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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cat Pawsitive Program Participants as of 2021
A.D.O.P.T. Pet Shelter
A.R.F.-Animal Rescue Foundation
Acadiana Animal Aid
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 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
Baltimore County Animal Services
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 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
Duncan’s Place, A Cat Sanctuary
DuPage County Animal Services
EASEL Animal Rescue League
East Bay 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
Gifford Cat Shelter
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
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
Metro East Humane Society
Metro Nashville Animal Care and Control
Monmouth County SPCA
Nashville Humane Association
New Beginnings Animal Rescue
New Hampshire SPCA
Northwoods Humane Society
One Love Animal Rescue
Orange County Animal Services
Oregon Humane Society
Osceola County Animal Services
Oshkosh Area Humane Society
Pasadena Humane Society & SPCA
Paws for Life NC
Paws for Life Rescue
Pensacola Humane Society
People for Animals
Peter Zippi Memorial Fund, Inc.
Pets & People Humane Society Inc
Pima Animal Care Center
Prairie Paws Animal Shelter
Protectors of Animals, Inc.
Providence Animal Center
Providence Animal Rescue League
Quincy Humane Society
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
Southeast Volusia Humane Society
Sparkle Cat Rescue
Spay Neuter Project Los Angeles
SPCA Albrecht Center for Animal Welfare
SPCA of Brazoria County
SPCA of Texas
SPCA of the Triad
St. Sophia’s Forgotten Felines
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
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