Helping Shelter Cats with Donations… It’s a Treat!
Cats need a lot of support – especially when they’re waiting to be adopted at an animal shelter. While tender love and care is of utmost importance for these cute kitties while they wait for someone to give them a forever home, there are a few essential items every cat needs to ensure their stay is a bit more comfortable.
Cat Behavior Expert, Molly DeVoss, Executive Director of Cat Behavior Solutions, says there’s a few things to be aware of when donating; a lot of shelters buy their supplies in bulk and may have food contracts, so donating things like food or litter isn’t ideal. One of the best donation items, according to DeVoss, is TREATS!
“Cats are highly territorial creatures and when removed from their home (or home on the streets) and put into a crowded shelter, they often become frightened which results in them emotionally shutting down or becoming defensively aggressive,” said DeVoss. “A ‘high value treat’ is important in gaining trust and bonding with these cats through positive reinforcement.”
Because treats make great donations, DeVoss said her nonprofit has partnered with Vitakraft®, a leader in the pet industry for over 180 years, to deliver treats to shelters all over. The treats help shelter volunteers connect with cats and establish trust, said DeVoss.
“Cats will make small steps of leaning towards us or sniffing a finger or leaning into a pet, and we reinforce this behavior with Lick n’ Lap Cat Snacks,” she said. “I’ve tamed/socialized thousands of feral kittens with this method. I choose Lick n’ Lap over any other brand because it is universally palatable with cats, made with quality ingredients and are low in calories – purrfect for the seniors as well as kittens.”
DeVoss said thanks to the generosity from Vitakraft she was able to donate more than 360 treat packages, which is the equivalent to 1,800 single squeeze tube treats, to Dallas Animal Services and Santa Fe Humane Society.
“We’re so happy to have been able to partner with Molly and Cat Behavior Solutions to provide our delicious treats to these hardworking shelters,” said Allyson Schmidt, Marketing and Product Manager at Vitakraft. “We’re always looking for ways to support our feline friends in need of adoption, as well as help cat lovers better connect with their pets.”
In addition to treats, DeVoss recommends the following list of donations for anyone looking to give to animal shelters to either use inhouse or give to new cat parents:
- Wand Toys – Wand toys are great for playtime with cats. Remember they are an interactive toy, which means they are meant to have a human on the end of them. Don’t leave them out when you aren’t engaging the cat in playtime.
- Balls – Cats typically like balls that are either soft, so they can carry them, or make noise with bells.
- Clicker – There is no better bonding opportunity than positive reinforcement using a clicker.
- Catnip/Silver vine blend – Shake things up by trying a new blend of catnip for kitty kisses under the mistletoe! DeVoss sells a custom blend of catnip called “Meowza” – check it out!
- Towels and Bedding – New or used towels are great and very much needed in the colder months.
- Kitten Formula – Shelters stock up on things they need in the Spring, and with “kitten season” closer than we think, now is a good time to donate formula. Kitten bottles and heating blankets are also good.
- Bowls – Stainless steel flat bowls for cats are great for cats, especially since they can suffer from whisker fatigue when they eat out of deep bowls that touch their whiskers.
- Collars – Fun, colorful, belled cat collars