Animal Shelters Teaching Cats to High Five

Animal shelters are now teaching cats tricks to make them more appealing for adoption.


GreaterGood.org and the Jackson Galaxy Project started the Cat Pawsitive program which trains adoptable cats to decrease stress, increase engagement with people, and to improve the adoption rates of the felines. An animal shelter can be a harsh environment for a cat, and its personality might not always shine when meeting people for the first time.

 

A shelter cat giving a high five

“The genesis of Cat Pawsitive stemmed from the simple desire to duplicate the ‘AHA!’ moment I had in the early stages of my life with cats as a shelter worker,” said Jackson Galaxy, a cat behaviorist and host of the TV show ‘My Cat From Hell.’ “By utilizing the training concepts that were, to that point, only used for the dogs in our care, not only were the cats stimulated, motivated and energized, but so was I. That, along with the most important result, lives being saved, was the win-win.”

 

The Cat Pawsitive program trains adoptable cats to decrease stress, increase engagement with people, and to improve the adoption rates of the felines.

“Big life changes can lead to cats losing their mojo, their confidence, their raw cat essence. When suddenly faced with a noisy shelter or an unfamiliar foster home, even the most outgoing and friendly cats can become nervous, shut down or even just bored. This can lead to behaviors that make them seem less adoptable.” said Christie Rogero, the program manager for Cat Pawsitive.

“When they arrive in a shelter, they may have lost the only family they’ve ever known, or they may have come from a difficult life as a stray on the street,” Rogero added. “We help those cats to feel more confident, to feel safe interacting with new people, to even spend more time at the front of their cages actively soliciting attention than hiding in the corner with their face to the wall.”

So far 30 shelters from all over the country have worked with the program, with more than 50 more shelters expected to join by the end of the year.


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Animal Shelters Teaching Cats to High Five

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