Ever wonder what makes a great cat adoption profile? Or better yet, how to acquire all the materials needed for one?

“There are two main details that are significant and controllable from a marketing standpoint,” Ashley Ferry, cat foster manager for Austin Pets Alive!, said at the recent American Pets Alive! No-Kill Conference. “The cat’s name and their color/breed description.” She stressed the importance of using a name that’s easy to pronounce, pointing out that people will be able to relate to it more and feel more comfortable asking questions about the cat.

Ferry also said a name with a positive connotation can make all the difference in drumming up interest in a cat: “Think a black cat named Lucifer versus one named King Louie.”

What else makes a strong profile? “The most important piece of a cats profile is the photo. Lead with a good face shot, this is what people will see as they’re scrolling through.” As for the harder to photograph black cats, be sure to choose a setting with natural light and avoid flash. You can also put a bow-tie on them to help them stand out.

“Use the bio as a way to introduce some unique characteristics and help potential adopters get to know them better, but do not make it a complete summary,” she said. Ferry advises always being honest, but says you should highlight potential “obstacles” in a positive light, and go into more detail in person.

So, how do you get the photos and information you need for great bios? “On-site material is usually easier to get than those in foster homes because you have better access to them.” However, there are trade-offs. While good photos are easier to get on-site, information for bios will likely be stronger coming from a foster who has spent one-on-one time with the cat.

Ferry reminded attendees that even though the information might be better, not all fosters are creative writing or marketing experts. Some workarounds to this? Have a simple form that asks questions about the cat’s personality, then have volunteer bio writers write them. Another tip? Arrange set photo days with volunteer photographers.

Of course, once you have all the materials, you need to know how and where to promote them. If it sounds like a job for a team, it is – and you can find out how a team like that works, along with more tips on how to harness the power of cat marketing to save more lives in your community by watching the full conference recording!