Cat Enrichment

Prairie Paws Animal Shelter: Cat Enrichment Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

With the Petfinder Foundation cat enrichment grant, we were able to purchase the following: a cat exercise wheel, a catio plan, 14 clickers, a Surro-Kitty with sound for orphaned kittens, eight KittyKasas cat cubes, three CDs – Music Cats Love (2) and Through A Cat’s Ear, a New Age Pet ecoFLEX, three Tower of Tracks toys, two Friends Forever laser toys, a Peek-a-Boo mouse chaser, and a Karen Pryor Getting Started Clicker Training for Cats book.

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

When cats are in between homes, it is important to keep them active, stimulated and happy. Thanks to the Petfinder Foundation cat enrichment grant, we can do just that for the hundreds of homeless cats who will come through our doors in the future. We aren’t sure which item we are the most excited about, but the Surro-Kitty is right up there! It is a nursing device that allows up to eight kittens to nurse at once!

How many pets did this grant help?

50

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

George (on the wheel) and Skittles (playing with the cheese toy) took to the new enrichment toys quickly. Freckles was all about the KittyKasas cubes; we’re pretty sure she tried each one out! George and Skittles both found their forever home and Freckles is our helpful office cat.

Upper Peninsula Animal Welfare Shelter: Cat Enrichment Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

At this time, the Crijo AdoptME cat tree has not arrived yet. When it does, we will be using it in our brand new animal shelter! Our date to move into the new building is mid-November. I am enclosing photos of the cat rooms. The cat room that this will go in is in fear-free colors and has glassed front windows (the tree will be perfect!).

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

I am happy to provide a story when the tree is delivered and set up in the brand new shelter!

How many pets did this grant help?

Hundreds of cats over the next many years!

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

We have ordered a Crijo AdoptME cat tree for our new group cat open-feature room. Cats love to be high up, scratch, lounge and have their own space. Providing for your cat’s mental well-being is just as important as providing for her physical well-being. Cats have natural behaviors and needs; to be healthy and happy, they must have opportunities to express those natural behaviors in appropriate ways. A Crijo AdoptME tree would do just that! The cat trees we had (carpeted ones) were very hard to disinfect properly as well as they fell apart after time with so much use. A Crijo AdoptME cat tree unit is a versatile starter unit that can be connected to other Crijo products with a catwalk and/or a cat ramp. The unit offers one bed and two platforms for lounging, along with five areas for vertical and horizontal scratching. The multi-level design offers optimum stretching, jumping and perching opportunities. Since the AdoptME tree is on wheels, it can be moved to the window area so cats can see outside and watch the activity of the outdoors. Having a tree such as this will enhance our cats’ lives, making for happier, healthier cats while they wait for their new, loving homes. A happier, healthier cat is a cat who will be adopted much faster.

Homeward Animal Shelter: Cat Enrichment Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

We used the grant funds to purchase enrichment supplies for the cats, including televisions with built-in DVD players (used to play cat videos in two wards), cat furniture (including a bridge and steps to be mounted in a playroom and our kitten ward), toys (including food puzzles), and Clik Stiks and treats (for clicker-training adult cats).

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

This grant allows us to provide further enrichment for our cats while they await their adoptive homes. This allows us to provide an even higher quality of life for our felines, and cats who feel stimulated are less likely to hide and more likely to interact with visitors, especially those who have been clicker-trained to do so.

How many pets did this grant help?

1000s

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

Grape (first photo) is an adult cat who has been with us since May of this year. Grape is a “high-energy” cat who always needs something to do, and, unfortunately, keeping a high-energy cat entertained in a kennel is not always easy. Sometimes, her energy would cause her to act out in frustration, but since she started using the food puzzle toys, her energy has been much easier to manage and she is no longer acting out angrily when it’s time to go back to her kennel. Hopefully, with the use of these new enrichment supplies, Grape’s newfound calmness will allow her to find an adoptive home soon! Grape’s profile: http://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/41642102

Cat Depot: Cat Enrichment Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

We purchased items to enrich the cats’ lives during their stay at Cat Depot — mainly parts for our cat-agility obstacle course and cat hammocks for offices and pods, but also cardboard scratchers, scratching couches, and interactive toys.

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

Staying at a shelter can be a frightening experience — and boring for cats who don’t interact well with other felines and need to be on their own. We strive to provide these cats room in an office, but their human roommates aren’t there all the time. Having something to do and something to think about — like the agility course — alleviates boredom, prevents behavioral problems, and makes the cats more adoptable. Interactive toys encourage visitors to play with the cats. That’s good for both humans and pets – and can lead to adoptions. We are so very grateful for this opportunity to improve the environment.

How many pets did this grant help?

