Cat Enrichment

Brooks Animal Protection Society: Cat Enrichment Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

We used the Cat Enrichment Grant to purchase cat shelving and climbers for the walls, a new large cat stand, and dishes that attach to the kennels to help us maximize our small space.

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

This grant helped us better utilize our small adoption rooms to provide our cats a space where they can play, have fun, and have more opportunity to socialize with other cats.

The cat climbers and shelving have been so amazing for our cats! They’ve absolutely loved the new space, and have been climbing and sleeping all over the shelves and stand.

The cat kennel dishes have helped us in so many ways! The cats are no longer spilling their water and food in the kennels, and they have more room to move around.

ALL of our cats have been SO happy with the items in this grant! It’s given them more opportunity for exercise, a safe place for them to hang out outside the kennels, and a cleaner place to sleep!!

How many pets did this grant help?

30+ so far

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

This grant has really helped our cat Christian (first photo). Christian used to be very scared to be out in the cat adoption room with other cats, as there wasn’t enough room for him to have his own space. Now that we’ve installed the climbers on the walls, Christian has absolutely loved hanging out on his bridge, and it has really started to open him up with other cats. Christian is way more outgoing, and excited to be out of his kennel exploring! Meet Christian here.

Another cat who has greatly benefited from this grant is our beautiful Armstrong (second photo). He tends to get a little rambunctious in his kennel and would often knock over his dishes, leaving his blankets soaked overnight and creating a BIG mess all over his bed. Now that we have the kennel dishes, he has had a bit more room to play, and hasn’t been able to knock over his food and water! Armstrong is a happy boy thanks to these dishes and grant! Meet Armstrong here.

The Broome County Humane Society: Cat Enrichment Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

The money was used to purchase 16 mobiles and three sound machines in addition to hardware. The mobiles were distributed between our cat adoption rooms and cat intake and isolation areas. The mobiles are providing visual stimulation for the cats when in both areas. Additionally, our sound machines were set up in one of our cat adoption rooms and intake and isolation areas to provide musical stimulation.

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

This grant has been able to help every cat in both our intake/isolation areas and adoption areas by providing visual stimulation and auditory stimulation to the cats while they are staying with us. The visual and auditory enrichment has been able to benefit the cats with enrichment all day when we are at the shelter and the mobiles continue to provide visual enrichment even when we are not at the facility.

How many pets did this grant help?

We have been able to help 50 cats so far.

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

Torch is a cat who has been with us for several weeks. He is a little on the shy side and is slowly gaining trust with people when they enter the adoption room. From the moment we hung the mobiles in his adoption room, he jumped onto one of our cat shelves and became fascinated with the turning of the birds on the mobile.

For a cat who is nervous with people and may not appreciate the human touch (yet), this has provided him with stimulation that he was not able to have before. Because of his fear of people, he was not able to enjoy a toy on a string if someone would try to play with him, but since this product is able to move without anyone in the room, he is still provided with visual stimulation.

In addition, the sound machine offers a soothing variety of music, from rain to classical lullabies. You can meet Torch here.

Loma Cat House: Cat Enrichment Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

The Petfinder Foundation Cat Enrichment Grant funds were used to purchase items that align with our cats’ natural behavioral instincts, which include self-calming, scratching, hydrating, climbing, and playing. We selected items that encourage activities and enhance their physical and mental well being.

With spring here, we have seen an increase in pregnant feral cats (partly to do with the COVID pandemic), and we are tending to numerous litters of kittens and mamas at Loma Cat House. For calming the newborn kittens and their mama cats as they adapt to our shelter, we purchased calming beds. We noticed the kittens get the comforting feeling of snuggling while their mama takes a short break. Plus, new arrivals to the shelter enjoy the bedding, which creates a sense of security and helps them to relax more easily as they also adapt to their temporary home and wait to be adopted.

To tend to their scratching instincts, we decided to try the ZEZE Woven Rope Tellurion for its sturdiness and circular globular movements. When cats scratch, they get to stretch out their bodies and extend and retract their nails to help shed the dry outer layers of their claws. And with each spin of the globe, the movement will be a good form of exercise. Unlike the traditional scratch pads, our cats are slowly figuring out this new global adventure.

