At PAWS Cat City, we welcome everyone to our location with our name—“Hello, and welcome to Cat City”!
Above:Available cats and kittens get a window view of potential entering adopters.
Our unique store front creates a dynamic adoption experience for our adopters and allows us to cater to the individual needs of each cat. The foundation of our adoption process is listening to our adopters. Everyone has a story and we work hard to understand theirs. Some visitors need additional education, some need a shoulder to cry on after losing their beloved pet, some need to show you photos of their other cats while you’re getting to know them. It all contributes to our knowledge of an adopter and improves our ability to recommend specific cats. This approach helped the Cat City team to place over 1,300 cats into new homes last year.
Above:The colony environment allows each cat to show their personality to potential adopters.
That kind of adoption success is one reason why PAWS was selected in the spring of 2018 to participate in the Cat Pawsitive Pro Initiative, created by Jackson Galaxy, cat behaviorist, and host of Animal Planet’s “My Cat From Hell”. This ingenious program uses clicker training with positive reinforcement to address common challenges that cats have in shelters. Shelters can be an overwhelming place for cats, full of unusual smells, sounds, and sights that often make it challenging for them to put their best paws forward when meeting adopters. While staff and volunteers in the shelter get to see the potential in every cat, it is often difficult for an adopter to take that leap of faith when they don’t get to see it for themselves. The really beautiful thing is the Cat Pawsitive Program enables each cat to show their potential.
Above:Example starter kit being offered during our "Whole Kitten Caboodle" June campaign.
To celebrate Cat Adoption Month, PAWS wants everyone to know that we can be your “Whole Kitten Caboodle”. We have created a variety of starter kits for adopters who are taking home a new feline friend and need all the basic supplies, while our retail space offers a wide range of toys and supplies for all cat lovers. Whether you are looking to adopt, want to spoil your kitties at home or get gifts for your friends, you can support PAWS by shopping at our locations in Lynnwood or Seattle.
Every October for National Adopt-a-Dog Month, the shelter staff at PAWS puts special emphasis on hidden gems, - those dogs who need some extra help getting noticed. Maybe they’re shy. Maybe they’re a senior. Maybe they need a more experienced adopter. October is their month to shine with reduced adoption fees, profiles on the PAWS.org website, and the subject of twice-weekly social media posts. Four hidden gems were discovered and adopted at PAWS during National Adopt-a-Dog Month. They are all shining strong in their loving new homes.
Funny thing is these hidden gems also happen to be staff favorites. Why? Well because they are hidden gems, they often don't get noticed and adopted right away so we get to know them better. And because we're animal experts, we can see the awesomeness underneath the exterior of a scared dog. Or the wise beauty of a gray-muzzled senior. We take them under our wing and keep them safe and feeling loved at PAWS.
Sweet and slight 10-year-old Ralphy was just what his new mom was looking for – "I'm a senior with a bad shoulder so I wanted a small senior dog that I could walk and bathe."
Ten-year-old Cocoa Puff, renamed Macy, "just needed a lot of love" said her new mom.
No matter what, PAWS is committed to finding our hidden gems loving homes all year 'round. Here are the top four reasons to adopt a hidden gem:
Senior dogs provide companionship without the hassle of crazy puppy or teenage antics. Housebreaking? Mastered. Chewing your favorite shoes? Never! Couch potato Sunday rooting the Seahawks to another win? Sounds perfect to them.
Have you ever been misunderstood? Probably. And some of the dogs who need an experienced adopter are misunderstood too. Which is why they are searching for someone who “speaks dog” and will understand what they need. By putting your knowledge and experience to good use, you’re helping show them that people will listen to them and provide them with what they need. And who doesn’t love that?
There is no better feeling than watching your shy, reserved dog slowly start to trust and build their confidence.And knowing that you are the reason they are making progress, makes every pet parent's heart burst with pride. These dogs just need love, patience and a person who believes in them.