1,530

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

Kimberlina was scared and unhappy and did not show her best side to adopters. Getting a tunnel allowed her to observe while feeling safe, and the interactive toys helped her burn off some energy while bonding with humans. The grant definitely helped her find her furever home.

Little Shelter Animal Rescue and Adoption Center: Cat Enrichment Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

We used the grant money to purchase scratching posts, beds and interactive toys for the cats in our care. The scratching posts and beds provided our cats with places to climb, stretch and condition their claws just as they would if they were climbing trees. The interactive toys helped socialize the cats to become more adoptable. We thank the Petfinder Foundation for its generosity and for giving us the opportunity to help the cats in our care prepare for their forever homes.

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

This grant helped and is still helping our cats to be more socialized. The cats loved the scratching posts and beds. The Doc & Phoebe’s Interactive Indoor Hunting Cat Feeder was a huge hit. Cats who normally don’t play were crazy about this toy. The Kong Eight Track Cat Toy provided them with hours of entertainment. These toys also gave our volunteers many opportunities to interact with our cats and this is wonderful, since our goal is to get more and more cats adopted, and positive interactions with people are very important in the adoption process.

How many pets did this grant help?

We have 200 cats in our shelter and at least 100 of them have been affected and have become more socialized.

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

UNO is an enthusiastic young boy who loves getting into anything and everything! He can usually be found stalking his friends at the cattery, ready to pounce or finding a box to play hide-and-seek. UNO loves to play and will chase kitty dancers, string and toy springs. He loves stuffies and curls up with a little toy to take his naps. UNO is a loving boy but sometimes can get overstimulated and needs a family that knows when it’s time to put the toys away and let him take a nap. He has a long life ahead of him and can’t wait to spend it as your best friend. Meet him: http://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/41916012

Ellen M. Gifford Sheltering Home for Cats: Cat Enrichment Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

The money was used to purchase enrichment toys (wand toys with feathers or mice), food puzzles (Kong treat balls, slow feeders), tunnels for hiding/play, cardboard scratchers/loungers, cat grass and other items that encourage play and keep the cats engaged and happy.

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

The cost of operating a shelter sometimes means there is only enough money to spend on essential items. We rely on the kindness and generosity of donors, visitors to the shelter, volunteers and other supporters to make up the difference when it comes to non-essential items like the ones purchased with this grant. Receiving this pet-enrichment grant was crucial in making sure we could purchase items that would keep the cats healthy and encouraged them to interact with volunteers and visitors. Chasing a feather toy, hanging out in a tunnel or rolling a food ball around to get food or treats not only keeps cats happy, but shows potential adopters how they can expect the cat will be in their home (their level of energy). This makes it easier to match that cat with the right adopter, leading to quicker and better adoptions.

How many pets did this grant help?

We typically have a total of 40-50 kittens and cats in our care on a regular basis and this grant benefited all of them.

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

Angel (first two photos) is 8 1/2 years old and has been at the shelter for six years. She was surrendered by an elderly gentleman who could not care for her any longer and is a bit of a loner. She lives in a part of the shelter where we house some of the quieter and under-socialized cats and generally gets along with the other cats in her room. She is not incredibly active, nor does she respond to treats or to play. She does sometimes like to bat a feather toy, but only when she feels like it!

The volunteers were stumped as to how to get her out into the room more and away from her comfy bed. When Gifford received the Cat Enrichment grant from the Petfinder Foundation, part of the money was used to purchase infinity scratcher lounges and cat-grass kits. Angel’s room has multiple cat-lounge areas with comfy blankets, which is where you would normally see Angel. We brought an infinity scratcher into the room and left for about five minutes and when we came back, Angel was happily scratching and then lounging on the scratcher, as if to say, “okay, this is mine now!”

Later that month, we brought in some of the newly grown cat grass and, as expected, most of the other cats in the room came right up and started munching. We were surprised when Angel got down from her bed and started chomping on the grass (first photo). We had never tried this as a motivator to get her moving, but now use it on a regular basis to entice her away from her bed, and she seems to enjoy it! Now that we know we can attract her attention with the cat grass, we can work on getting her used to petting and attention from volunteers and visitors and eventually get her into a forever home. Meet her: http://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/31723851

Scotty (third and fourth photos) is 2 years old and is a volunteer favorite. He’s a gorgeous boy with unusual ears like a Scottish fold. He is sweet, but he has had some behavioral issues in his past and is easily overstimulated. He needs just the right amount of play before he reaches his limit and needs alone time to keep calm. Due to his occasional assertive behavior, he is housed in a separate enclosure in the shelter, but we wanted to make sure he got plenty of attention from volunteers and staff and wanted to find a way to learn to understand Scotty’s body language to be better able to recognize when he was at his limit. Using the enrichment items purchased with the grant, we have used toy wands to meet Scotty’s need for play and cat tunnels for him to hang out in when he has had enough play. They have allowed the shelter to demonstrate what a great cat he truly is and to better notice and understand his behavior so that we can find him the right forever home.

