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Marketing Cat Adoption: Black Cat Specials and Clicker Training for Cats

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

Black Cat Specials

By Tricia Sebes, Volunteer and Rescue Coordinator of McKamey Animal Care & Adoption Center, Chattanooga, TN

Our most successful marketing tool: On the 13th of every month, all black cats are $13 at the McKamey Center. Black cats need all the help they can get!

Clicker Training for Cats

By Suz Phillips, Operations Director at Heart of the Valley Animal Shelter, Bozeman, MT

We noticed that when we clicker train dogs to sit when someone approaches their kennel, they are interested and alert. So why not create that same kind of enthusiasm with our cats? We found out we can! We began the program by clicker training a couple cats to do “high-fives.” Cute, cute, cute!

We found that these cats, who were a little shy, came out of their shells, looked forward to training times (five- to 10-minute periods) and began to seek attention.

To see them think and respond has been a treat for me. We now have five cats in training for tricks ranging from rollovers to spins, plus three cats doing the agility course. As soon as someone learns we have a cat who knows how to give “high-fives,” it is an adopted cat — even the black cats!

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