Bramble lets out a friendly warbling meow as he slowly stretches his hind legs. Pacing in front of the large window, he gazes at the birds while inviting passersby to stop and say hello. This handsome black and white gentleman is one of the many cats in residence at the PAWS Cat City facility in the University District, which today celebrates its one-year anniversary in this new space.
On January 11 of last year, PAWS moved its Cat City facilities from a small, cramped office space in Greenwood to this bright, state-of-the art facility on Roosevelt Way. The new-and-improved Cat City features three separate cat colony rooms where kitties like Bramble can lounge on cushioned bedding, socialize with others cats and roam freely without being confined to a cage. It also features a fully separate visiting room, a station for washing dishes, and a bright and inviting common area for staff and volunteers to greet and counsel prospective adopters.
“Functionally, we have a lot more workspace,” says Cat City Supervisor Steph Renaud. “In the old place, we literally had a sink in the bathroom that functioned as a place to wash hands AND cat food dishes. Now we have space to exercise the animals and give them even more one-on-one attention.”
With its meet-and-greet rooms and large windows, the new facility is designed to showcase Cat City’s eligible four-legged felines, and encourage visitors. So far, it’s a huge success. In the first year of operation, Renaud says they have seen a leap in adoptions. Despite having 42 fewer kittens than average in the past year, Cat City saw a 31% increase in adult adoptions (including bonded pairs and senior cats aged 7 and up). And most importantly, says Renaud, “It’s that many more cats that are living in a colony setting rather than in a cage.”
The new facility also boasts a large retail section to meet the needs of pet-owners and their furry friends alike.
“We have lots of toys, brushes, beds, catnip—basically anything you’d need to get started” says Renaud. Cat City even sells starter kits for first-time adopters, which includes necessities like a litter box and cat bed, plus other toys and goodies that cats will love.
It was a long journey getting to the new facility, but Renaud says that in the end it was worth the wait. “The animals are happier, the staff and volunteers are happier, and that’s the best of both worlds.”