, bird feeders which were purchased and placed outside the cat room window and filled with bird seed, 2″ cat spring toys, a CD player for bird sounds and “cat music,” and a 6′ wall-mounted sisal scratching post.

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

Cats in our care had very little stimuli from the environment to gratify the instincts that come naturally to them in the way of their emotional, physical, and psychological needs. This was evident in their behavior throughout the day. It manifested itself through pacing, pulling out tufts of fur, over-grooming, fighting with one another, stalking a particular cat, and sometimes appearing to be depressed and moody.

Since we are principally funded by donations and fundraisers, there are few funds left to be spent on items for cat enrichment. This grant has allowed us to change that. Rather than having a mostly flat surface with a few shelves, the cats now have multiple places where they can imitate hiding and stalking prey, running over bridges, going in and out of multiple cubes, and jumping from shelf to shelf, as well as stretching muscles on the sisal scratching post.

Auditory stimulation is provided with bird and nature CDs. A bird feeder just outside one of the windows in the cat room will provide entertainment while the cats sit on the window ledge platform. The cats seem less stressed with more to do. There is less fighting and bullying of targeted cats. Pacing and over-grooming has decreased. Volunteers have had to break up fewer cat altercations.

How many pets did this grant help?

This grant has helped all current cats at the shelter and will continue to help cats in the future.

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

Caramel (first photo) was a 5-year-old stray torbie who came to us this summer. She was usually friendly but could on occasion become a little testy and lash out at volunteers. She didn’t like other cats but would usually tolerate kittens.

Caramel paced back and forth in the area she was in but growled and looked threatening to every cat she passed. It helped her disposition when climbing ledges were installed and she was made to work for her food.

We also found one other cat she enjoyed being with and put those two together in our “safe room.” They did very well together, lying next to and grooming one another. Caramel would come and sit on anyone’s lap when they would sit on the floor and became a big lover, wanting pets and scratches.

Caramel was adopted a few weeks after moving into the safe room.

Angelico Cat Rescue, Inc.: Cat Enrichment Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

The grant was used to purchase many much-needed items for the rescue, including cat trees, window seats, and a large kitten enclosure.

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

So many of our items needed replacing and we could not afford to do so. The kitties did not have enough vertical access, as many of our cat trees and window seats had been thrown away as they became too old to be safely used. We also had no safe area where the kittens could roam freely. We only had small cages. The kitties are now enjoying new cat trees and window seats. We were also able to purchase a large enclosure where the kittens can be separated from the adults and still have room to explore. The grant was so appreciated!

How many pets did this grant help?

80

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

Two kittens, Matthew (first photo) and Charlie (second photo), were very bonded and living in a large cage together. Once they had more room to explore in the kitten enclosure, they began playing more and their personalities really began to develop. They were adopted into a wonderful home soon after.

Animal Rescue League of Iowa: Cat Enrichment Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

To purchase cat scratchers that provide enrichment and the opportunity to exhibit normal behaviors for the cats and kittens in our care at the Animal Rescue League of Iowa.

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

In 2020, the ARL cared for 6,045 homeless cats and kittens. We are grateful to have the space and foster programs to care for the cats and kittens until they are adopted (we do not euthanize for space or time, only for suffering or severe behavioral issues). In addition to the basics of food, water, and medical care, we provide enrichment items for the cats’ and kittens’ benefit while they are in our care.

Because of this grant, we were able to purchase a bulk supply of 1,000 cat scratchers. The cats love them and the staff enjoys providing the scratchers for the cats. We also send the scratchers home with the cats or kittens when they are adopted so they have something familiar to help with their transition.

How many pets did this grant help?

1,000

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

Billy Boss came into our care as a stray from the city of Des Moines. As we worked to move him towards adoption, our medical team tested him for FIV and found out he was positive. Our veterinary team determined he was in good health, so he was neutered and made available for adoption with a waiver informing potential adopters of the positive FIV test and providing information about what that means for him and other potential resident cats.

Sometimes the cats (and dogs) with special needs take a bit longer to get adopted, and that was the case with Billy Boss. But once our Facebook administrator posted his photo in the thank-you post for the cat scratchers (third photo), Billy Boss was adopted the same day!

