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Helping Hands Humane Society: Cat Enrichment Grant Report

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

The money was used to purchase a myriad of items to be used for daily cat enrichment. These included bulk purchases of catnip, pipe cleaners, bubble makers, bird-noise CDs, treats, CD players, feather toys, and more!

This grant allowed us to purchase supplies that we were out of or otherwise would not have been able to obtain to give the cats a different kind of enrichment, seven days a week. These enrichment items are distributed to the cats throughout the building to help break up the monotony of their stay in the shelter.

How many pets did this grant help?

From Aug. 1 to the current date, our humane society has taken in and cared for more than 600 cats and kittens. These enrichment items have been used to help entertain and enrich all of those felines' lives during their stays with us.

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

Although this grant has helped to enrich all the lives of the cats in our care, there are a few who stand out. One cat, Periwinkle (first photo), was a 6-month old kitten who had an aggressive play style. He wasn’t a mean kitten, but he didn’t have much self-control and would nip and scratch people when trying to play.

This grant allowed us to purchase interactive toys so cats like Periwinkle could safely play with them instead of human hands or feet. The toy we gave Periwinkle was just a wobbling base with jingle bells inside and a short feather attachment, but he absolutely loved it. We were even able to send it home with him, so he had one of his favorite things in a new environment, but also to help his family entertain him and continue working on his self-control and behavior intervention.

A second cat that I distinctly remember was a large tomcat named Binx (second photo). He was a very sweet cat, but shy, and spent most of his time high up on one of the shelves we have built into the walls. He would come down with a fair amount of coaxing for pets, but otherwise he really just kept to himself.

After winning the grant money, we were able to purchase some battery-operated toys to periodically place in the rooms for the cats to enjoy. One such toy had a feather attached to a pole that would spin around and go back and forth to entice the cats, and when I placed this toy in the room, Binx immediately came down from the shelf to play with it.

While Binx was playing with the toy, several potential adopters walked through and watched him having a blast with it. Not long after, he ended up getting adopted by a wonderful family.

Further Reading