Cat Pawsitive

In his hit TV show, “My Cat From Hell,” our founder, the Cat Daddy himself, Jackson Galaxy, has shown us 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 adoptability saves lives.

Shelters can often be overwhelming places for cats. The sights, loud sounds and strange smells can make even the most outgoing, active cat become nervous and shut down. For cats who already tend to be shy, the stress of their shelter surroundings can make them hide under blankets and in the corners of cages to avoid contact with anyone who approaches. Stress can also lead to illness such as upper respiratory infection. All of these things can contribute to making a cat seem less “adoptable.”

Cat Pawsitive was created to help keep that from happening.

How It Works


Developed by Jackson Galaxy and a team of animal behavior experts, The Jackson Galaxy Project’s Cat Pawsitive is a mojo-enhancing, positive-reinforcement clicker training initiative that enriches day-to-day life for cats in shelters, builds new skills for cats as well as shelter staff and volunteers, promotes the human-cat bond, and helps improve adoptability.

By utilizing positive, reward-based Cat Pawsitive training, a shelter volunteer or staff member can reduce the stresses that might keep a cat from connecting with an adopter. With clicker training that positively reinforces good behaviors, a shy cat can learn to feel comfortable coming up to the front of her cage to meet a potential pet parent, a feisty cat can learn to play nice, and an outgoing kitty can even learn to give an endearing “high five” to his visitors to seal an adoption deal. Cats gain confidence and get mental and physical stimulation through their clicker training sessions, and soon they are building connections with staff, volunteers and potential adopters.

In 2016, The Jackson Galaxy Project selected nine shelters from across the country to be a part of the inaugural class of the Cat Pawsitive initiative. They were: Washington Humane Society/Washington Animal Rescue League (now known as Humane Rescue Alliance), Animal Care Centers of New York City, Maryland SPCA, Furkids, Cat Adoption Team, The Anti-Cruelty Society, Providence Animal Rescue League, Tabby Town, and the SPCA of Texas. And we’ve been expanding ever since!

Ranging from small, limited-admission private shelters to large, open-admission municipal shelters, the common goals of all participating organizations are:

  • Enriching day-to-day life for adoptable cats
  • Increasing adoptions
  • Decreasing length of stay
  • Engaging and empowering volunteers and staff
  • Showing potential adopters that cats are cool and can even be trained!

Cat Pawsitive organizations:

  • Participate in an online training program designed by feline behavior experts.
  • Can complete the program in just a few months, with only a small number of enthusiastic staff members or volunteers required.
  • Receive exclusive training tools from The JGP and our sponsor, Petco Foundation.
  • Receive national exposure through the social media outlets of Jackson Galaxy, The JGP, and GreaterGood.org.
  • Have the opportunity to apply to be part of Cat Pawsitive Pro – The JGP’s exclusive, advanced behavior modification and training program for cats in shelters who need a more comprehensive approach to find their mojo.

To make a donation to support Cat Pawsitive, click here.
To check out a short guide to clicker training with your own cat, click here.
To receive information about future Cat Pawsitive classes, please e-mail catpawsitive@greatergood.org.

Cat Pawsitive Program Participants as of 2021

A.D.O.P.T. Pet Shelter

A.R.F.-Animal Rescue Foundation

Acadiana Animal Aid

ACCT Philly

Addison County Humane Society

Adopt & Shop

Albuquerque Animal Welfare Department

All About Spay Neuter Inc.

Allen County SPCA

Animal Adoptions of Flamborough

Animal Care Centers of NYC

Animal Friends

Animal Friends Humane Society

Animal Protective Foundation

Animal Protective League

Animal Rescue Foundation of Tulsa

Animal Rescue League of Berks County

Animal Rescue of the Rockies

Ark-Valley Humane Society

Athens Area Humane Society

Austin Animal Center

Bakersfield SPCA

Baltimore County Animal Services

BARCS

Benton Franklin Humane Society

Bernalillo County Animal Care Services

Bobbi and the Strays

Boone Area Humane Society

Brandywine Valley SPCA

Brown County Humane Society

Carroll County Animal Services

Carver Scott Humane Society

Cat Adoption Team

Cat Depot

Cat Rescue and Adoption Network

Cenla Cat Project

Charleston Animal Society

Chenango County SPCA

Chesapeake Feline Association

City of Bloomington Animal Care and Control

Clermont Animal CARE

Colorado Animal Rescue

Columbia Humane Society

Community Animal Rescue Effort (C.A.R.E.)