Unconditional love. All adopted dogs, hidden gems or not, know that you’ve given them a second chance. And they seem to love you all the more for giving them home they deserve.
Donut on her way home with a family who recognized her special qualities.
There are so many delightful reasons why you might be considering a new feline friend to add to your home. Their soft purr, the comfort of kneading paws, their warm, fluffy fur to bury your fingers in … and then there’s the fun of watching a cat zoom around chasing toys, jumping in and out of bags, boxes or whatever sparks their silly antics.
Whatever your reason, we hope you’ll put these motives into action this June by adopting a feline buddy during National Adopt-A-Cat month. All month long, the adoption fee for select cats, like Socks, will be only $25!
We have many deserving cats in need of a good home, and after June 8th, even a few with a Texas accent! In early June, we’ll be helping some over-full shelters in the Lone Star state by receiving in cats who will be flown here thanks to our friends at Wings of Rescue.
Want to watch some cat antics right now? You can enjoy the activities of the available cats or kittens in one of the colony rooms at Cat City via our live streaming “Cat Cam”.
Socks is a sweet and friendly guy ready to meet his new family! He has lots of energy and loves playing with wand toys! He would do best in a home with teens/adults who can give him all the interactive play he wants! He would like to find a canine free home with lots of comfy beds to lounge in! Socks tested positive for Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV). FIV cannot be transmitted to humans or dogs, and has an extremely low transmission rates to other cats. Cats with FIV should be kept indoors only and as either an only cat, or in a household with other FIV positive cats. Cats with FIV can live a normal life for many years. His adopter should be prepared to work with their veterinarian on monitoring the health of Socks.
Springtime means flowers and usually more rain showers, but it also means that local shelters and our out-of-state partners will be filling up with kittens, mother cats, puppies and ‘mama’ dogs.
The PAWS Foster Care Program embraces these new arrivals, providing them a safe spot, specialized care and comfort. Our foster families eagerly welcome the tiny kittens who are still too young and too small to be adopted. Many of these feline babies need two to three weeks of care in a foster home before they are ready for adoption. Their short stay allows foster families to help quite a few kittens throughout the spring and summer. Last year, dozens of kind-hearted families helped over 1,200 kittens!
Despite this amazing life-saving effort, we still find ourselves in critical need of foster homes to take in a mother cat or dog who is still with her babies. In the early part of spring, we get numerous mama cats with tiny babies who are too small to be separated from the nurturing care of their mother. Foster homes help these four-legged families for four to eight weeks, depending on the age of the kittens or puppies. This differs from the typical week or two stay in foster because younger kittens and puppies need to stay with their mothers until they are at least 6 weeks old. “It’s an amazing experience seeing the kittens grow, play, and prepare to leave their mother for their own home and family,” shared seasoned foster parent Ashley Morrison.
Having more foster homes to care for entire four-legged families doesn’t apply just to cats. PAWS receives many appeals from eastern Washington and out-of-state partners requesting we take in more and more litters of puppies and mother dogs. We want to say yes to their pleas for help, so PAWS is looking for at least 25 more homes who can help with dogs and young puppies.
You might be thinking, wow, I don’t have the space for a whole litter of puppies and an adult dog. Don’t worry! Our foster care team will match you up with the right size and quantity of canines who need a temporary “bed and breakfast” to call home. And if you have plenty of room in your home and heart, you might be the hero to help with our greatest need, fostering larger breed dogs.
During the spring and summer, the PAWS Foster Care program manages over 200 animals in foster care. These amazing foster’s apartments, condos and homes serve as a vital component in our ability to save more lives. The arrival of Spring means now is the time we need you to join us in this fun, furry, and life-saving work! Find out information of becoming a foster parent here or email us at email@example.com. . Springtime will never be the same for you again!
