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SPCA of Wake County gets upgrades for cats thanks to Purina donation

Posted June 2, 2015
Updated June 4, 2015

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— The cats at the SPCA of Wake County are now relaxing in upgraded suites.

Purina Cat Chow donated $25,000 to the Raleigh animal shelter to makeover the cat adoption area. The renovation is part of the Purina Cat Chow “Building Better Lives Adoption Drive.”

Volunteers with the shelter started prep work last week. On Thursday, 12 employees from Purina flew to North Carolina to complete the makeover.

It’s the first renovation for the cat adoption area since the shelter opened on Petfinder Lane in Raleigh in 2011.

“This is the best day for the cats at the SPCA of Wake County so far,” said Molly Stone, the rescue group’s animal behavior expert.

The cat rooms have a fresh coat of paint, new cubbies for napping, climbing towers, shelves and cat walks that line the walls. They even have flat-screen TVs so cats can enjoy videos of squirrels and birds and hear the sounds of nature.

“Enrichment is a way for an animal to express natural behaviors in a less-natural environment,” says Stone. “So anything that allows a cat to do regular cat things, like climb or mimic hunting, is a good addition.”

Stone says the new improvements and climbing gear will keep the cats healthier and more relaxed, creating a better environment for potential adopters and help facilitate more adoptions.

“It’s a lot more similar to being in a home environment. Plus their stress level is so much lower which is better for their physical health, much better for their emotional health, and you’re able to see a lot more of the cat’s actual personality when you are in here with them. We don’t want people to feel sad when they come. We want people to feel happy, to spend a lot of time with the cats, to get to know their personalities. We don’t want people to take home a pet because they felt sorry for it. We want people to take home a pet because they got to know it.”

Stone says cat owners can create similar environments at their own homes.

She suggests using scratching posts made of corrugated cardboard or natural bark – things that don’t mimic items in your home that you do not want them to scratch (like carpet). She also suggests providing special herbs that cats can chew on and installing your own shelves for cats to climb.

For the month of June, the SPCA of Wake County is waiving adoptions fees for cats and kittens, a $45 fee. Cats are vaccinated, microchipped and spayed or neutered.

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