(CBS Local) – An animal behaviorist is giving shelter cats a hand in getting adopted by loving families. In an effort to make them more adoptable, cats are learning how to give their new owners a friendly high-five.
Jackson Galaxy, host of the TV series “My Cat From Hell,” has created a project known as Cat Pawsitive, which aims to help felines maintain their social skills while waiting to be adopted. “The genesis of Cat Pawsitive stemmed from the simple desire to duplicate the ‘AHA!’ moment I had in the early stages of my life with cats as a shelter worker,” Jackson told Mother Nature Network.
“Big life changes can lead to cats losing their mojo, their confidence and their raw cat essence,” Cat Pawsitive manager Christie Rogero added. “When suddenly faced with a noisy shelter or an unfamiliar foster home, even the most outgoing and friendly cats can become nervous, shut down or even just bored. This can lead to behaviors that make them seem less ‘adoptable.'”
Eighteen shelters across the country have already been trained by The Jackson Galaxy Project over the last two years, in order to teach their furry residents how to sit, jump, and even high-five on command. Over a dozen more are scheduled for training this year.
“They get the kind of enrichment that cats need to be themselves and show their true personalities to potential adopters. This helps them to make connections and to get adopted more quickly,” Rogero said.