All species rely on hydration. Having a constant supply of fresh water is vital to a feline’s health. With a fountain, water is circulated and filtered to prevent bacteria, gunk, and odor build-up, which makes water stay much cleaner, tastier, and cooler than in a traditional water bowl. So we used the funds to add to our cat fountain inventory. The wellness benefits from fountains help our cats get proper hydration — to improve digestion, increase nutrient absorption, and aid in flushing out toxins and bacteria that can build up in their urinary and digestive tracts. Plus, Loma Cat House can attest that water fountains do encourage kitties and cats to drink more, making them healthier and happier.

What cat can resist a moving foxtail toy? The cats in our shelter certainly can’t. This interactive toy helps our cats exercise, swat, and pounce and provides mental stimulation. Our cats are very pleased with the Petfinder Foundation and its support of animal shelters.

Our shelter’s need for new cat trees was dire. We, and our cats, replaced two worn-out carpeted cat trees with two sturdy, hygiene-friendly, exploratory cat trees. Cat people know that cat trees cater to so many needs and activities. Cats enjoy climbing up high and hiding in the cubbies, presumably because it provides a sense of privacy and safety while they observe the world (shelter) around them. Our cats certainly enjoy the opportunity to climb, perch, hide, and scratch offered by cat trees — as witnessed by the worn-out ones replenished with new ones.

After purchasing the above items, we used the remaining funds to replace parts (litter pan and kittening pans) for our spacious Pet Ultra Light cages. These durable cages provide much-needed enclosed space for incoming cats in need of coping, cats in need of care, and mama cats and their litters. The two level space reduce stress on the cats, and provide easier access for maintenance and cleaning.

Last but not least, inspiration from this grant brought together a couple of shelter volunteers to gather recycled materials to put together a PVC-pipe cat condo with bedding. Though funds from the grant did not contribute to the purchase of this condo, the grant did certainly influence an effort to contribute toward the enrichment theme by introducing a tri-level cat condo for the cats to climb and relax in.

That said, we are thankful to the Petfinder Foundation for recognizing that all animals, including pets, have natural behaviors and needs that can be nurtured with enriching opportunities. We are grateful for its support in helping us, and so many other shelters, to enrich the animal-shelter environment.

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

The Petfinder Foundation recognizes that enrichment is more than throwing a few toys to sheltered animals. It’s about making the shelter environment as pleasing and stimulating as possible. The wellbeing of shelter cats is greatly improved if they are provided with the opportunity to tend to their hiding, climbing, scratching, and playing behaviors, and the ability to perform such behaviors does not hinder their likelihood of being adopted to loving forever homes.

So where rebuilding was not practical, Loma Cat House was inspired to discover meaningful ways in which our existing shelter space could further meet our cats’ natural behavior and well-being needs with new enrichment opportunities. We were able to make small but significant enhancements with the Petfinder Foundation Cat Enrichment Grant funds. We found that these small changes are making a huge difference from our cats’ perspectives, helping to ensure that their time in our shelter is a positive, but brief, stay.

How many pets did this grant help?

The Petfinder Foundation Cat Enrichment Grant helps between 35 to 75 kittens, young cats and adult cats at our shelter; from those who’ve just arrived, to those who’ve been adopted, to those awaiting forever homes. The enrichment items purchased were chosen to add to an environment that tries to align with their natural instincts and wellbeing, and to better their chances for adoption.

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

Construction Mama and her four helpers: A mama cat and her four kittens were rescued from a building site in Grand Junction, Colorado. They were fortunate enough to have a contractor seek them out and bring them to Loma Cat House. While at the shelter, the youthful kittens immediately enjoyed the cool, refreshing taste of the water fountain and played curiously on the cat trees purchased with the Petfinder Foundation Cat Enrichment Grant. Three of the four kittens were adopted quickly, while the mama cat and her fourth kitten opted to extend their stay in order to recover from an upper-respiratory infection. Both are doing well and enjoying the safety and care of the shelter, the stimulation of the interactive toys and fountains, and the attention of our shelter volunteers.

