or Connect
TheCatSite.com › Forums › General Forums › The Cat Lounge › Charm School?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Charm School?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
I'm trying to think of ways to make the cats at the Humane Society Adopt-A-Pet events seem more inviting.

Our situation has limitations: we have no building, so we hold our events at a pet store/groomers. We need to keep the cats from running all over and either hiding in the back room or running out the front door, so we've been keeping them in their cat carriers. It's hard for people to see in the carriers, and the cats are not happy. We put some in a larger wire cage last time. It gave them more room and they were more visible, but it also made them look like they were in jail.

I worry that we are turning people off with the "institutional" look. Would dressing up the cages, like is done at cat shows, help? Or are people more inclined to want to adopt a poor waif in a plain cage?

I've been told by an aquiantance that she doesn't like the adoption events because she "hates to see all the poor kitties in tiny cages" and its "just too depressing". They are only in the carriers a few hours until they go back to their foster homes, but people don't know that.

So, how do we make it less depressing to adopt a cat? Any ideas?

P.S. Ideas already discarded: Tying cash to the cats. Buy a cat, get a toaster. Free disguise (for the cat) if you need to sneak it past a spouse who said you couldn't have another. :tounge2:
post #2 of 18
Is it possible to have the cats a few at a time on a harness & lead maybe attached to the carrier so they dont wander away? I will try to think of other ideas.
post #3 of 18
You've probably thought of this already, but what about some kind of advertising that makes it look good fun and exciting?! - maybe some characatures (sp??!!) of some of the cats you have available, with a brief description and explanation of the day (ie the cats aren't always kept in the crates their in when you see them!) and maybe have some nice photos of the cats in different surroundings(?) with their "stories" (life story..how thay got there etc...)

Hmmmm , I don't really know, maybe thats all too long winded for you to do, but I'll keep thinking too!

post #4 of 18
AlexNell; I like what you are trying to do; I wish I could come up with some sure-fire ideas to "guarantee" more adoptions. I thought the part about the pet desguise was cute. Desguise the cat as a six-pack of beer or a giant Hoagie sandwich or a remote control and you could get it past most men. . . . . (no offense, guys) LOL

Have you considered taking only one or two of the adoptable cats to the location and bringing along blow-up pictures of the others and spotlighting them on an easel; sort of like stars' portfolios. Also, if you could afford this; how about entering everyone who adopts a cat into a drawing with the winner to receive free vaccinations and/or spaying/neutering. If I think of anything else or hear of anything that has worked in similar situations; I'll get back to you.
Thanks for all your good work.

post #5 of 18
I think TLK has something there. Maybe it is too overwhelming for people to see all those homeless cats at once. I find when I go to a shelter that you want to save them all but feel guilty that you have to leave others behind. Maybe nice pics would work better.
post #6 of 18

Our rescue organization, Helping Paws, does adoption days at Petco and Pet Supplies Plus as well as at some cat shows. We have cage curtains to dress up the cages and make them look homey and appealing. We put food and water dishes, a bed, a small litter box and a couple of toys in with them. We decided that it looked more appealing than just the cold metal cages. It has helped. Cage curtains can get expensive. They can be made cheaply with any material that's on sale. Depending on the cage dimensions, I use 5 yards of material. I sew lace around the edges and also put a piece under the cage. Sandie makes them for us. She would be the best person to ask as far as dimensions and directions go. She has help us tremendously with her sewing techniques. Maybe she can give you some insight. I have a feeling once you do this, it'll help alot with your adoption days.

Good luck and keep us posted!

post #7 of 18
Thread Starter 
Tyhanks for the suggestions. I'll write them down and run them past the board at our next meeting.
post #8 of 18
Perhaps you could have someone build you a really nice viewing type of contraption for the cats.. kind of like what you would see in a big store window at the mall or something. You could make some cat jungle gyms in a nice enclosure, perhaps plexiglass or just a huge wire cage. I know this sounds pricy, but my husband made our cat post himself. He works at a cabinet shop and they let him take all this wood from doors they either did not need from some of the custom jobs, or that would just never be used. So you could check out some of those places and ask them for the junk panels they are going to just throw out and there's your wood. We got carpet from scrap his grandfather had but I bet you could find some nice scrap from a carpet store in the area. After that you just need to see if someone you know has the materials to make it: ie, a nail gun, chop saw, and nails to affix everything. And then buy a big enough cage.

I guess this sounds like too much work but I like it when I go to places like PetSmart and they have their ferrets in cages with those things they climb on. I've seen cats in one like that too. Anyway, if you have the means to do it and the time, go for it! Our cat post only took like an hour to cut and build and my cat loves it!

