The following is from the Summer 2010 issue of Protecting Animals, American Humane’s quarterly journal for animal welfare professionals. Used by permission. To learn more, visit www.AmericanHumane.org.
By Abbi Collins, Adoption Manager of Cat Care Society, Lakewood, CO
All of our cats are housed in colony rooms, and we have been doing it this way since 1981. (You can find pictures on our website under “Virtual Tour” at www.catcaresociety.org.) Enrichment consists of volunteers who come in weekly and visit the cats to play, groom and cuddle.
We have an internal program called “Love-A-Cat” where our vet tech selects new or older cats who need extra attention for socialization, easing the transition into the shelter and/or maintaining a healthy attitude. Staff members are encouraged to pick one of the cats on the list to spend time with on a daily basis. Every colony room contains lots of toys, a water fountain, one or more scratching posts or pads, windows and shelves.
We also provide various types of bedding arrangements, including open beds, hooded beds and rugs. Four of the colony rooms have outdoor enclosures that we call “Habicats.” The cats have access to them when the weather is nice, via a cat door, and each Habicat has chairs for visitors.