Who doesn’t love puppies?! They are adorable, fun to play with, and of course there’s puppy breath! Raising a puppy isn’t all tummy rubs and playtime though, there is some actual work involved. After all, you will be shaping and teaching your puppy to grow into the best dog she can be. But how do you start?
Puppy proofing before bringing home your new pup is always a good idea. Make sure all valuable items are out of reach, but also be aware of any items that could be dangerous for your puppy to chew on. Puppies love to chew as it’s natural, but they don’t always know what is a dog toy and what isn’t. If you do catch your puppy chewing on an inappropriate item, gently remove it and give them an acceptable chew toy. Make sure your puppy has plenty of fun toys to keep her occupied, and praise her when she is chewing on them.
It’s also a good idea to closely supervise your new puppy in your home. That way you can make sure she is staying safe, plus you learn their ‘cues’ for when they need to relieve themselves. It’s important to remember a puppy under 6 months can only ‘hold it’ for a couple hours, and will need to go out for frequent potty breaks, especially after play sessions or when waking up. Sticking to a regular schedule will help your puppy to learn. Accidents are normal, and you should never punish your puppy for having one.
Puppy classes are a fun way to start socializing your puppy with other dogs and new people too. Socialization is key to raising a well-adjusted puppy. All puppies under 6 months should experience new things every day. Not only should they interact with people and dogs, but new experiences and places too. Make sure to always have plenty of treats on hand. If your pup seems afraid, go slow and pair the new ‘thing’ with plenty of yummy treats to make it a good experience.
Remember that you are in charge of shaping your puppy’s behavior, and what you do now will impact your puppy for the rest of her life. Visit our resource library for additional hints on helping your puppy to become a great dog. Start training early, be consistent, and have fun!
You’ve probably heard it before: spay and neuter your pets. This phrase has been iterated so much that for some it risks losing meaning. So, for World Spay Day on February 28, 2017, we want to talk about why this surgery is essential for keeping your pet healthy and happy.
World Spay Day began in 1995 as a response to an ever-present issue– pet over-population. A female dog can have two litters a year, averaging 10 puppies per litter. Cats can have up to three litters per year, with between four and six kittens per litter.
That averages to 20 puppies per year and 15 kittens per year for every intact pet. Then those puppies and kittens who are not “fixed” begin to have babies as soon as four months old for kittens and five months old for many dog breeds. If you multiply that by the number of pets, that equates to a massive number!
After thinking about the math, it becomes apparent why it’s essential to spay or neuter your pet, but there are other, less obvious reasons as well. Many people believe that if a cat is kept indoors there is no need to spay or neuter them, but cats who go into heat can display aggression or destructive behavior. It also only takes one escapade as a feline escape artist for your female cat to become pregnant, or for your male cat to impregnate a female.
The cycle of cats and dogs going into heat but not becoming pregnant is also associated with pyometra, a serious type of uterine infection which can ultimately be fatal. Spaying or neutering an animal early on helps prevent this. Spaying or neutering at an early age can also reduce the amount of breast tumors that occur on animals.
It has been shown that “fixing” an animal early is best, and leads to a quicker recovery. Generally, an animal can be spayed or neutered at two pounds or two months of age. Animals who are altered early have a much lower instance of complications, and altering before marking behaviors start occurring usually prevents these behaviors from happening.
If you’re ready to be a hero to your furry friends, we’re here to help!
PAWS offers low-cost spay or neuter surgeries to pets of qualified low-income individuals. We spay and neuter cats, dogs, kittens, puppies and rabbits. We are working to help end the suffering of unwanted and homeless animals in our community by preventing unplanned litters. On average PAWS performs 2,316 spay and neuter surgeries per year. Spaying and neutering is good for the community and a great way to help our animal friends live longer, healthier lives.
Rob and Raquel adopted Nova (previously Hilda) in May of 2016. During the past eight months Nova has made friends with her two feline housemates while settling in to her forever home. They have already gone on many adventures together, and buried a few bones along the way.
