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A Christmas Wish for Shelter Cats

Life behind bars for any shelter cat is usually flat out, miserable. The poor creatures just sit there and wait around, bored, angry, frustrated. Some cats are VERY lucky, their shelter has mandatory enrichment programs for their cats. Studies show that cats who are active in a cage are much more likely to be adopted than cats who sit there glumly passing time.

Enrichment for cats can also help de-stress the animal, keeping it healthy longer. This is a very important thing to keep in mind. If less cats get sick, fewer of them are euthanized. It doesn't take much to make their lives better, but with budgets cut, donations dwindling, how can any shelter afford the "luxury" of enrichment for the cats when they can't afford food or litter?

I'm NOT interested in promoting products on my Blog unless I LOVE them, feel the company is ethical and that me telling you about it would benefit you and your cats or cats in need of help. Today I'm going to talk about such a product. It's called a “Stretch and Scratch.


I first became aware of these miniature cat scratchers at the Cat Writers' Conference a few weeks ago. In my swag bag was a tiny scratcher. At first I couldn't fathom it's use. It's too tiny for any of my adult cats, but then I noticed that the scratcher has twist ties threaded through the back. YES! To HANG them on the inside of a cage!

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Everything made sense. I could use these during times when I have to separate kittens from their mama by caging them and I could use them in the cages when I bring my foster cats to adoption events! They're nice and sturdy and within a second of unpacking the scratcher at home, Blitzen was using it!

©2010 Robin A.F. Olson. Blitzen diggin' the scratcher.

But what about the kitties at all those shelters who can't afford much of anything? I thought about my friends at Henry County Care & Control in McDonough, Georgia. I thought about all those cats, just sitting in cages hoping for a miracle that all too often does not come.

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©2010 Henry County Care & Control. LOVE the scratcher! Adopt me!

I contacted Joan, Owner and Creator, Designer of Scratch and Stretch and ordered a case of scratchers to be shipped to Henry County as a surprise. I wasn't going to tell you about it. I didn't want to make a big “to do” about what a nice person I am and all that mularky, but this morning I got two thank you emails, one from Gerri Yoder, the Director of HCCAC and one from our friend, Betsy, who helps get the word out on the cats in need at HCCAC. They BOTH sent me photos of their cats using the scratchers and I realized that sharing these photos might inspire you to buy some, too.

©2010 Henry County Care & Control. I LOVE MY SCRATCHER! Oh and Adopt me!

Apparently, they're a BIG HIT with the kitties.

©2010 Henry County Care & Control. Adopt us or rescue us!

I know it doesn't help them get OUT of HCCAC, but, at least it provides the cats with some joy and a way to de-stress. I think it helps the staff, too, seeing the cats playing and having fun.

©2010 Henry County Care & Control. Mmmmeow..scratching fun!

What I'd like YOU to do is to consider buying some scratchers for YOUR LOCAL SHELTER. Joan tells me that they can still ship to arrive BEFORE CHRISTMAS! You don't have to spend oodles of money. Maybe you can ask a few friends to come together and pitch in a few dollars so you can send a 1/2 case or a case! Joan also coordinates a team of folks who make cat beds for shelters, called Kennel Comforters and she does it purely out of love and a desire to help cats in shelters. They are always in need of donations of FABRIC so if you have some fabric to share, just contact her here.

Prices are: $45 for 1/2 case of 25 scratchers and $75 for 1 case of 50 scratchers. Shipping is extra, but I'm told that Joan cuts the shipping way down so you really get a bargain with the shipping-they actually pay some of it. Joan is not out to be a millionaire, she just wants shelter cats to be happy and this is part of her way to make that happen.

I would also like to know about any of you buying scratchers for shelters. All folks who make a purchase will be listed here on a big THANK YOU roster in January! Please be sure to let me know which shelter you bought scratchers for when you write to tell me about you being a GREAT person. Hee hee! Just email me at: info AT



The fosters cat cages at Texas Cares that I clean for give these to their foster cats. The cats really enjoy these scratchers!!!

I just sent a case of these to my local shelter. I'm sure the cats will appreciate them...and the shelter workers always love to see (and are surprised) that someone out there cares.

Thanks for the tip - you're making for happier cats this season!

GREAT JOB!!!!! I'm VERY PROUD OF YOU! I know you're going to get a BIG THANK YOU from the shelter and those poor kitties who are staying there. You did them a great kindness!!!

Thank you again!

So, of course, you know I ran right over to my favorite cat shelter's Facebook page and asked if they wanted some! I will send them a bunch for Christmas! What a great idea. Thanks for sharing this, Robin. Next year, we'll have to find a way to team up with them for Santa Paws Drive, too!

I love your idea. Great, Dorian! :-D

Just sent out an order to one of my local shelters too. Hope it will get there before Christmas but not sure. Thanks Robin for bringing this wonderful product to our attention. Hopefully the shelter, Western Pennsylvania Humane Society will use them well and many cats will be a bit happier and content while waiting for their forever home. They have two facilities and I requested they share with each one.

Wonderful product for the shelter cats! Have sent some to one of my local shelters. Not sure if they will arrive before Christmas, but when they do hoping many cats will have a more contented and happier time while waiting for their forever home. Thank you Robin for getting this product out there!

my spca started using these a few months ago. love them!!

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