Meet Miss Torti. When brought to the shelter, Miss Torti preferred to be sight-unseen and hid in places where it was difficult for volunteers to socialize with her. Since introducing interactive toys like the foxtail toy, we discovered that Miss Torti has a playful side to her. She has been coming out of hiding and now plays with a variety of toys. Because of this interaction, she noticed the wood-based cat trees, which she prefers over the carpeted ones. Miss Torti is now comfortable hanging out in the main room watching the happenings of volunteers and her feline roommates. This has made it possible to socialize with her more, and to learn how much this beautiful, playful tortoiseshell cat just loves to be petted (once she gets to know you). Though she has not been adopted yet, we are certain that she will soon be discovered and adopted into a loving forever home.

Polly Tabby: We often wonder why anyone would abandon, dump, or neglect a living creature. This female polydactyl tabby was brought to our shelter, and we ask why (as we do with all our cats and kittens). She is loving, affectionate, sharp, playful, healthy, striking, attentive — the list goes on. Did we say curious, too? As soon as she was brought in, this striking green-diamond-eyed kitty explored the new cat towers, water fountains, and foxtail, and has not stopped there. Polly is posted on Petfinder.com, and we hope whoever adopts her will appreciate her loving, playful, curious ways.

Good Old Tails Senior Animal Rescue: Cat Enrichment Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

We purchased two tall cat towers for our foster cats.

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

The cats LOVE the high towers! We added one to a room that just had regular furniture and the free-roaming fosters have been using it nonstop. They even use the hammock/bucket-type perches that I have not seen many cats use in the past. It gave us more vertical space in our foster room and helped a new cat who was introduced to the other fosters, as he had more space to climb and hide.

How many pets did this grant help?

12

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

Ernesto came to us from a crowded North Carolina shelter. We only had space for one cat, so we had to pick one — the oldest — from a group that was surrendered. Ernesto was nervous about new friends and picked a spot in the new tower as his own. Now he is friends with everyone and doesn’t mind sharing his space.

Unfortunately Ernesto is still fighting an upper-respiratory infection and is not available for adoption YET.

Westfield Homeless Cat Project: Cat Enrichment Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

The majority of the cat enrichment grant was used to purchase cat trees and condos for our shelter to provide durable replacements for the well-worn ones. In addition, we also purchased cat toys, which our shelter kitties really appreciated.

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

The enrichment grant was a tremendous help to our organization. With the many costs of operating a no-kill shelter, replacing our cat trees/condos had to take a back seat, especially during the COVID time. There are cats/kitties who stay with us for longer periods of time. The enrichment grant enabled us to meet their needs on an emotional level. They can play and run around in the enclosed area, which includes cat trees and toys. I have included photos of the area — and boy, do the cats/kitties have fun!

How many pets did this grant help?

This grant will help all the kitties who pass through our shelter. Last year we adopted 816 cats/kittens!

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

Wiggles and Percy are listed on Petfinder, waiting to be adopted. They are a bonded pair, both under one year old. Their owner passed away suddenly, and they were surrendered to the shelter by family members. They have laid-back dispositions, but wonder what happened and why they aren’t in their own home. They are looking for a forever home together. In the meantime, Wiggles and Percy are enjoying the enclosure and the new condos, trees, and toys purchased through the enrichment grant. This will help them pass the time until we find them a loving home — together! Meet Wiggles and Percy here.

Humane Society of Marion County: Cat Enrichment Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

With the cat enrichment grant money, we purchased a large cat cage for our cats and kittens to stay in when they initially come to the shelter. We have a quarantine period for new intakes prior to them being with all the current resident cats. After they are fully vetted and have a clean bill of health, they go to the main cat shelter, which is a “free-range” facility where the cats can run, play, be cats, and interact with volunteers and potential adopters.

The Cat Enrichment Grant provided us with approximately half of the cost of the cage, which was a substantial help in purchasing this much-needed cage. This cage will be used for essentially all of the cats that come through our facility, and it is durable and easy to clean. Being able to clean and have easy access is very important since we are an all-volunteer group. The cage is roomy and comfortable for the cats as well.

