Cat Enrichment

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.

Project Precious Paws: Cat Enrichment Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

We shared the Kong cat toys with the cats we already had in our care and saved a couple for new cats.

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

The cats and kittens had a blast with the exciting new Kong cat toys. There were a few different designs in the shipment and it was fun seeing them discover each one. They are more interactive and interesting than the usual cat toys we receive. We also sent one toy home with a cat when he was adopted. We have a “cat room” for some of our less-adoptable cats; some are semi-feral and they had a great time playing with the new toys.

How many pets did this grant help?

Eleven so far.

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

Ares (first photo) is a huge flame-point Siamese who came into the shelter with his collar wrapped under his arm. It took a long time for the wound to heal (second photo), and once he was able to play, we gave him one of the Kong toys to try. We sent that toy home with him when he was adopted so he would have something familiar in his new home.

Rancho Coastal Humane Society: Cat Enrichment Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

The money was used to buy items that would enrich the lives of our shelter cats. These items included Scratch & Sniff pads, electronic motion toys, and modular cat trees.

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

Anything we can do to enrich the lives of our shelter cats/kittens while they are waiting for their “fur-ever” homes is important. The reaction of some of our residents to the items this grant funded verified how important it is to provide stimulating activities. Active and well-socialized cats/kittens make better adoption candidates. We are very thankful for the support from the Petfinder Foundation.

How many pets did this grant help?

We typically house up to 60 homeless cats and kittens.

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

Little miss Reba McEntire (first three photos) had lost virtually all interest in toys, preferring to just nap the whole day, and I was honestly a bit skeptical about whether she would even enjoy the toy. Much to my shock, she came up to the new motorized toy immediately to play with it in a way I hadn’t seen her play with anything in a long time. I left to do some work around the shelter, and when I came back into the cattery, I heard meowing and realized it was coming from Reba’s room. She was sitting there by the toy, batting it, and when she saw me, ran right up, meowing like crazy and then turning back to the toy and batting it again. So I clicked it back on for her and she immediately went right back into playing with it! Meet Reba McIntyre here.

For Mr. Feeny (fourth and fifth photos), our challenge has always been keeping him mentally stimulated and helping him burn some of his seemingly endless energy. Even with all the time staff and volunteers dedicated to playing with him, it still seems like we can’t tire this guy out. I didn’t even need to press the button on the motorized toy before he was already playing with it. Once I did turn it on, he could not get on it fast enough. He even ignored the remaining kibble in his feeder despite his love of food. It’s been nice having something that staff and volunteers can turn on after spending time with Mr. Feeny to help him get even more playtime in the day. Meet Mr. Feeny here.