As a stray, we can only estimate Poppy’s age and believe her to be around 5 years old. During her first few weeks at NAWT, Poppy would often hide away at the back of her pen when people approached, very withdrawn and scared.
Using Open Paw training methods, visitors to the cattery were encouraged to drop kibble into her pen as they passed, regardless of what she was doing inside, so that she could begin to make positive associations with people as she learnt people = treats.
It’s so important for animals in rescue centres in particular, to create positive associations with people, in order for them to present themselves as well as possible to potential owners. Cats who hide away at the back of their pens can’t be seen by visitors and therefore end up getting overlooked for more confident cats, who interact with people looking for a new addition to their family.
Gradually, with more and more visitors to the cattery, Poppy slowly began to build confidence and started to venture out to the front of her pen. With your help, she is beginning to realise how kind people are and that she doesn’t need to be afraid. She has even started to catch the kibble in her paws as visitors drop it down the chute – a trick that has won the hearts of many!
It’s been wonderful to see Poppy come out of her shell and demonstrate just how much of a clever little cat she is. She has already mastered all of the interactive feeders during her time at NAWT, so the cattery team have had to up the ante with target stick and clicker training to keep this intelligent little girl’s mind busy and content during her stay.
Without your generous support, Poppy could quite easily have continued to be overlooked as an unsociable cat who didn’t want to interact. Thankfully for Poppy, you never give up on a homeless pet, and your ongoing support ensures that worried and anxious pet’s like her are given the extra time and patience they require, in order to secure themselves that second chance they’ve so desperately been hoping for.
All Poppy needs now is a home to call her own, and with the newfound confidence you’ve helped her to find, we’re sure she won’t be waiting long.
From this Giving Tuesday (3rd December) until Midday on 10th December you can make your donation to transform the lives of pets like Poppy go even further! Every donation to our Christmas Challenge appeal with the Big Give will be DOUBLED at no extra cost to you. Please give what you can during this fantastic time to give and watch a £5 gift turn into a £10 donation!
The link to our Christmas Challenge appeal on the Big Give website is live now, but please wait until Midday on 3rd December to donate. Click here to give.