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

This cage will be used for essentially all of the new intake of cats and kittens that come to our shelter. They have a comfortable, easy-to-clean cage that is roomy as well as well-ventilated. The cage has a door that is large enough that volunteers can easily walk into to clean the cage! This is a great improvement. This case is a comfortable transition for them to stay in prior to them coming into the main cat shelter once they have a clean bill of health. This cage is durable and will help countless cats and kittens through the years. So far it has helped 12 and it was just recently delivered!

How many pets did this grant help?

12

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

The cage was ordered immediately after the receipt of the grant funds and took a while to arrive as it is specially made for each order, according to the company. Once our volunteers unloaded it from the semi truck and assembled it, it was quickly utilized. This has helped kittens and cats already and the amount of cats and kittens this will help is really countless as there is no reason that this cage will not be used for an extremely long time, as it is very durable.

The two kittens pictured are part of a very large family of cats that we recently rescued. Many of the cats and kittens had severe eye conditions, which have resulted in significant vet care and surgeries. All of their medical needs were immediately attended to. The two kittens pictured are not quite big enough to be spayed, but once they are, they will be up for adoption and we see no reason they won’t be adopted quickly, as they are loving kittens with great personalities. They have overcome so much in their short lives and are very sweet.

Animal VillageNM: Cat Enrichment Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

Your gift was used to purchase two catios, allowing our adoptable house-lions to finally and safely experience the fresh air, sights, and sounds of the outdoors.

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

We adopt only to indoor homes, so this is also a fabulous opportunity for us to market the safety of catios! We “preach” providing long, happy lives for adopted cats as an alternative to letting them roam the streets and encounter the dangers of the outdoors. Now we can SHOW what we mean, thanks to the Petfinder Foundation’s generosity.

How many pets did this grant help?

22-40 cats will have daily access to their catios.

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

Finn is our house-lion mascot, a lovely longhaired senior who is a total movie star-looking lap cat. But twice, after years in each home, he was left behind at [open-intake] facilities when his military adopters received Permanent Change of Station (PCS) orders. We have now re-rescued Finn twice, and rescued him as a kitten, so three times, he’s been abandoned.

With the generous gift of $1,000 from the Petfinder Foundation, Finn will now show off his beauty and sweetness in our newly remodeled cabin with two catios: “Finn’s Place.” He’ll become famous on social media and help THOUSANDS of house-lions be adopted to safe, loving, INDOOR homes!

You can meet Finn here.

Nuzzles & Co.: Cat Enrichment Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

Funding from the Petfinder Foundation’s Cat Enrichment grant was used to purchase enrichment items for the cats housed at Nuzzles & Co.’s Rescue Ranch in Peoa, Utah.

Item breakdown:
-Assorted-color pipe cleaners, 1,000 count: $23.98
-Mousin’ Around Hide ’n Treat cat toy & treat-dispenser cat toy: $41.56
-Vinbee Cat Snack licking sugar ball: $53.67
-Blackhole litter mat interactive swimming robot fish toy: $14.95
-Petstages Hunt ’n Swat tumbler treat-dispensing cat toy: $12.78
-Silvervine natural catnip sticks: $17.98
-Feliway cat diffuser refill, 3 pack: $66.99
-Feliway travel spray: $104.32
-Two Thundershirts: $79.90
-Lickimats: $15.98
-Two puzzle toys: $29.98
-Feather toys with catnip: $35.97
-Small canvas from the dollar store: $2.00

Total: $500.06

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

Many of the cats at Nuzzles & Co. got a rough start in life, and are often skittish, stressed, shut down, or overstimulated when they come to us. The items purchased through the Petfinder Foundation Cat Enrichment Grant gave these cats the chance to have a break from being stressed or scared in a shelter environment and just be cats. They get the opportunity to decompress, have some fun, and build trust with the humans caring for them. As they become more comfortable, their true personalities really start to shine, giving them a better chance of finding their perfect forever homes.

How many pets did this grant help?

