Shelters are loud, chaotic spaces, full of unfamiliar sights and smells. The stress of the environment leads shy cats to withdraw and hide, or act out their fear through aggression. And without sufficient activity and mental stimulation, many antsy cats become hyperactive — even destructive.
"Less adoptable" cats like seniors, feral cats, and those with existing health or behavioral issues have an even harder time catching the eye of potential adopters when stressed and hiding. Cats like Wesley.
Wesley was an older shelter cat at Kansas City Pet Project, where he was overlooked in favor of the younger cats and kittens. Considered "less adoptable" simply because of his age, he waited unnoticed until the Cat Pawsitive program gave him another chance.
Wesley took to the training straight away, and became a Cat Pawsitive ambassador — KCCP allowed him to roam the halls, showing off his signature High–Five to impress potential adopters and raise interest in the program. He helped to boost cat adoptions in the shelter, and these impressive new skills finally landed him in the forever home of his dreams.
You can help make more happy endings for cats like Wesley. We've done the math–it costs $175 to train one shelter volunteer or staff member in the life-saving Cat Pawsitive techniques. If that one person works with 20 cats this year, then it costs just $8.75 to help one cat have a better chance at life. And your initial investment keeps paying dividends as that one trained person will put their new skills to work to help cats for years and years to come.
Is the life of a cat like Wesley worth $8.75 to you?
Cats can be trained, and by teaching shelter cats our Cat Pawsitive techniques, including High-Five, we can decrease stress, increase engagement, and raise adoption rates. You can enter in our second annual Cat Pawsitive National High-Five Day Contest here, and have a chance to win a cash grant for a shelter of your choice.
About the Cat Pawsitive Program:
Developed by Jackson Galaxy and a team of animal behavior experts, Cat Pawsitive is a Signature Program of GreaterGood.org and The Animal Rescue Site, in partnership with Petco Foundation. The program works to help cats feel more comfortable in shelters and catch the eye of potential adopters. Cat Pawsitive mentors use a "train the trainer" approach to work with shelter staff and volunteers on positive–reinforcement clicker training techniques that can improve the well–being and adoptability of the cats in their care.
By rewarding cats for exhibiting trained behaviors, Cat Pawsitive trainers are able to give shy cats the confidence to come to the front of their kennels and make eye contact with potential adopters, sit on command, spin in circles, or even high–five their way into their new family's hearts.
The benefits of Cat Pawsitive are clear: as shelter cats gain confidence, adopters take notice, and more cats find their way out of shelters and into their happy ending.
The Jackson Galaxy Project is a program of GreaterGood.org, with a mission to improve the lives of animals at risk by transforming the places they live and helping the people who care for them. The Project focuses on programs that drive innovation, promote improved shelter design and construction, and provide knowledge to inspire and empower animal advocates.
GreaterGood.org has ultimate authority and discretion with regard to the distribution of its funds. All expenditures made are consistent with the exempt purposes of GreaterGood.org.