'Cat Pawsitive' training helps make cats more adoptable

SEATTLE -- Shelters can often be overwhelming places for cats. The sights, loud sounds, and strange smell can make even the most outgoing, active cat become nervous and shut down. The stress can even make them sick. All of these factors can make a cat seem less adoptable. PAWS Cat City in Seattle has implemented Cat Pawsitive Training to help these kitties find their forever homes.

In his hit TV show, “My Cat From Hell,” Cat Pawsitive founder, Jackson Galaxy, has proved that a mentally stimulated, active cat is a much more happy cat. In a shelter environment, behavior enrichment and physical activity can also make that cat a much more easily adoptable cat. And adaptability saves lives.

The training program utilizes positive, reward-based training. Using clicker training, positive behaviors are reinforced. This helps shy cats feel comfortable enough to meet potential pet parents and helps feisty cats play nice. An outgoing kitty may even learn how to "high five."

Rebecca Oertel, manager of PAWS Cat City, uses this training with her staff and volunteers to help cats gain confidence. They also get mental and physical stimulation through their clicker training sessions, and soon these cats are building connections with staff, volunteers, and potential adopters.