C Alley Cats of Lake Wallenpaupack: Cat Enrichment Grant Report
How did this grant help your organization and the pets in your care?
C Alley Cats’ average 85 adult rescues/residents in foster care had their day-to-day lives enhanced through the purchase of scratchers, cat towers, interactive toys, videos, and feeders thanks to our 2023 Enrichment grant. The cats are benefiting from activities that stimulate their senses, encourage activity, and simulate play and hunting.
There is no quantitative way for us to measure the level of reduced stress, but fosters are noticing that there is less territorial/aggressive behavior and more friendly play. Cats who are usually couch potatoes are up and moving more and shy cats are gaining confidence through their “hunting” activities.
The “under-the-bed” cats at one foster’s home, cats who are too shy and scared to be adoptable, came out to check out the treat puzzle and the catnip scratchers. This has become a new nightly ritual and they are hanging out and even accepting pets.
Other long-term fosters have been challenged to find and work for treats and they are looking forward to seeing how many they can coax the treats out of the toy (others are lying in wait to beat them to the treat once they have done all the work – great teamwork!).
The treat toys and hunting toys are giving the more competitive cats a more appropriate release for their need to succeed instead of stalking and harassing the other cats. Cats are relaxing on the new cat trees, which provide extra levels, creating more harmony between the cats.
Another foster has noticed that cats who usually do not interact with any of the other cats are starting to make tentative steps toward playing with the other cats when they are both intrigued by the same toy. Being able to watch birds and other interesting animals on the tv screen as well as at the window perches has reduced tensions at the window seats and has allowed the lower-status cats the ability to enjoy some cat tv too.
Fosters are also noticing that providing the social attention-hogs with distractions has allowed them more opportunities to work with the more timid cats, thus improving their number of human interactions. The progress with some of our under-socialized cats gives us hope that one day they may become adoptable.
All the fosters feel that the new purchases have enhanced their adult cats’ day-to-day activities. Thank you, Petfinder Foundation, for making our foster kitties happier and our fosters happier, too.
How many pets did this grant help?
Please provide a story of one or more specific pets this grant helped.
Licorice (first photo) is a 1-year-old tuxedo who came into foster care at 3 weeks of age with his mom and three siblings. He has been shy with new people and pushy with some of the other cats in foster care.
Since we added the enrichment items, he has been calmer and more patient. His favorite new activity has been coaxing the treats from the cat-treat ball. We have also observed him checking out potential adopters versus hiding when strangers arrive to meet some of our cats. Hopefully we will see him find his forever family in the near future.