Shelter cats learn to high five for adoption

Program helps cats chances of being adopted

Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

There’s no better way to make a lasting first impression than a good handshake, but how about a high five instead?

Jackson Galaxy, known far and wide as the Cat Daddy, is hoping one small gesture can have one major impact. His group, Cat Pawsitive, is encouraging shelters across the country the country to teach cats how to do a high five or perform another simple trick to up their chances of being adopted, according to People magazine.

In utilizing reward-based training, “A shy cat can learn to feel comfortable coming up to the front of her cage to meet a potential pet parent, a feisty cat can learn to play nice, and an outgoing kitty can even learn to give an endearing ‘high five’ to his visitors to seal an adoption deal,’ Cat Pawsitive said.

Not only do the cats look more appealing to their human suitors, the training is also rewarding to the cats themselves.

“Cats gain confidence and get mental and physical stimulation through their … training sessions, and soon they are building connections with staff, volunteers and potential adopters,” according to Cat Pawsitive.

Cat Pawsitive began its training sessions in nine animal shelters across the county in 2017, with plans to expand to over a dozen more shelters throughout 2018.

To coincide with National High Five Day on Thursday, the Jackson Galaxy Project is asking cat owners to submit their best cat high five videos on Facebook or Instagram with the hashtag #CatPawsitive and the tags @TheJacksonGalaxyProject and @HaloPets

Galaxy will judge the competition, and the winner, chosen Thursday, will receive a $5,000 grant and 10,000 bowls of Halo pet food gifted to the shelter of his or her choice.

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