This is a nice idea, It improves shelter cat adoption rates and the lives of the shelter cats awaiting adoption. It probably also improves the business that this ‘cat petting lounge’ is attached to (the business recently expanded). It’s a triple whammy winner! It’s Pandora’s Playhouse.
Neil and Susie Kupfer, the owners of Pet Food Warehouse, located in a shopping mall 20 minutes from Tampa, Florida, have constructed a special, homely place, attached to their store, where rescue cats supplied by Pet Pal Animal Shelter can enjoy some space and interactions with customers.
Customers can take their time playing with the cats in this cage-free environment. The cats have time to select their favourite human. I’d expect the cats to be de-stressed and in good humour. Shelter cats in this sort of environment are more likely to be adoptable.
At any one time there are about a dozen cats at Pandora’s Playhouse, which is has the feel and appearance of a home: windows for looking out and cat trees for climbing et cetera.
“Since there are no cages it allows for the cats to socialize with each other and warm up to people — we call it interviewing people,” Kupfer says.
In addition the store donates food to Pet Pal and handles adoption paperwork. This is a nice arrangement.
Alexander of Pet Pal said:
“The more comfortable the cats are around humans, the greater the chance that they will be adopted…We love to hear that people are spending time with the animals.”
Last year 61 cats were adopted through Pandora’s Playhouse, named after the Kupfers’ Maine Coon who passed away about 30 years ago.
I am a great fan of using novel and innovative ways to improve adoption rates. This is one example. Wherever innovation is present at shelters adoption rates improve and kill rates decease. This should be everyone’s objective.