While it’s not true for all of our cats, some have never lived in a home before, and it's a large part of our mission to help those who aren’t well-socialized find loving families. It’s an incredible experience to earn the trust of a fearful cat and watch him blossom overtime into a lovely companion, but it can also be a little stressful at first, especially if this is your first time doing so.
We use the term “under socialized” to refer to cats and older kittens who aren’t feral, and respond positively to human interaction, but are wary and fearful with people, because they haven’t had much experience receiving positive attention, or attention at all.
Our Forgotten Kitten Project is a special program for kittens who come into the shelter around four months or older, after the ideal window for socializing them has closed. Where many people believe it's too late to socialize these kittens - and as a result they are euthanized in significant numbers in shelters across the country - we have found that pairing these kittens with confident cats, and getting them desensitized to stimulation in our cat café, has resulted in their becoming great companions.
It takes time and patience, and we have seen again and again that under socialized cats and kittens can thrive after adoption. But their adopters may need some extra support on the road to their happy, loving relationship. That's where volunteers, Erin D and Gina B, came in!
We sat down with the two of them to ask about all things cats and their volunteer work at Cat Town!
Cat Town: So Erin and Gina, you're both cat people. How many cats do you have at home?
Erin D: Six. [which includes Cat Town foster fail, Jamie]
Gina B: Nick is our only cat these days, but Zazu and Balou from next door spend quite a bit of time in my yard and I am their backup guardian, so it feels like 1-3/4 cats.