January 17, 2019

Audience: Executive Leadership, Public, Shelter/Rescue Staff & Volunteers

Video Length: 5:22

Lifesaving Idea: Help save cats who are too scared in a shelter setting by giving them a safe environment to show their true personality

How can you learn about a cat's true personality if he or she is afraid? Cat Town in Oakland, California had the answer. Understanding that cats are very sensitive to their environment and that many potential adopters or foster caregivers won't take a chance on a very stressed animal, having them in a space where they feel safe is key to getting them adopted. So, with help from Maddie's Fund®, Cat Town created a safe, welcoming cat café where cats in the local municipal shelter who were terrified and seemed difficult to adopt could de-stress and meet up with potential adopters.

Cat Town worked closely with cat behaviorists to design a space that works well for different types of cats - one that helps cats show their best selves and helps adopters get a good sense of the real cat. They found that behaviors, such as aggression or being shut down, will disappear once a cat is removed from a stressful environment and housed in a safe one.

Cat Town's approach from the beginning was to make it joyful to help in an environment where everyone, including volunteers, adopters and most of all the cats, can feel safe. And to show that if people come together as a community and work with their municipal shelters, they can save more lives.

And, boy, have they been rewarded. Have a look at the video and see for yourselves how taking a chance on at-risk shelter cats can make all the difference and save lives!