Proud Animal Lovers Shelter: Cat Enrichment Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

To purchase two Kuranda six-nest cat towers for our cat rooms

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

Kansas animal shelter state licensing requires that cat accommodations include a resting ledge for every cat. The two towers that we purchased with grant funds are made of heavy-duty vinyl covering, which is easy to clean. This makes a healthier environment for the cats who stay with us while waiting for their adoption, and also brings the shelter into compliance with state regulations.

How many pets did this grant help?

24

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

Pictured are, from top, Patsy, Harley, and Rumor. All three have since found their forever homes. They all loved the cat towers and spent a lot of time napping there. We have an inside room and an outside screened-in porch area with a cat door in between, so one tower is in each area.

In the fourth photo, Luna and Thom are enjoying the inside tower. They prefer not to be too close to one another, so they appreciate the comfort but separation the tower offers. The last photo shows the cat tower in the porch area. There are no cats on it at the time of the photo because when anyone opens the door, all the cats come running to the visitor. But they do love their tower with its blanket-covered beds. What a treat for them! Thank you, Petfinder Foundation!

Noah's Ark SPCA/Humane Society: Cat Enrichment Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

We were able to use the funds to enhance cat enrichment by purchasing disposable scratch pads for long-term residents in our care. Cats can suffer from boredom, so we thought of the scratchers to help with that issue. Sometimes cats have to be isolated and in a kennel by themselves, so providing them with their own personal disposable scratchers has improved their quality of life while in our care. They love them!

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

This grant gave us the opportunity to improve enrichment for the cats in our care. We were able to get multiple disposable cat scratchers for long-term residents, and were able to purchase a couple of scratchers for our adoption room as well. Our adoption room is usually filled with multiple adult cats, and they love having their scratchers in there!

We were also able to get two window perches. The cats are so happy! Being able to provide these helps the cats use their minds while in our care rather than suffering from boredom.

How many pets did this grant help?

at least 30

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

We have a long-term resident who has been with us for months. His name is Kermit. He came in as a kitten and was really sick. He had to be in isolation and on medication for a couple of weeks. He could not be around other cats in our care and we could tell he was becoming bored and seemed depressed.

Kermit was the reason we had the idea for disposable scratchers for the cats. That way, the scratchers can be the cats’ own, with no sharing, and kitties love them! Kermit seemed much happier having something to engage with besides the same toys he always plays with. Thank you, Petfinder Foundation!

SPCA of Bradley County: Cat Enrichment Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

We used the grant monies to purchase Stretch and Scratch cat scratchers for all the kitties in the shelter!

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

Our cats are currently housed in recycled ferret cages, and have just enough room for their bedding and their litter boxes, which makes playtime difficult. By purchasing the Stretch and Scratch cat scratchers, we are able to encourage their natural instincts to stretch and SCRATCH! It was so heartwarming the first day that we received them and put them all up. Pretty much every cat started using them! We write the cat’s name on the scratcher, and when they get adopted to their new home we send the scratcher along with them. This helps their transition because they have something that is familiar to them, and it also helps us educate the adopter about cat enrichment.

How many pets did this grant help?

250-500

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

This grant has made so many kitties happier, healthier and more adoptable during their stays with us. There is one story, however, that sticks out! Lil Mama (first photo) came to the shelter in May of 2021 as a very pregnant stray. She had her kittens and was being a good mama.

She raised her babies in the stressful shelter environment and grew them into cute, quickly-adopted fluffballs. Once her babies were gone, Lil Mama’s pre-shelter personality came out and she was eager to get out of her kennel and be a cat (second photo)!

She did not show well because she would bat at people who walked by and mess up her kennel in an effort to pass the boring hours. We sent her into a foster home, where she was very loved but very much liked to use her nails and became destructive to rugs and furniture — so back to the shelter she came.

Within a couple of weeks, we received our Petfinder Foundation grant and purchased our Stretch and Scratch cat scratchers, and guess what? She LOVED HER SCRATCHER! Lil Mama tore through those scratchers and had the best time (photos 3-5).

Once she was able to engage in her natural behaviors, she became more accustomed to life with us, and two or three weeks later, she was adopted. A delightful family came in to look at cats and their little girl fell in love with Lil Mama (sixth photo).

She was sent home with her scratcher (last photo), and we recommended that the adopters get her a huge cat tree with a cat scratcher. We are so happy that we were not only able to find Lil Mama a new home, but that we were able to make her life more enjoyable during her stay with us. It’s not easy being a shelter kitty!