What made you decide to adopt from a shelter? We really liked the idea of rescuing rather than going to a breeder. It just seemed like a more responsible action.
What brought you to PAWS? Two reasons. First, Rob used to volunteer there in the cat room, so he knew the approach PAWS takes to making sure the right pet gets the right owner, and the excellent care they receive up until that point. Second, adopting from them creates space for other animals in need to find their new home. It’s a win-win really.
How did you first find out about Nova? We really lucked out, honestly. We were interested in a German Shepherd and had only recently seriously discussed adopting a dog. We had seen some postings of other dogs on the PAWS website and decided to stop by and see if any would be a good match with us.
There were several dogs we had some possible interest in, but we were still on the fence. As we were walking out of the kennel area we saw Nova walk past with someone. We followed them back to her kennel and staked it out until we were able to get some time to play with her. She had just arrived so she didn’t even have her papers up yet. Talk about perfect timing!
Nova and Zoey cuddling
What led to her name change? Haha well, I'd like to call my girlfriend, Raquel, and myself avid gamers. But I would be wrong if I did that—it’s definitely just me. However she likes to watch this one game that I play—Heroes of the Storm. One of my favorite characters within that game is called Nova. The name just fit her well, so we went with it.
What was it that most attracted you to her? We loved her mix of German Shepherd and Siberian Husky. Her gorgeous coat, pointy ears, crazy curly tail, and different colored eyes are absolutely beautiful.
Once we had some play time with her, we also fell in love with her behavior. She wasn’t loud or defensive about food when we were interacting with her. She also wasn’t too high energy, which was important based on our housing.
Nova and Raquel taking a nap
How would you describe her personality? She’s a gentle princess. Doesn’t bark much, plays nicely with her sisters (two tortoiseshell cats). She hates getting her paws wet in the rain and will protest when we take her out to potty in the wet.
How was your adoption experience with PAWS? About as great as one would expect. They were very honest and upfront about anything. So good, in fact, that Rob did a 24 hour video game marathon (did we mention he likes to play video games?) on twitch to raise money for PAWS. We were able to raise $125 which we were thrilled about! Stay tuned as we may be doing this again in March of 2017!
Briefly talk us through your first journey home and how the “settling in” period went. It was a transition at home for sure. Rob was definitely over-protective of the cats when they would interact (which didn’t happen for quite some time after getting her). It took a little bit for things to settle, and a lot of hard work. But now there is definitely a “pack” mentality in the home that all creatures understand.
Rob and Nova on a camping trip
What have you experienced together since Nova came into your life? We love to camp—a lot. In fact, the day after we got her we took her on a Memorial Day camping trip with us (up near Skykomish). She loved it! But the story gets better. Among the many toys we brought with us for her that trip was a bone (we weren’t sure what she liked yet, so we gave her plenty of variety). When we gave the bone to her in the campsite, she promptly buried it.
Fast-forward about two months, and we were up camping at the same campground again. We brought her to the site where she had buried the bone. Not only was it still there; she walked right up to the spot and dug it up. She carried it around proudly for everyone to see before burying it, yet again, in a different site. I’ll have to get back to you next summer to see if she digs it up again!
We also took her out in the recent snow, and she had the time of her life!
Zeke and Shanna adopted Scout and Bebo from PAWS in 2013. Recently they took some time to talk about the lives of their lucky PAWS kitties.
Bebo (left) and Scout
What made you decide to adopt from a shelter? Both Shanna and I have volunteered at various shelters over the years, and we’ve always wanted to do what we can to help find home for animals in need. We’ve also both previously adopted animals from shelters and had great experiences.
What brought you to PAWS? Before Bebo and Scout, I had another cat, Gato, for 18 years. I adopted her as a stray when she was very young, and when she passed away I felt that I wanted to honor her by helping other cats find the same kind of happiness I had with her. Shanna had previously volunteered at PAWS and we had both participated in events like PAWSwalk. I began volunteering at PAWS, too, and first met Scout while I was working as a cat room cleaner.
