08 Jan Improving Cats’ Lives and Adoptions
Renowned cat behaviorist Jackson Galaxy recently came to San Diego to help local animal shelters and rescues save more feline lives. In November 2023, three LYFF volunteers were lucky enough to take part in the two-day Cat Pawsitive 360 workshop, an initiative of Greater Good Charities’ Jackson Galaxy Project. We came away with ideas both big and small for how to change things for the kitties in our care today, tomorrow, and long-term.
The Mission is Getting More Cats Adopted
The bottom line for the project, as well as for rescues and shelters, is to save more cats and kittens. That happens by getting more volunteers to foster and care for them, but mostly it happens by increasing cat adoption rates. When you adopt more cats and kittens, rescues like LYFF can go back to shelters and humane society—for us, mostly San Diego Humane Society—and save more feline lives.
Jackson Galaxy and Greater Good Charities take a holistic approach (hence “Cat Pawsitive 360”) to how to achieve that goal. And that meant we talked about “cat first,” a cat-centric framework, meaning not just what’s convenient for us the caretakers, but what’s best for the cat. We came home with a huge range of ideas for how to make every aspect of the cat’s experience with us better—from intake and cats being comfortable and confident while in our care, to showing their best selves during adoption events and improving the adoption process for both cats and adopters.
Cat First for Feline Mojo and Adoption Success
Jackson Galaxy talked a lot about “cat mojo,” which boils down to cat comfort and confidence. As he put it, “confidence but not cockiness.” We can help cats find or reclaim their mojo by giving them time, spaces, and most of all, options for playtime, eating, rest, and feeling safe. Some of our key takeaways included:
- Tips for making our cats more comfortable at adoption events, which are a big change from their daily lives in foster homes.
- “Catifying” our adoption center to give our kitties the means to explore their space and behave like cats.
- Catifying the center for humans also, to leave a positive impression on human visitors.
- Ways to tweak our LYFF spaces to help potential adopters envision the idea of our cats in their homes.
- How clicker training (a positive-reinforcement animal training method) can help shy wallflowers bloom, improve scared kitties’ self-confidence, provide more engagement for overstimulated cats, and more.
Saving More Kitty Lives in San Diego
In the end, what we all hope for is happy cats. Thanks to Jackson Galaxy, Greater Good Charities, all of the speakers involved, Inaba Churu for the treats (and sponsorship), and San Diego Humane Society (for hosting the workshop), LYFF came away with more ideas and support we can use to help every cat we can to be their best selves. And that’s what will help us give more second chances and save more lives.