Brittany's Cat Corner: Why I Have Decided to Have Permanent Resident Cats (Part 1 of 2)
FAQ 1: Why do you think a stable population of resident cats will have a higher quality of life at the cafe than a series of adoptable cats?
No one likes stress, but cats are particularly sensitive to it. Most cats do not like big changes, and they find new spaces particularly stressful. I want the cafe cats to be their most fabulous, confident selves, and I plan to leverage everything I’ve learned while working to reduce cats’ stress in shelter environments to create the best possible cat lounge space.
Since we will be introducing these cats to new, adoring fans every day, making the rest of their lives as predictable and enjoyable as possible is extremely important. This means knowing their space, knowing the other cats, and knowing their schedule and main caregivers. We won't open until we're confident that the cats have settled into the space and are comfortable with their cat companions.
Having a permanent cat population also means that everyone on our team will know every cat extremely well! This means we’ll be able to keep them appropriately supplied with their favorite food and toys, and also quickly identify any small behavior changes that might mean there's a larger medical or behavioral issue that needs to be addressed (e.g., could a slight change in a cat's chewing mean a possible dental issue? has a cat stopped visiting a favorite high perch for a behavioral or medical reason?).
FAQ 2: My cat/a cat I know would be completely miserable in this environment! How will you make sure the “right” cats are selected?
Through my weekly volunteering at the Animal Rescue League of Boston, I've interacted with thousands of cats and done focused behavior work with hundreds. This has taught me so much about the incredible spectrum of personalities and needs cats may have! I completely agree that many cats would not be a good fit for this environment, such as the ones who:
- hide under the bed when anyone knocks on the door
- need a quiet household
- need to be an only cat (or are very selective about the cats they like)
But I have also met quite a few cats over the years who:
- run to greet everyone, including strangers
- love spending time with other cats
- like to be at the center of everything, even if it's a bit loud/chaotic
The cats selected for A Sanctuary Cafe will be cats who thrive in a livelier atmosphere (though they'll still have plenty of perches/safe spaces for those times when they want a break!).