Have you heard about our new revolutionary programme for cats?
Open Paw is transforming cattery life, and with help from experts, we want to get cats in rescue confident enough to greet visitors and allow potential rehomers to see how beautiful they are!
The most noticeable thing we wanted to change was the cats feeling as though they needed to hide in their beds, away from view.
Something many people don’t realise is, cats exhibit stress in a very different way to dogs. Where dogs will jump, bark and spin to show anxiety or stress, cats will silently hide from view and cope with their anxiety or unhappiness privately.
To change this, we installed plastic chutes into the cattery pens, so that when a visitor walks through our centres, they can drop a treat into the pen and encourage the cats to come forward.
The cat then begins to learn that an approaching visitor mean ‘treats for me!’
So here we have it, seven benefits of Open Paw for cats!
1. Open Paw enables cats to present themselves better to potential new owners by actively seeking interaction at the front of the pen
2. Open Paw reduces stress levels in the cattery so cats actually enjoy interacting with visitors who can hand feed the cats
3. Open Paw encourages a cat’s natural behaviours by feeding little and often from foraging toys instead of bowls
4. Through interactive feeding, appropriate play and training, cats are getting a lot more exercise during the day
5. Part of the Open Paw training focuses on handling and grooming, taught through positive reinforcement, so the cats will be easier to handle in their new homes
6. Open Paw teaches cats life skills that will help them settle more easily into a new home and build a bond with their new owner
7. Our cats love Open Paw - they have become so much more active, confident and engaging