Animal Advocates: Cat Enrichment Grant Report
How did this grant help your organization and the pets in your care?
Grant monies funded the purchase of an array of furnishings and enrichment activities that meet the unique temperaments, ages, and physical needs of our cats awaiting adoption.
Funds were spent in the following ways:
1. Purchase of new cat perches, including three Kuranda-brand towers, and two large scratching posts. These items replaced older furnishings in the shelter facility, all of which were previously donated and many of which were very worn. The new towers, in addition to being sturdier, are also easier to clean. These additions help to keep the cat population more active and the space more sanitary, improving the cats' overall health and wellbeing.
2. Purchase of interactive, human-cat enrichment activities so that our volunteers can help to build trusting relationships with the cats and provide adequate exercise. This included new wand teasers, laser pointers, and a multi-purpose tunnel that can be reconfigured in different ways for variety, adding interest as the cats navigate through the item.
3. Purchase of two Kuranda-brand towers for placement on the “catio,” a screened-in porch that affords the cats a safe, protected vantage point from which to enjoy the outdoors. While it is covered and secure, the porch is exposed to weather and previously did not have any perches or furnishings. The towers were selected specifically for their durability and ability to withstand the elements long-term.
How many pets did this grant help?
Please provide a story of one or more specific pets this grant helped.
The new interactive toys and furnishings have dramatically improved the rescue environment for all of the resident felines!
For example, Hobbs (first photo) came to Animal Advocates overwhelmed by the sites and sounds of the rescue — understandably, as he was surrendered by his previous owner from the only home he had ever known.
With patience and a gentle approach, volunteer caregivers are helping Hobbs overcome his fears by using the new wand teasers and other toys to entice him. Interactive play is a powerful tool to develop the animal-human bond and provide stress relief and exercise for the cats while they are residing at the rescue.
These enrichments help cats like Hobbs to feel more secure and confident and encourages them to request attention from not just familiar volunteers, but also potential adopters! Hobbs has made great strides and we believe a loving home is just what he needs to blossom into an incredible companion.
The myriad of new furnishings in the community cat room also give the cats more opportunities to utilize their natural hunting instincts to climb and chase, as well as to be entertaining for the other cats (and people!) to observe.
Two other current residents, Tiger Lily (second photo) and Layla (third photo), relish their time spent on the “catio” perches, soaking up the warm sun and fresh air as they keenly watch birds from the safety of the enclosed patio space. The multi-level towers provide quiet spots for more senior or laid-back cats to relax and enjoy the view from the bank of windows or on the enclosed patio space. Tiger Lily and Layla would each love a home of their own with a sunny window to enjoy!