It didn’t take long for three residents to start enjoying their new digs.
Minutes after entering the newly remodeled open-colony setting in the cat room at PAWS, three cats were enjoying the freedom from being cooped up in their cages.
Gone were the old cramped phone booth cubicles and in their place was a new spacious room that was modeled after PAWS’ Cat City facility in Seattle.
The open-colony setting will allow up cats to avoid spending all their time in cages and also will enable visitors to see how the cats behave with each other. The end result is that more cats will be adopted, said PAWS Community Relations Manager Mark Coleman.
“Cat City has really been the best way to work with cats,” he said. “The cats are more comfortable and they are able to interact with each other.
Cats have a play area in the new colony setting and it’s just a better way for potential adopters to see the cats, Coleman said. “People can come in and play with them. It’s a really good tool for us. We’re trying to maximize (the space) we have.”
The plan is to rotate different cats in open-colony setting. At any time, six to eight cats may be living there.
“Some do well in this environment,” Coleman said.
Younger cats often like the open-colony setting as do kittens, which obviously have a lot of energy and desire to move around.
The goal is to encourage a quick turnover and to find as many homes for the cats.
“The more cats in this environment, the faster we can find them homes,” Coleman said.
Cat City, which is located in the University District, saw a dramatic increase in the volume of cats in large part to the success of the open-colony setting and the ability to place cats into new homes.
PAWS’ Lynnwood facility has about 20 cats, as of last week, with many still in foster homes due to the remodeling project. Normally, the facility houses from 40 to 60 cats.
Though it varies from month-to-month, PAWS generally sees an increase in the number of animals during the spring and summer as a result of the breeding season. Last summer during one hectic week, PAWS had to find a way to take care of about 100 kittens in about a week and a half.
PAWS accepts a lot of transfers from other shelters, who would otherwise euthanize the animals.
“They are out of options,” Coleman said.
For more information about adopting a pet at PAWS, see http://www.paws.org/adoptions.html.