October is a special month for America’s first cat café, Cat Town in Oakland, CA. Not only is it the anniversary month of when they first opened their café space three years ago, but they’ll also be celebrating the grand opening of their expanded adoption space! The Grand Opening will take place on Sunday, October 1, all day, and you’re invited to check it out.
What’s so special about this new lifesaving space that was made possible by a Maddie’s Fund® grant? Cathy Niland, Communications Manager for Cat Town, explains.
“For those who may not know, the whole goal of Cat Town is to give cats an alternative environment to the shelter, understanding that the shelter environment can cause cats to be stressed out, and a lot of time that is the only barrier to adoption,” she said. “So, getting cats into foster homes and into the Cat Zone were great opportunities to get them out of the shelter… but it seemed like there was still a little piece missing.”
She went on to explain how they realized that cats in the Cat Zone were getting a lot more exposure than cats in foster homes, and that just meant the cats who needed foster homes were “sort of at a disadvantage compared to the others.”
“Thanks to Maddie, we were able to add on an expanded adoption center, which has these little rooms that we call ‘studios’ that offer the most vulnerable shelter cats sort of an elevated platform for adoption.”
Some examples of the kind of cats who benefit from the expanded adoption center include seniors, their “forgotten kittens,” cats who are FEL-V positive and can’t be around other cats but love people, maybe cats who are going to the vet for some reason, or cats who are extremely shy and not ready for the Cat Zone. In addition, some cats may be allergic to certain food so they can’t be in an open environment, but they want to give them access to adopters because they’re so friendly.
“It provides cats who aren’t thriving at the shelter, or who need a lot of volunteer attention, a space that’s not the regular Cat Zone or foster home. It’s just another environment for those cats to be seen by potential adopters,” she said.
The best part? It’s working!
“We had our soft opening a few months ago, and we’re seeing just as many adoptions on this side as we are in the regular Cat Zone. So it’s working, which is excellent!”
She continued, “It’s great because people can come over from the Cat Zone into one of the rooms and spend dedicated time getting to know the cats one-on-one. That’s been huge for getting them adopted.”
Niland says the expanded adoption center is open now, so if you’re in the Cat Zone, you’re welcome to also visit the studios.
However, if you wait and visit during the grand opening from 10 AM to 5 PM Pacific Time on October 1, they’ll have waved adoption fees and waived entry fees for that day. Niland also says they’ll have fun contests inside the studio throughout the day.
To learn more about Cat Town and the Grand Opening, visit their website.