Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Cats Living Communally at The Animal Services Centre

Life is sweet for the seven residents of the new Animal Services Centre cat communal room. Rather than spending endless hours in a kennel waiting to be claimed by their owners or adopted into new homes, the cats are lounging on pink couches, watching fish DVDs, sipping water from a gurgling fountain, and sunbathing in a tree.

“It’s exciting to watch the cats interacting in this new stimulating, cage-free environment,” said Bill Bruce, director of Animal & Bylaw Services.  “Our goal was to build a bright and spacious communal room to reduce the stress of shelter life for our long-term resident cats.”

While the cats in the communal room benefit from increased exercise, comfort and social interaction, potential adopters also benefit from seeing the cats interacting with one another. Being able to observe the cats’ personalities and temperaments gives potential adopters a good idea of how a cat will interact in their home.

In spite of the addition of a communal room, Bruce says that the best place for cats to be is with their owners in a forever home. Keeping cats safely indoors helps to ensure that they won’t end up at The Animal Services Centre. If a cat does go outdoors, owners are reminded to ensure cats remain on their own property and are not roaming the neighbourhood being a nuisance.

Cat owners are encouraged to protect cats in the event they slip out through open doors and escape. All cats over the age of three months residing in the City of Calgary must be licensed.  This is crucial in helping Animal & Bylaw Services reunite lost cats with their owners. In addition to a licence, ensuring that a cat has a readable microchip or a legible tattoo means that if a roaming cat loses his licence tag, Animal & Bylaw can read the tattoo or microchip to reunite cats and owners.

While seven cats are enjoying their new freedom at The Animal Services Centre, there are approximately 40 cats in kennels waiting for their owners or to be adopted into forever homes.

Calgarians are invited to watch the cats interacting in the communal cat room at The Animal Services Centre at 22012 Portland Street S.E. between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. Monday to Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. To adopt a cat or see if your lost cat is at The Animal Services Centre, visit calgary.ca/animalservices and search impounded or adoptable cats, visit The Animal Services Centre or call 3-1-1 for more information.

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