136 cats and counting

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

One of our long-term cats, Tumeric (first photo), is a sweet boy who enjoys affection from humans (on his own terms). He was very overstimulated and stressed when he arrived at Nuzzles & Co., making him more challenging to handle. His behavior turned around when he got the chance to relax and enjoy some mental stimulation through playing with the toys and the other enrichment items purchased with the Petfinder Foundation grant funds.

Tumeric has particularly enjoyed the interactive toys like the swimming robot fish (second photo) and the catnip canvas (third photo). Tumeric is now easier to handle and has a calmer demeanor. Though Tumeric hasn’t found his forever home just yet, we know the adorable pictures and video of him playing with the enrichment items will help him attract just the right humans for him to call his own. Meet Tumeric here.

Tri-County Humane Society: Cat Enrichment Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

We used this grant to purchase a CRIJO AdoptME unit. This unit has one bed and two platforms as well as five areas for scratching. It is on wheels, so it is easy to move around, and the material used makes it easy to clean.

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

Prior to purchasing the AdoptME unit, our Cat Colony room was fairly bare. We had some small structures for the cats as well as a blanket or bed on the floor; however, it was just the basic needs. This unit took the cats off the floor and allowed them to lounge freely on any level.

We place cats from the same families in the Cat Colony room, where they can all spend their stay at the shelter outside of a cage. The unit is tall enough that it put them in line with the outside window, which is their FAVORITE place to hang out. They lounge in the sun all day!

There is also a viewing window for the public from inside the main cat area, and with the AdoptME unit, the cats are brought right into view. The public LOVES having the ability to watch the cats through that window and thanks to the AdoptME unit, the cats in this area do not stay at our shelter very long.

How many pets did this grant help?

This AdoptME unit has enriched the lives of more than 70 cats already.

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

Tia (first photo) and Rascal Jack (second photo) are a mother and son who arrived at Tri-County Humane Society in October 2020. They were surrendered to TCHS because their owner’s health was declining and they were unable to care for them.

When Tia and Rascal Jack first arrived, they were placed in a cage together. There wasn’t a ton of space for them in the cage and they were limited to just lying around. Shortly after, the Cat Colony room (with the AdoptME unit) was made available and they were moved in there.

After their move, we saw them become entirely different cats, and thanks to the AdoptME unit, we saw the playful and happy side of both of the cats come to life. They also were a little on the heavier side as far as their weight, so the AdoptME unit allowed them to be more active.

We hoped that Tia and Rascal Jack would be adopted together, but we know that it doesn’t always work out that way. We believe that because they were placed together in our Cat Colony room along with the AdoptME unit (third photo), they were able to display their true personalities and playfulness, which we believe was the reason they were adopted together. Tia and Rascal Jack were adopted in December 2020.

Nikki (fourth photo) and Kako (fifth photo) were two bonded ladies who came to TCHS after their owners had to move and couldn’t bring them along. They arrived in January 2021 and only spent a couple weeks here, which is always heartwarming. Kako was a little on the heavier side so, as with Tia and Rascal Jack, the AdoptME unit played an impactful role in helping her maintain some level of exercise and exploration during her stay at TCHS.

Also as with Tia and Rascal Jack, we had hopes that Nikki and Kako would be adopted together and, thanks to the AdoptME unit, Nikki and Kako were able to show their personalities and friendliness through the Cat Colony windows. Nikki and Kako were adopted to a loving couple who are now RVing across the country with them. These two are now out seeing the world!

Kingdom Cat Rescue: Cat Enrichment Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

We purchased items to build two cat climbing stations. We wanted to highlight cats’ natural physical abilities, and potential adopters absolutely LOVED seeing the cats playing on the bridge and climbing all over the wall fixtures.

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

This grant helped showcase some incredible animals. Potential adopters saw cats climb all over both items, and we truly believe that seeing them play in such a cool environment helped sway some to adopt.

How many pets did this grant help?

20

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

Hannah and Marlena are two shy calico kittens who took some time to warm up to humans. They tended to scurry and hide when someone wanted to interact with them, but once we added these items to their location, they spent all their energy climbing and playing. It made two shy kittens come out of their shell and helped showcase their true, playful spirit. These bonded sisters were adopted together after their furever family saw them!