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Humane Society of Cherokee County: Cat Enrichment Grant Report

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

The Petfinder Foundation funds were used to construct a new catio for our indoor shelter cats.

The catio enables all of our indoor cats to experience a safe outdoor environment at their leisure. The concept of a catio is pretty new in our community, and visitors to our shelter express quite an interest in our new catio. Interest regarding our catio has also been generated by word of mouth at our Resale Shop and at community events.

How many pets did this grant help?

About 15 at our shelter now, but it will help all our shelter cats in the future as well.

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

Catio Story: About a New Catio and Two Great Cat Buddies

Our catio is finished and has been in use for a few weeks now. The cats are loving it — especially one cat, Spooky.

A little background on what prompted us to build a catio. Two of our resident cats, Cat Mandu and Spooky (first photo), have been the shelter greeters and office assistants for several years now, working side by side welcoming people to the shelter. Spooky, the black cat, has always had a tendency to want to be outside, but knowing it wasn’t safe, we didn’t let him go out. He and Cat Mandu would spend their time sitting on the windowsill, looking outdoors and waiting for visitors.

Back in the winter, Cat Mandu became ill, and that was when we thought she needed a catio, and that Spooky would enjoy it too. Plans were made and a grant request was written, but sadly, Cat Mandu passed away shortly before we received the funding to build it. After Cat Mandu left us, we noticed that Spooky didn’t greet people or want to hang out in the office any more. He appeared to be depressed and had lost some of his zest for life.

What excitement there was, though, when we heard from the Petfinder Foundation that we were awarded a grant to build a catio. We started immediately on the construction, and in a flash we had a catio off an office window. And guess who was the first cat in it? Yes, it was Spooky. He wasn’t sure about going through the pet window the first time, so we nudged him a little. That was all it took. Now Spooky and his new friends like to hang out in the catio, where they are examples to everyone who visits the shelter of how much cats enjoy and need a catio of their own. Spooky is now greeting people again and likes to show off his catio to anyone wanting a tour.

And it isn’t just a catio. The official name of it is CATIO MANDU, after Spooky’s best friend.

And by the way, Spooky is still looking for his forever home. A photo and more information about this precious cat can be seen here.

Further Reading