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Stray Hearts Animal Shelter: Cat Enrichment Grant Report

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

The benefits of the Petfinder Foundation Cat Enrichment Grant to both the animals and the people who work and volunteer at our facility are clear: Our cats are happier, healthier, safer to handle, and easier to adopt out.

By targeting and accommodating their natural feline tendencies, we can diminish the effects of stress, boredom, and anxiety in our shelter’s cats, while simultaneously reinforcing their confidence to engage and interact with potential adopters. In turn, this engagement increases the chances for the kinds of positive interactions that ultimately lead to their adoption, uniting people and pets in as timely a manner as possible and fulfilling our ultimate goal.

For cats, enrichment toys represent an outlet for a series of natural behaviors; playtime also gives them an outlet to expend energy that has no other way to be released within SH’s kennel environment on its own. Distributing and maintaining enrichment toys and equipment in our cattery can be one of the simplest ways of providing an enriching environment for our shelter animals, and one of the most time- and resource-efficient options for us to implement.

How many pets did this grant help?


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

Rick (first photo) and his brother Morty (second photo) came to Stray Hearts in May as part of kitten season, when the number of kittens in the community exploded during the spring. Both of them were extremely young and needed to spend time in foster care to make sure they could get the care they needed.

Once they had grown a bit more and become self-sufficient, they came back to the shelter and spent the next few weeks as office cats in the admin offices of the shelter. Rick spent some of this time sitting on the Executive Director’s shoulder, helping with budget spreadsheets and helping to reduce the blood pressure of everyone in the office.

Rick has grown significantly since his arrival and is in our cattery with many of the other cats who have benefited from the enrichment toys that we have been able to provide all of the cats. We have had great success adopting out many of the cats like Rick because we have had the right tools to engage with them and make them better adoption candidates for the adopters who are looking for their next furry friend.

You can meet Morty here.

Further Reading