Cat lovers now can get their feline fix online. Through the end of the month, friends of felines can indulge in a little online playtime by operating …
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Cat lovers now can get their feline fix online.
Through the end of the month, friends of felines can indulge in a little online playtime by operating an iPet Companion virtual play system installed in one of the cat play rooms at the Foothills Animal Shelter.
Just go to the shelter’s website, www.foothillsanimalshelter.org, and click on the “Click to play with adoptable cats” button on the top right.
Once logged in, viewers’ computers turn into kitty-fun interfaces, complete with a moveable, zooming camera, and three buttons that activate different moving toys to attract cats’ attention. A queue and a two-minute time limit ensure that everyone who logs on has a chance to control the fun. A live chat function lets feline fans comment on the action and enjoy some cat camaraderie.
“People really like it, and staff likes it, too, because it’s a positive way to highlight the cats,” said Foothills spokesperson Jennifer Strickland.
The iPet Companion is sponsored by Golden-based dog toy company KONG, which has also sponsored several other shelters across the country. The iPet cameras are currently running in shelters in Phoenix, San Diego and Los Angeles, where they have reported higher cat adoption rates, increased donations and more website traffic. According to the iPet Companion website, the longest recorded “player” for a kitty cam was 16 consecutive hours. Links to iPet installations across the country is available at www.ipetcompation.com.
In a statement, Foothills Animal Shelter Executive Director Heather Cameron said she was delighted that KONG chose to sponsor iPet for her shelter.
“There are twice as many homeless cats than dogs in animal shelters. Anything fun to help draw attention to cats and their need for adoption is wonderful,” Cameron said.
To coincide with the iPet Companion program, Foothills Animal Shelter’s annual Feline Frenzy adoption specials are also available through the end of June. Any cat over the age of six months can be adopted for $25. The spay/neuter, vaccines, microchip and health check are included in that fee.
“June is adopt-a-shelter cat month. This is the time of year for kitty litters, and we see a lot of them come in,” said Strickland.
So far, the Feline Frenzy special, along with the iPet Companion seem to be helping the situation, according to Strickland, who reports a 63-percent increase in cat adoptions since the two programs began.
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