What was it that most attracted you to Scout and Bebo? Scout was very affectionate, and friendly. When I first walked past her kennel, she gave me a little chirp and rubbed her face on the cage. Shanna and I took a vacation the week after I met Scout, and I thought about her the whole time we were gone. I decided that if she was still at PAWS when we returned, I would adopt her. Sure enough, when we came back there she was.
I crouched down to her, and she jumped up on my leg and licked me on the nose, purred, and head-butted me. When Shanna joined us, Bebo was sitting in a bed near the window; he looked up at her and belted out a great big meow as if to indicate it was his turn to get attention. As soon as this happened, I knew we were bringing him home with us, too.
Scout's favorite sleeping position
How was your journey home and settling in together? We already had a dog, so we made sure to introduce the cats to him very slowly. We kept them completely separated at first and gradually let them spend more and more time around each other until we found they could all behave together. It took about six weeks. Eventually, they would all sleep together on the couch.
How would you describe Scout’s and Bebo’s personalities? Scout is pretty much a diva; she likes to be the center of attention. She has a very sweet affectionate side, but she can be grumpy sometimes and she likes to tease the dog. She is very intelligent and inquisitive, and loves to play with her toy mice.
Bebo was a cat who acted like royalty. We would joke that he must have been an emperor in a previous life. He had a way of demanding to be petted that was impossible to resist. When we would pet him, he would purr in an almost musical tone, and meow loudly with approval. He was everyone’s friend, and wasn’t shy at all.
How have Scout and Bebo changed your life? They came into our family at a time when we were just getting over the loss of our beloved Gato. Oscar, our dog, was very attached to Shanna, but I’m more of a cat person and I really felt like something was missing. Bringing Scout and Bebo into our home allowed me to feel that connection with a pet again and made us feel good about giving two older cats a great place to live out their lives.
How old were Scout and Bebo when you adopted them? What do you think is the best thing about adopting cats of that age? When we adopted Scout, they guessed her age to be about nine years old, and Bebo was estimated to be 11. We adopted senior cats because we know they can have a harder time finding new homes and we wanted to give them the best lives we could imagine.
Scout is good friends with Zeke and Shanna's dog, Oscar
What advice do you have for people considering adopting a cat? Take your time and find the cat that is right for you. If you have existing pets, introduce everyone slowly, as the more careful you are with their introductions, the better the relationship between your established pets and the newcomers will likely be. Be sure you will be able to give your cat the time, attention and care that he needs to be healthy and happy.
Even though our time with Bebo was short, he was an unforgettable companion, and left an indelible mark on our lives. Scout has also captured our hearts very strongly. It’s a rewarding feeling to know that we have opened our home to two cats in need and given them some of the best years of their lives.
While Zeke and Shanna were responding to our questions for this blog, Bebo sadly passed away, on April 12, 2016. We extend our deep compassion and condolences to Zeke, Shanna and their furry family, and thank them for answering our questions during this difficult time.
June is Adopt-a-Cat Month, and for good reason: It’s “kitten season,” and those little cuties are overrunning shelters all across the country. Unfortunately, although it’s a great time for kittens to find their forever homes, it’s not so good for adult and senior cats, who are often overlooked in the face of all that cuteness.
However, there are plenty of reasons to consider walking past all those squeaking, pouncing fuzzballs and finding a furry friend among the more mature cats in a shelter.
Senior cat Frenchy, now named Mlle. la Chatte, was adopted four years ago. She's still happy and healthy.
First, “senior” really isn’t that old. Here at PAWS we consider cats to be seniors at age 7, but a well-cared-for indoor cat can live into her late teens. PAWS alumna Frenchy, now named Mademoiselle la Chatte, was adopted in 2012 at the age of 10. The latest reports from her adopter indicate that she’s still in great health and enjoying her life in her new home. There’s no reason to fear that a senior cat is too old to enjoy years of happiness with you.
