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Shelter Workers Teaching Cats Trick To Increase Chance of Adoption... And It's Working

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It’s often difficult for cats beyond their kitten years to find a forever home. But one program being adopted by animal shelters across the United States is hoping to change that.

The Cat Pawsitive program, started by The Jackson Galaxy Project and GreaterGood.org, is training shelter cats to let their true personalities shine through.



“Big life changes can lead to cats losing their mojo, their confidence, their raw cat essence,” program manager Christie Rogero explained.

“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.'”

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And not only do these tricks help the cats de-stress and come out of their shells, but they also increase their chances of being adopted.

Cat behaviorist Jackson Galaxy explained how the program began. “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,” he said.

“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 cats who participate in the program are said to gain confidence over time, allowing them to interact with potential owners when they come to the shelters.

“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 said.

“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.”



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And so far, the program is a wild success. Over 400 cats from the program were adopted within the first two semesters.

Over 30 animal shelters across the country have participated so far, and they anticipate another 50 joining by the end of 2018.

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Liz was a senior story editor for The Western Journal.
Liz was a senior story editor for The Western Journal.
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