Cat Enrichment

Humane Society of the Palouse: Cat Enrichment Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

The money was used to order 200 Stretch and Scratch cat scratchers for the cats in our care. These are corrugated-carboard scratchers that can attach to the door of each cat kennel to provide an appropriate scratching area for the cats.

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

Not only does this help keep our cats physically healthy by filing their nails, it also keeps them mentally healthy by providing them with the freedom to express normal behavior (which is one of the five freedoms for animals). We strive to give the pets in our shelter the highest quality of care possible, and we ensure their five freedoms are met. By doing so, we have seen a huge decrease in aggression behaviors, depression, and kennel shut-down in the animals at HSoP.

We are extremely passionate about making each animal comfortable and happy during their temporary stay with us, and your grant allowed us to enrich the lives of over 200 cats!

How many pets did this grant help?

More than 200 (kittens who are cohabiting a kennel may share a scratcher).

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

Evee (first four photos) was brought in to our shelter as a stray. Upon intake, she was angry and spicy. We used a Feliway towel and draped it over her kennel door. We then moved her to a bigger kennel and offered her a Stretch and Scratch. As you can tell from the pictures, she was pleased to have something to keep her busy! We saw a dramatic change in her behavior and interactions with our staff even just one day after being offered a scratcher. Allowing cats to perform their natural behaviors truly does make them feel more safe and comfortable. Evee has found her forever home, and was sent home with her scratcher.

This grant also assisted a litter of semi-feral kittens! Having something to scratch enables an instinctive behavior in cats, so it can assist feral kittens in their adjustment to indoor, domesticated life. The kittens were skeptical at first, but after one day, they were having a blast with their scratcher — such a blast that we had to offer them a second scratcher. This truly helped the kittens feel more comfortable in their kennels, and with the staff at HSoP. All three kittens have since been adopted into indoor-only homes!

Marshfield Area Pet Shelter: Cat Enrichment Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

The money was used to purchase Stretch and Scratch cardboard scratchers for cat cages.

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

This grant allowed us to purchase enough scratchers that we are able to provide every cat with his or her own scratching post. The cats are now able to exhibit natural feline behavior and relieve stress.

How many pets did this grant help?

500

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

Paparazzi (first three photos) was returned to the shelter because the resident cat could not coexist with her in the home. When she came back, she was very quiet and secluded, but after a day or two, she came out and immediately started scratching on her scratcher. She’s not hid ever since. She is still waiting for her forever home. Meet Paparazzi here.

MCPAWS Regional Animal Shelter: Cat Enrichment Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

Grant funds were used to purchase 200 cat kennel scratchers for all the cats at MCPAWS. We also used funds to purchase five heat disks to help keep tiny kittens warm and happy!

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

These funds helped us provide exceptional care for the cats. Cats at MCPAWS really enjoy having the kennel door scratchers. Our kittens need the heat disks to help them have the best chance at surviving without their mom. We really appreciate this grant!

How many pets did this grant help?

More than 200

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

Paka was a feral cat who turned friendly. Paka loved scratching on his kennel cat scratcher! He was adopted into a loving home in part because he was living a mostly stress-free and happy life at the shelter thanks to his cat scratcher, playtime with staff, and a clean kennel. Thank you, Petfinder Foundation!

PAWS Atlanta, Inc.: Cat Enrichment Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

We are incredibly grateful for this wonderful grant to provide important cat enrichment items for the cats at our shelter. Two items we outlined in our original application were not available after we received our grant but were able to select similar items with comparable prices. Our grant was used to purchase:

HIPIPET Cat Tunnel Bed 3-in-1 Cat Bed, Cat Toys, Scratch-Resistant Cat Tunnels for Indoor Cats Play Tunnel Tube with Removable Washable Mat (Brown). Purchased through Amazon.com ($40.99 each x 4 units).

PetSafe Zoom – Automatic, Interactive, Rotating Laser Cat Toy with Two Lasers. Purchased through Amazon.com ($24.95 each x 4 units).

Cat’s Meow Motorized Chaser Cat Toy. Purchased through Chewy.com ($19.99 each x 1 unit).

KONG Cat Playground Cat Toy. Purchased through Chewy.com ($19.99 each x 4 units).

SmartyKat Hot Pursuit Electronic Concealed Motion Cat Toy. Purchased through Chewy.com ($11.96 each x 2 units).

K&H Pet Products Nylon Hangin’ Cat Condo. Purchased at Chewy.com ($98.99 each x 4 units).

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

Amazing cats come to our shelter at PAWS Atlanta every year as they wait to find their forever homes. During their time with us, they love to hang out and play in the four free-roaming rooms in our cat cottage. This is an incredibly important part of our facility. Each room (approximately 10’x 10’) provides plenty of space for cats to interact and play, including screened-in window-box enclosures and a screened-in porch where our feline friends can enjoy fresh air and sunshine on a nice day. The toys, tunnels, and condos have been placed in these four rooms. It did not take long before our cats were enjoying these new additions to their space! This enrichment for PAWS Atlanta has been especially important. We strongly believe in giving our cats the most loving care and stimulating spaces that we can. By having funds to purchase these items, it helps us do exactly that for them. It has also helped us keep our expenses down as we continue to deal with the many impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. We are extremely grateful for this support! Thank you!

How many pets did this grant help?

Over the course of a year, we expect that approximately 425 cats will benefit from the enrichment items. We purchased our items at the end of March 2020 and have so far had about 50 cats enjoying the toys, tunnels, and condos in our cat cottages.

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

One of our cats who took an immediate shine to the new enrichment items was Billie (first photo), a 1-year-old black-and-white beauty. It was no time before she was playing with the laser toys (who wouldn’t love that?), climbing through the tunnels, and taking a snooze in the cat condos. Billie has a beautiful singing voice, which caught the attention of one of our prospective pet parents. We were incredibly excited when, after being at PAWS Atlanta since April 26, 2020, Billie went to her forever home on April 13, 2021.

Another big fan of the Petfinder Foundation’s generosity is the adorable Ditto (second photo). Ditto came to PAWS Atlanta in March 2021 completely feral, under-socialized, and scared. In no time, she began opening up, even letting some of our staff pet her. She loves the other cats and is particularly fond of one that came in with her, Matthew. He’s a bit shy too, but they find comfort in feline companionship. Ditto is making great progress! She has really been enjoying lounging in the hanging cat condos and tunnels. Who says feral cats don’t know how to enjoy a good toy and a great place to take a nap? Ditto is still available for adoption. Meet Ditto here.

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.