Lynchburg Humane Society: Cat Enrichment Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

We used this generous funding for scratchers for the cats, calming spray to help cats be calmer throughout the adoption special and on the ride to their new home, and Kitty Kasas cubes (pictured) to help cats have a place to hide and sleep in our group rooms to help them be more comfortable, less stressed and more adoptable.

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

Reducing stress during the adoption process has helped pets go home with more success. Providing them with enrichment including places to hide and scratching pads has helped them get adopted and be more comfortable while in our care.

How many pets did this grant help?

100+ and still helping!

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

Professor Sheldon (first photo) was so excited when we put his scratcher in his condo that he barely let us attach it because he wanted to immediately start using it. Meet him: http://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/41778461

Kokomo Humane Society: Cat Enrichment Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

The money was used for a cat wall for our cat colony to provide vertical space for enrichment. The wall contains five boxes for cats to relax or sleep in and multiple shelves and a set of steps for vertical activity.

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

This grant has been extremely helpful and will continue to be for years to come. It has been beneficial on multiple levels. Foremost is that this is the first cat colony we have had and we have found that the cats are happier and healthier when they are able to spend the time they are with us free-roaming. The boxes provide a safe, private space for the cats to initially adjust to the new environment and then, once adjusted, continue to offer a secure space to relax. They also enjoy the vertical space and will spend time moving from level to level. They like having that height to see what is going on around them. The cat wall is also extremely attractive to potential adopters and draws them in to look at cats that they might not notice if they were in a cage or cat condo. The cats are able to express their personality more freely when they are free-roaming and we have found that we are able to adopt out cats who had been with us for an extended period of time.

How many pets did this grant help?

The cat wall went up right before we opened in our new shelter on July 18, 2018. Since then, 30 cats have been residents of the colony. Of those, half have been adopted.

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

Sunshine and Scrabble were two of the first cats to live in the cat colony and enjoy the cat wall. Sunshine was a 10-year-old, overlooked, overweight orange senior. We initially wondered how he would do with the vertical wall, but he was the first one to start exploring, climbing and getting cozy in the boxes. His image was instantly transformed from a fat, lazy old cat into a cool older dude who liked to climb. Although he wasn’t immediately adopted, people were drawn to him. He was more outgoing and looked so cute climbing around that he got quite a bit of attention. He got along well with all the other cats in the colony, and when Scrabble, a beautiful 2-year-old black cat, was adopted, the couple decided that they needed to take Sunshine home too. It was perfect in that they already knew that the two cats got along and they were able to add both a young cat and a senior to their family. Sunshine is shown in the first two photos.

Vanderburgh Humane Society: Cat Enrichment Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

Purchasing Feliway diffusers and refills for shelter-cat enrichment.

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

We have to purchase Feliway out-of-pocket almost 100% of the time — it’s not something we have a lot of success getting donated by our volunteers or the public. So having funding for Feliway is truly lifesaving in terms of opening up much-needed money in other areas.

How many pets did this grant help?

Around 1,800 — the average number of cats we take in each year, and this is a year’s supply of Feliway.

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

Lemur is a female brown-and-orange torbie originally surrendered to the Vanderburgh Humane Society with her four kittens. Her babies have all been adopted, but of course adult moms are typically left behind a lot longer, so she is seeking a home of her very own! Lemur is about 2 years old. She currently lives at River Kitty Cat Café, which is the very first cat café in southwestern Indiana and has successfully adopted out more than 150 VHS cats to date. With the constant reintroduction of new cats into a communal living space, Feliway really helps make the transition easy on everyone. Lemur was a little petulant at the beginning of her time at River Kitty, but with an adjustment period and with a Feliway diffuser constantly in use, she is now doing very well! Thanks to the Petfinder Foundation’s generosity, we were able to purchase enough Feliway for each of our cat rooms for a year. Lemur hopes that someone will fall in love with her on their next café visit and make her a permanent part of their own family. Meet Lemur: http://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/42049896

Saving Grace Rescue, Inc.: Cat Enrichment Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

Purchase of multiple cat toys, scratchers and treat balls.

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

It brought great joy to the rescue kitties AND the fosters. Many of our kitties are special-needs, and they need noisy, contained or light-up toys that can be more expensive. This grant allowed us to enrich every kitten’s day.

How many pets did this grant help?

23 and counting! Still more toys are available for future rescues.

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

HeiHei arrived with severely damaged eyes. The grant allowed us to buy crinkle balls and track toys for her to be able to confidently play. Her personality opened up! Meet her: http://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/42476809