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Independence Animal Services: Cat Enrichment Grant Report

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

The grant money was used to buy several items that will enhance the lives of our cats as they wait to be adopted. We purchased two exercise wheels, several boxes of Feliway calming spray, several interactive cat toys, several scratching pads, catnip, puzzle feeders, and an incredible cat house which includes three stories with cubbies and hideaways.

These items are incredibly helpful for our cats, especially during the pandemic. We have been closed to the public since March 2020, and we have not been able to allow volunteers inside the building since then. The majority of cat enrichment and socialization was done by our devoted volunteers, so our cats have been needing extra help to get energized and enthusiastic.

The exercise wheels provide the cats with an exciting stimulus to break their day-to-day drawl of just hanging out in their rooms. The exercise is particularly helpful for some of our overweight cats! The Feliway calming spray is helpful for new cats who are unsure of the shelter environment, or for cats who have experienced tragic lives.

The toys, scratching pads, catnip, and puzzle feeders give the cats several opportunities to utilize their brains, which can be so important for older cats. The cat house is set up in front of a window that overlooks natural scenery, giving the cats a pleasant view that differs from their typical kennel walls.

This was an amazing opportunity to make sure our cats are exercising, using their brains, and not succumbing to depression.

How many pets did this grant help?

At least 50 cats so far, but many more in the future will be helped!

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

Kathy is a 9-year-old cat who has been at our shelter since mid-June. It took her quite some time to open up, and we were concerned about her mental well-being. However, enrichment toys and changing her scenery have definitely brought her out of her shell! She is now an incredibly loving cat who loves to talk to you. Our goal is to get her to use the exercise wheel, as she’s a little overweight. She is not yet adopted, but we know that she is close to finding her forever home! Meet Kathy here.

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