Senior cats are well past the “adorably cute tornado” stage of development, in which kittens learn about their environment by climbing, scratching, chewing and getting into things they shouldn’t. If you’re looking for a mellow companion to sit with you while you read, watch TV or meditate, a senior could be just the cat for you.
Ten-year-old Dr. Dre is looking for his forever home.
Older cats have generally known a life in a home and they’re familiar with having doting humans and warm beds all to themselves, so the shelter can be kind of a shock to them. Senior kitties will be especially glad to have a family of their own again, and they’ll show it with cuddles and purrs.
Senior cats’ personalities are fully formed, so you know what you’re getting before you adopt. It’s hard to know whether that tiny kitten is going to turn into a calm and quiet “lap fungus” or an extroverted, active and independent cat who needs to play for hours on end. With older cats, shelter staff can confidently guide you toward feline friends that are a good match for your family and lifestyle.
Fourteen-year-old Gig was adopted last week.
If you adopt an older cat and sometime in the future you do decide that you’d like to adopt a kitten, an older cat who’s already a member of your household can offer feline-style guidance on how to behave and respond to life in your home.
Older adult cats may be a better choice for families with children because they tend to be more patient with grabby little hands – although you should still supervise your children when they’re playing with the cat to make sure there are no unfortunate accidents.
Softy, age 11, is looking for a lap to call her own.
We’re delighted when any cat, no matter their age, finds a forever home, but the next time you want to adopt a cat, please consider visiting with the older cats, too. You may just find a feline friend who will be your loving companion for many years to come.
Pets can be great for children: Not only do they help kids to learn about empathy and compassion, but they teach responsibility as well. Studies have even shown that pets can help children to be healthier by strengthening the immune system.
April 26 is National Kids and Pets Day, which makes it a great time to share some tips to help kids live together happily with dogs and cats.
PAWS cats Fuji and Gala went to a forever home with a small child.
Children under the age of five should never be left alone with a dog or cat. At this young age, they are still learning how to interact properly with pets, and they need your attention and guidance to do so.
Teach your children about cats’ and dogs’ body language. This will help them to understand your dog or cat and avoid accidents or injuries. There are some great pictorial guides available on the internet so kids who are still learning to read can get to know things like the signs of stress or relaxation.
Teach your children to “be gentle with the dog” or “be gentle with the kitty.” That is, no tail-pulling, no chasing or grabbing.
Don’t allow your child to grab a dog’s or cat’s toys away or disturb him while he’s asleep.
Use a baby gate to separate your dog and your young children when your dog is eating. A baby gate can also give your cat a “safe room” if she wants to get away from the kids for a while.
Make sure your cat has plenty of high places where she can observe children without being in their immediate reach.
PAWS dog Goose went to a forever family with a number of kids.
Our animal behavior lead at PAWS, Rachel Bird, offers this advice on how to get kids involved with caring for their animal companions.
Let them help with feeding your dog or cat. “Feeding animals helps in the ‘bonding’ process,” Rachel says. “Animals really respond to the person giving them food! I like to mix it up at home, and I will rotate between my children to give them all a chance to feed everyone or hand out treats.”
Let children play with cats using a laser pointer or wand toys. This allows the child to be a safe distance from the cat in order to avoid accidental scratches or bites, and both are having fun.
Children benefit from getting involved in obedience classes for dogs. “Usually, kids love to learn how to teach a dog new tricks,” Rachel says, “so it’s just a matter of teaching him how to teach them.”
Older children can take your dog for walks or clean litter boxes. These chores teach children about some of the responsibilities involved in having an animal companion, and will make them better pet guardians when they become adults.
How have you helped your children learn how to care for your dog or cat? Please take a moment to share your thoughts in the comments.
Find out more about companion animal behavior and welfare in our online resource library.