Community Cat Inc

Dakin Humane Society

Dallas Animal Services

Dallas Pets Alive

Dogs & Cats Forever

Dorchester Paws

Duncan’s Place, A Cat Sanctuary

DuPage County Animal Services

EASEL Animal Rescue League

East Bay SPCA

Enid SPCA

Fairfax County Animal Shelter

Five Acres Animal Shelter

Florida Keys SPCA

Forever Paws Animal Shelter

Franklin County Humane Society Inc

Frederick County Animal Control & Pet Adoption Center

Friends for Animals of Metro Detroit

Friends of League City Animal Shelter

Friends of Parkville Animal Shelter

Friends of the Palm Springs Animal Shelter

Furkids

Gifford Cat Shelter

Good Mews

Great Plains SPCA

Greenhill Humane Society

Halifax Humane Society

Happy Cats Haven

Happy Tales Ranch and Rescue

Heartland Animal Shelter

Heartland Humane Society

Heaven on Earth Society for Animals

Helotes Humane Society

Hill Country SPCA

Hillsborough County Pet Resource Center

Homeless Animal Rescue Team

Homeward Bound Pet Adoption Center

Homeward Pet Adoption Center

Humane Animal Rescue

Humane Rescue Alliance

Humane Society of Charlotte

Humane Society of Edmonson County

Humane Society of El Paso

Humane Society of Parkersburg

Humane Society of Tampa Bay

Humane Society of Truckee-Tahoe

Humane Society of Vero Beach & Indian River County

Independent Cat Society

IndyHumane

Kansas City Pet Project

Karma Cat and Zen Dog Rescue Society

Kentucky Humane Society

Liberty Humane Society

LifeLine Animal Project

Mary S. Roberts Pet Adoption Center

Maryland SPCA

Metro East Humane Society

Metro Nashville Animal Care and Control

Monmouth County SPCA

Mountain Humane

Nashville Humane Association

New Beginnings Animal Rescue

New Hampshire SPCA

Northwoods Humane Society

One Love Animal Rescue

Operation Kindness

Orange County Animal Services

Oregon Humane Society

Osceola County Animal Services

Oshkosh Area Humane Society

Pasadena Humane Society & SPCA

PAWS (Philly)

PAWS (Seattle)

PAWS Chicago

Paws for Life NC

Paws for Life Rescue

Paws4ever

Pensacola Humane Society

People for Animals

Peter Zippi Memorial Fund, Inc.

Pets & People Humane Society Inc

Pima Animal Care Center

Placer SPCA

Prairie Paws Animal Shelter

Protectors of Animals, Inc.

Providence Animal Center

Providence Animal Rescue League

Purrfect Pals

Quincy Humane Society

Rescue Village

Rhode Island SPCA

Roice-Hurst Humane Society

Safe Animal Shelter

San Antonio Pets Alive!

San Francisco Animal Care and Control

Santa Rosa County Animal Services

Save Our Strays Inc

SAVE Rescue Coalition

SAVE, A Friend to Homeless Animals

Saving Grace Pet Adoption Center

Seattle Area Feline Rescue

Second Chance Animal Services, Inc.

Sequoia Humane Society

Simply Cats

Southeast Volusia Humane Society

Sparkle Cat Rescue

Spay Neuter Project Los Angeles

SPCA Albrecht Center for Animal Welfare

SPCA Florida

SPCA of Brazoria County

SPCA of Texas

SPCA of the Triad

St. Sophia’s Forgotten Felines

Stray Hearts Animal Shelter

Tabby Town

Tails Humane Society

Teller County Regional Animal Shelter (TCRAS)

The Animal Shelter Society, Inc.

The Anti-Cruelty Society

The Humane Society of North Myrtle Beach

The Humane Society of Pagosa Springs

The Terre Haute Humane Society

Town Cats

Utah Animal Adoption Center

Wenatchee Valley Humane Society

West Columbia Gorge Humane Society

Whis-Purr Rescue, Inc.

Williamson County Animal Center

Williamson County Regional Animal Shelter

Women’s Animal Center

Wood County Humane Society