PAWS has been selected by The Jackson Galaxy Project (JGP), a Signature Program of GreaterGood.org, to participate in the Spring 2018 semester of Cat Pawsitive Pro, a life-saving initiative that introduces positive-reinforcement training to shelter cats.
Supported by the Petco Foundation, this innovative training program for shelter cats aims to increase feline adoption rates as well as educate the shelter staff and volunteers on how to implement it.
Jackson Galaxy, star of the television show “My Cat from Hell” on Animal Planet, and founder of JGP, developed Cat Pawsitive Pro with a team of feline behavior experts. Highlights of the program include:
- Improving cat “adoptability” and feline social skills, particularly for shy or fearful cats and long-term residents;
- Enriching day-to-day life for cats in shelters with physical and mental activity;
- Promoting the human-cat bond;
- And teaching and empowering animal shelter staff and volunteers.
“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,” said Jackson Galaxy in a statement. “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 I envisioned passing on to as many cats and shelters as I possibly could. So today I am filled with an indescribable mix of joy and anticipation as we enter the 2018 sessions of The Jackson Galaxy Project’s Cat Pawsitive Pro program.”
Cats who are exposed to reward-based training methods of Cat Pawsitive Pro gain confidence, experience reduced stress level and build connections with staff, volunteers and potential adopters.
According to program officials, the program can help a shy cat learn to feel comfortable coming up to the front of her cage to meet an adopter, a feisty cat learn to play nice, and an outgoing kitty learn to give an endearing “high five” to his visitors to seal an adoption deal.
“PAWS is thrilled to be selected for the Cat Pawsitive Pro program. We had identified the need for advanced behavior support for cats who remain in our care longer than average, often due to behavior, or sometimes a combination of behavior, age or health issues that makes the cat more challenging to adopt,” said Kay Joubert, director of Companion Animal Services at PAWS, in a statement. “We see this program as a perfect way to provide ongoing enrichment that cats crave, while helping to improve their adoptability. It will also help certain cats to build up their resilience to change, making their transition into a home smoother. Our cat-centric volunteers are excited to have more training in cat behavior modification, and are looking forward to seeing it help our feline friends.”