Good luck.
post #9 of 18
Some of what I have done. I have found an old play pen at a garage sale. I painted it in vibrant colors, then covered it with mesh wire. Mike made a door that gets the cats in and out easily. You put the mesh wire on the inside of the play pen so the cats can't get caught in the slats. Decorate the pen in many colors, create backdrops for it. Also give the cats up for adoption a bath. That helps a lot you would be surprised.
post #10 of 18
We have adoptions like that near us, where the animals are brought to a pet emporium. The ones I find hardest to resist have a little character. One of the local groups writes a short description of the animal to tape to the front of the cage. It was formatted like a letter, "Hi, my name is _____. I am _____old." and then something notable about the animal, particular personality quirks, unusual life circumstances, lifestyle preferences, experience with other animals or children, etc.

Also, if you have a litter of kittens or some cats who get along, what if you display them together? You can get a good sized metal grid "crate" that breaks down into flat panels for transport. Add some ledges for napping and playing, maybe a cat tree instead, and some dangly toys. Seeing the animals interact with each other is always interesting to my family. My daughter can't resist watching a group of animals, even birds or fish or hamsters.

If there is a contained area, can you take some of them out for play times? One of those wire things that drags along the floor or even just a piece of string tied to a feather or some ping pong balls. Particularly calm and friendly animals could be carried around and introduced to people.

Just sort of thinking out loud . . .

Good luck finding good homes for everybody
post #11 of 18
This might seem kind of dorky, but what about making cut-outs of cat pictures, or something to that nature (cartoons, etc) and attach them to the cages? Show curtains sounds like a good idea!
post #12 of 18
I am so very excited to see these ideas and plan on sharing them with the local shelters! Maybe it will help the adoptions in this area as well.....
post #13 of 18

Wow! That old saying "Two heads are better than one" certainly holds true here! : How cool! I'm with you Debra, I'm printing this out and bringing to the shelters too! I think they'd love all these ideas.

It is difficult to adopt the kitties out when they're very nervous. I would imagine if they had fun things to keep their minds from looking at all the people; it would help. It's always so entertaining when the kittens interact 's with one another and it would be even better when they could have enough space and toys to play with.

Good Luck, I wish I could give you some insight, but it looks like you're doing really well here! If I can think of anything fun I'll let post again.

Love Peace &
post #14 of 18
I'm thinking, if it's just kittens, you could probably use one of those hard plastic kiddie pools to contain them. Adult cats would be able to step over the sides. You could put some kind of cat tree or something in it so they could get away to hide or nap if they wanted to.

But kittens kind of adopt themselves without much help, don't they? It's the adult cats that so many people don't want. Such a shame, too, I have had a wonderful cats from shelters. When I lived in Boston, lots of animals were left because people moved into no pet apartments, not because there was a problem with the animal. I think it's really important to let the lookers know things like that.

Remembering . . . I had a young cat who was particularly interested in men - any guy that came into the house was more interesting than any of the women. When I moved cross country, I told this particular fact to the shelter when I dropped him off. He was adopted within a week (I called to check) by a married couple, and it was the husband who chose him. I'm sure it helped that the shelter people were able to say that he was playful and male-oriented.
post #15 of 18

Hi Sunlion:angel2:

Wow, that's pretty insightful too. I just love all this info.. It is very sad that the older cats don't get as much attention as the kittens that's very true.
I wonder if there was some educational forums in a local newspaper that could mention this prior to an adoption day; I mean, cats are great if someone doesn't like all that mischief..(I love all the mischief the babies dole out! but, I love my cats!!!

Good Luck!!!
Love &
post #16 of 18
What great suggestions on this thread!!

The only thing I would add (because I can't think of anything else) is .... you said Alexnell, that people don't know the kitties are there temporarily from their foster homes. Make a BIG sign and tell them.

I say this because when I adopted a kitty from PAWS, I felt so guilty for not taking all of them that I told my daughter I didn't want to go there again. She then told me that they go to foster homes till the next adoption day (Wednesday in my area). I felt so relieved that I know people would like to know that. I think they would feel more at ease being there and less guilty.

You could put the sign right at the entrance so everyone would know.
post #17 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thanks again for the great suggestions, everybody.

We have a board meeting tonight so I'll run some of the ideas past everybody.

Our available floor space at the pet shop is too small for anything wider than 3 feet or so. We're in between rows of 18 pound food bags, in an aisle really, and need to leave space for customers to get through. It's the best we can do until we get a shelter, though.

I really like the kitty playroom idea, vlinder. Someday, I want to have something like that for our shelter (if we ever get one, sigh).

I finally got my roll of film back on CD, so now I can make a poster for Prince. Nora's is already done. I hope I can talk the other foster homes into doing the same. If they aren't able to, I can do it for them, if they'll get me a picture.

Hopefully someone on the board knows how to sew. I really want to do cage curtains, but my sewing ability is laughable.

I'm just all fired up now!
post #18 of 18

Dear Alexnell :angel2:

Best of luck sweetie!!! I'm sure you'll pull it off without a snag!

Take Care & please keep us updated....can't wait to see the photos!

Love, Peace &

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: The Cat Lounge
TheCatSite.com › Forums › General Forums › The Cat Lounge › Charm School?