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Animal welfare charity first in the UK to turn its rescue centres into “universities for cats”

February 2017

National Animal Welfare Trust‘s (NAWT) Open Paw for Cats programme:

  • encourages natural behaviours by feeding little and often from foraging toys instead of bowls
  • enables cats to enjoy visitor interaction, to help them find new homes quicker
  • teaches cats tricks and skills to help them settle more easily into a new home and build a bond with their new owners.

If you have ever wandered round a rescue cattery you will know that it can be a stressful place for cats used to living in the home environment.

But, what if there was a way of changing that so that our feline friends felt less anxious and more content as they wait for a new owner to come along?

Rescue charity National Animal Welfare Trust is introducing a brand new initiative – Open Paw for Cats – that aims to do just that – a first for the UK.

Based on the original Open Paw Shelter Programme devised by respected US trainer and behaviourist Kelly Dunbar, Open Paw for Cats has been developed by NAWT with the help of experts in feline behaviour to enrich every cat’s life by changing the way we feed, train and interact with our cats.

After an initial pilot is completed NAWT will introduce Open Paw for Cats to the charity’s five rehoming centres where the Open Paw for Dogs programme is already in use.

As well as speeding up rehomings, Open Paw offers training to new owners to help them develop the new skills their cat has learnt once they are home.

NAWT Chief Executive Clare Williams said: “In developing Open Paw for cats we have realised that there is so much more that rescue catteries and cat owners should be doing to make sure our feline friends are living happy and fulfilled lives. It feels like we are on the brink of a revolution in the way we take care of our cats in the home.”

If you’d like to know more about NAWT and its work then please visit www.nawt.org.uk


ENDS

For more information or to speak to Clare Williams please contact Wendy Richmond at By This River on 01932 593352.

Notes to editors

About the National Animal Welfare Trust (NAWT)

NAWT is one of the UK’s top animal welfare charities and operates five rehoming centres across the south of England. The charity rescues and rehomes cats, dogs, guinea pigs, rabbits and a number of field animals.

For more information on how to support our work, please visit www.nawt.org.uk.

 

About the NAWT Open Paw for Cats programme

Based on the original Open Paw Shelter Programme devised by respected US trainer and behaviourist Kelly Dunbar, Open Paw for Cats has been developed by NAWT with the help of experts in feline behaviour to enrich every cat’s life by changing the way we feed, train and interact with our cats.

The Open Paw for Cats Programme encourages natural behaviours and feeding patterns through foraging toys, increases daily human interaction and teaches important feline life skills.

 

8th February, 2017