Southern Souls Animal League: Cat Enrichment Grant Report
How did this grant help your organization and the pets in your care?
The grant from the Petfinder Foundation made a significant and positive impact on the pets in our care at Southern Souls Animal League in several ways:
It allowed us to purchase wall-mounted climbing and scratching equipment, which not only added more floor space for the cats but also created a more stimulating and enriching environment. This equipment is also easy to clean, ensuring a more hygienic living space.
By removing old and hard-to-clean cat trees and replacing them with more user-friendly and sanitary options, the cats now have a more comfortable and clean space to rest and play.
Adding rugs to absorb sounds from the shelter such as dogs and traffic noise has created a calmer and less-stressful environment for the cats. Reduced stress is essential for their mental and emotional well-being.
Concealing litter boxes within furniture and providing small food and water bowls not only makes the room more inviting to adopters but also ensures that the cats have a clean and pleasant living area. Customized boxes, spray-painted to match each room's theme, have provided the cats with cozy and personalized spaces to call their own. This adds a sense of security and comfort. The furniture placed in each room, along with the rugs, helps make the shelter feel more like a home, thus allowing each cat an easier and shorter acclimation period when they go to their permanent homes.
The addition of speakers to drown out external sounds helps reduce stress and anxiety for the cats, making the shelter a more tranquil place for them. Soothing music is selected and used through our Alexa system, which offers a wide variety of tranquil sounds.
Catnip and treats offer the cats the opportunity for mental and sensory stimulation, making their stay more enjoyable. Blankets for lounging equipment and the replacement of worn-out blankets help make long-term residents more comfortable during their stay at the shelter.
In summary, the grant has greatly improved the overall quality of life for the cats in our care. It has created a more comfortable, enriching, and less-stressful environment, which not only benefits the cats' well-being but also makes them more appealing to potential adopters. These improvements are a testament to our commitment to providing the best possible care for the animals we serve, and they enhance their chances of finding loving forever homes.
How many pets did this grant help?
Please provide a story of one or more specific pets this grant helped.
George (first photo) is a long-term cat. He is very sweet and easygoing, so we have put him in our kitten room.
He is an older gentleman, so he has not had as much interest as the kittens. His mental well-being has decreased since being in our shelter. He would talk and explore when he first arrived. He stopped doing that a few months ago.
Once the new furniture and beds were installed, he was the first to check out the new furniture for the litter boxes and quickly claimed the fluffiest bed in the room. He has talked to us more in the last week of finishing this project than he has in a long time.
We are extremely excited to see him getting back to his old self. The goal of him being in the kitten room is for someone looking for a kitten to fall in love with him instead.
Kit Kat (second photo) is another long-term resident. He was the first to explore the wall-mounted equipment. Now he is on it every time we pass by the room.
Neither cat has been adopted yet, but the videos of the new rooms have gotten them much attention and we feel they will be finding homes soon.