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Supporting Cat Nonprofits Enriches both Human and Feline Lives

Supporting Cat Nonprofits Enriches both Human and Feline Lives

Posted by Rune on 24th May 2023

A person rescues a cat, but the cat rescues the soul. Adopting a rescue cat begins a fulfilling journey of companionship between owner and cat. However, there are many ways to support additional rescue cats that don’t require you to adopt more.

Many registered, pet-loving, and passionate nonprofits exist for the wellbeing of cats and the humans who volunteer and adopt. Two of those models are cat rescues (which sometimes include cat sanctuaries) and nonprofit cat cafes. Both kinds of nonprofits vary in size and environment, from urban to rural areas.

Armarkat is proud to support cat nonprofits across the US, two of which are Wild Blue Rescue and Sanctuary in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and MeWow Cat Cafe in Doylestown, Pennsylvania.

Cat Rescues and Sanctuaries

Sabrina Utter, the volunteer lead of Marketing and Outreach for Wild Blue, has always felt an innate passion for volunteering. Before moving to Colorado Springs, she volunteered with a wide variety of nonprofits, including Family Promise (assisting homeless families) and event management for parent-teacher organizations. When she arrived in Colorado Springs, she saw that the community’s greatest need was protecting cats in a huge stray and feral population. Since its founding in 2009, Wild Blue has saved over 9,000 cats. The organization cares for over 900 cats each year and finds homes for over 80% of them, but still is only able to reach a portion of the stray and feral cat population in their area. Many cats are in dire need of medical support and human attention. As Sabrina learned more about the pressing needs of the cats, her involvement in the nonprofit grew.

Upon arrival at Wild Blue, cats are spayed or neutered and given medical treatment. The majority of strays and feral cats have endured circumstances that make them vulnerable to health conditions, whether they are born with them or have suffered attacks from wild animals and abusive humans. Cat rescues like Wild Blue take in cats of all ages, as well as disabled cats.

“Because I have diabetes, I feel like I connect even more with the diabetic cats,” Sabrina said.

Rescue organizations such as Wild Blue sometimes include cat sanctuaries, designated spaces designed specifically for feral cats. At Wild Blue’s sanctuary, these cats live out their days in peace with the company of other cats. The cats at Wild Blue’s sanctuary enjoy spacious enclosures that allow access to the outdoors with protection from predatory wildlife and severe weather.

In order to help a greater portion of the cat population, Wild Blue keeps expanding their housing for cats awaiting adoption. Along with new spaces comes the need for new cat furniture to help keep the cats happy and healthy. Armarkat is thrilled to help rescue cats through cat tree donations.

Regardless of whether a cat lives in a rescue, cat cafe, or household, cat furniture is important for a cat’s wellbeing. Cat trees have more benefits than you may imagine. According to Leader Animal Specialty Hospital, “Kitties who are timid could benefit from a cat tree, as they can climb high to check out their environment and easily see what’s going on around them without fear.” Dr. Jessica Taylor, Vice President of Veterinary Medicine at Petfolk, explained that “With tiered levels for leaping and a variety of textures for scratching, trees are also great for encouraging exercise.”

Furthermore, Armarkat cat trees are very sturdy and intended for heavy use, so they are well suited to environments with lots of cats. There are also models with wood platforms that are easy to clean. Armarkat offers a selection of cat trees approved by cat expert Jackson Galaxy, made with high quality materials.

Volunteering for a rescue or other cat nonprofit isn’t always glamorous–these cats need their litter to be changed and spaces cleaned just like your cat at home–but it is very rewarding. Your love for cats can be expressed in many ways.

One of the volunteers at Wild Blue is Susanne, a retired nurse. Susanne said, “My desire to be of service and provide healing led me to Wild Blue Cats. As a socializer, I have the opportunity to care for the many kitties who have abandoned, abused or neglected. It has been a rewarding experience for me as I see the cats begin to trust humans again.” Volunteering brought her closer not only to cats but to people as well. “The wonderful people there have become family to me and I am honored to be associated with them.”

Another service Wild Blue runs is a mobile spay and neuter unit that can spay and neuter pets from local areas, performing on average 72 spay or neuters each day. Additionally, Wild Blue is planning to construct the first ever nonprofit Cat Critical Care Unit, which will contain a space for quarantining sick cats while they recover, as well as a surgical area and a neonatal area for kittens that require bottle feeding.

Regardless of age, ability or physical limitations, all cats need a good night’s sleep. Armarkat cat beds have washable covers, so they are useful for nonprofits that house a large number of cats. The fabric on the cat beds can either provide warmth or coolness, so a variety of beds can suit different cats’ temperature preferences. Armarkat beds also provide cats with a soft surface covering a hard one, which supports healthy muscles and joints.

Cat Cafes

Cat cafes take in cats from rescue organizations and help speed up the adoption process by making cats publicly available. MeWow Cat Cafe is proud to be “saving cats one cup of coffee at a time.”

At MeWow, every cat remains at the cafe until they are adopted. Like cat rescues, cat cafes do not keep cats in cages, allowing them open space to freely roam and play. MeWow Cat Cafe accepts rescue cats that are spayed or neutered, microchipped, vaccinated, and treated for fleas and parasites.

Eilene Kramer, owner of MeWow Cat Cafe, explained how cats of many personalities can become socialized for their future home life. “We don't just take outgoing cats. We take lots of shy ones and my saying is ‘we make them bomb proof.’ They learn from the other outgoing cats that humans are good and fun.”

The socialization process also makes the rescue cats well-suited for joining households that already have one or more cats. I have witnessed this personally, as my sister was looking to adopt a second cat, but was worried that her current impulsive and rambunctious cat would annoy or overwhelm another cat. However, the cat she adopted from a cat cafe had a very calm personality and quickly befriended her first cat.

Eilene Kramer summarized her personal journey with MeWow: “Little did I know that a small cat café could bring such joy and comfort. The teacher truly became a humbled student.” She aims to make MeWow Cat Cafe a place where cats can not only be playful and heartwarming but also provide animal therapy for visitors.

In almost four years, MeWow Cat Cafe has achieved 439 cat adoptions, an incredible feat for a cat cafe of their size, and their newest goal is to reach 450. On average, the cafe houses 8-10 cats at a time.

However, running a cat cafe requires a lot of resources and helping hands. Cat food and litter are in high demand for both MeWow and the local organizations they partner with who help feral cats. The cat cafe uses a 16-pound bag of dry food and 24 cans of wet food each week. They also use around 75 pounds of cat litter weekly. Cat food donations, including opened bags, and litter are much appreciated.

Like cat cafes, cat rescues are often in urgent need of cat food and litter. A rescue as large as Wild Blue uses 3 palettes of litter each month and 40 cans of wet food each day.

Armarkat continues to support our nonprofit partners across the country with cat furniture donations and social awareness. We highly recommend that you consider volunteering with your local cat nonprofits and consider donating food and litter or providing monetary support. You may find the experience to be life changing for both the cats and yourself!

Research references:

“Do Cats Need Cat Trees? What the Science Tells Us About Climbing and Kitties”

Leader Animal Specialty Hospital

“Why Do Felines Love Cat Trees”