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.

In 2020, Cat Pawsitive will expand to meet demand and serve the largest number of organizations yet.

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.

Alumni of the Cat Pawsitive Program as of 2019

A.D.O.P.T. Pet Shelter * Acadiana Animal Aid * ACCT Philly * All About Spay Neuter * Allen County SPCA
Animal Care Centers of NYC * Animal Friends * Animal Protective Foundation * Animal Protective League
Animal Rescue of the Rockies * Ark-Valley Humane Society * Athens Area Humane Society * Bakersfield SPCA * BARCS * (Baltimore County Animal Services) * Benton Franklin Humane Society * Bobbi and the Strays * Brown County Humane Society * Carver Scott Humane Society * Cat Adoption Team * Cat Depot * Cat Rescue and Adoption Network    Charleston Animal Society * Chesapeake Feline Association * Columbia Humane Society * Community Animal Rescue Effort * Community Cat Inc. * Dakin Humane Society * Dallas Animal Services * Dallas Pets Alive! * Dogs & Cats Forever    Dorchester Paws * Duncan’s Place * EASEL Animal Rescue League * Enid SPCA * Five Acres Animal Shelter * Florida Keys SPCA * Forever Paws Animal Shelter * Franklin County Humane Society * Friends for Animals of Metro Detroit  Friends of Parkville Animal Shelter * Furkids * Gifford Cat Shelter * Great Plains SPCA * Greenhill Humane Society  Halifax Humane Society * Happy Cats Haven * Happy Tales Ranch and Rescue *  Heartland Animal Shelter * Helotes Humane Society * Homeward Bound- Addison County Humane Society * Humane Rescue Alliance * Humane Society of Edmonson County * Humane Society of El Paso * Humane Society of North Myrtle Beach * Humane Society of Pagosa Springs * Independent Cat Society * IndyHumane  * KC Pet Project * Karma Cat & Zen Dog Rescue Society * Mary S. Roberts Pet Adoption Center * Maryland SPCA * Metro East Humane Society * Monmouth County SPCA * Mountain Humane * New Beginnings Animal Rescue * Northwoods Humane Society * Osceola County Animal Services * PAWS (Philly) *  PAWS (Seattle) * Paws for Life NC * Paws for Life Rescue * Paws4ever * People for Animals * Peter Zippi Memorial Fund * Pima Animal Care Center * Placer SPCA * Prairie Paws Animal Shelter   Providence Animal Center * Providence Animal Rescue League * Purrfect Pals * RISPCA * Roice-Hurst Humane Society San Antonio Pets Alive! * San Francisco ACC * Save Our Strays * SAVE Rescue Coalition * Seattle Area Feline Rescue  Second Chance Animal Services * Sequoia Humane Society * Simply Cats Adoption Center * SNPLA * SPCA of Texas  SPCA Albrecht Center for Animal Welfare * SPCA of Brazoria County * SPCA of the Triad * St. Sophia’s Forgotten Felines * Tabby Town * Tails Humane Society * Teller County Regional Animal Shelter * Terre Haute Humane Society   The Anti-Cruelty Society * Town Cats * Utah Animal Adoption Center * Women’s Animal Center * Wood County Humane Society