MCFH S7E10 - RESCUE MAKEOVER, CAT PLAYING ROUGH, SURVIVED PANLEUKOPENIA
Show: My Cat From Hell Season 7, Episode 10
Episode Title: A Brave New Cat World
Cat: Pig Pen
Pig Pen is a long-haired, white and brown male; he was rescued in June of 2015 and is about 9 months old. He survived having the Feline Panleukopenia virus as a kitten, and has neurological issues as a result.
Christy is the Executive Director of Santé D’Or, a non-profit animal adoption center located in Los Angeles, CA.
How Bad Is It?
Pig Pen is one of the oldest kittens at this rescue, and Christy desperately wants to find him a great family to spend his life with. She says that his ailments and behavioral issues have prevented him from being adopted. Jackson realizes that this rescue center needs a makeover in order to attract attention from potential adopters, which will increase adoptions.
- Plays rough with people and other cats.
- Needs time out of a cage for more socialization.
- Rescue needs a makeover to attract potential adopters and to showcase the cats in a more relaxed environment (free roaming instead of in cages.)
Christy described Pig Pen as being aggressive, when in reality, he was just a young cat full of energy that needed to be burned off. He had tons of adolescent energy and lived in a cage most of the day, so when he was let out to meet potential adopters, he was very high-energy and rough at times. This discouraged people from adopting him because they thought that he was aggressive. The key to preventing this is to make sure the cat gets to “Hunt, Catch, Kill, and Eat” at least twice a day. Morning and night, you want to play with your cat until he is panting, take a break, and repeat (approximately 3 times depending on the cat of course), until your cat has exhausted all of this energy. After this “Boil and Simmer” method, you can feed them their breakfast or dinner, and soon after, you will have a more relaxed cat. You can also implement really good play sessions to tire the cat out right before potential adopters arrive to burn any lingering energy.
Some cats can also be trained to do fun things, such as “sit” on command. Pig Pen was a very smart cat who took to clicker training immediately. Clicker training is a way to train an animal, whether it’s to sit or to follow you, by clicking and giving them a treat. They begin to associate the clicking noise as a positive thing because they get a reward; the click means good things are coming! Teaching them a fun command to follow can make the cat stand out and become more adoptable.
Pig Pen is a strong cat; he survived a virus that is fatal to 90-95% of kittens. His two brothers passed away because of the virus, so he missed out on learning normal cat behavior that he would have learned from his mother and brothers. The virus also left him with neurological damage which causes occasional tremors. Despite all of this, he is such a special cat, which is why the Santé D’Or Foundation was fighting for him to get out of a cage and find a family to call his own. After Jackson worked with Pig Pen, he was able to find the perfect guardian to adopt him, and he’s now living happily in his forever home.
One of Jackson’s goals is to change the way people perceive shelters and rescues. There are so many rescues that look like jails, with bars, cages, and a dark environment. This discourages potential adopters from visiting because it’s too depressing. Making changes, such as creating a positive first impression by adding warm, inviting colors, removing any bars, and implementing an open floor plan where cats are able to roam free, are some of the many ways to increase adoptions. There was a 25% increase in adoptions at Santé D’or after the makeover!
IN ADDITION TO THE ABOVE, JACKSON ALSO USED SPIRIT ESSENCES:
Hyper Helper is formulated to balance out-of-control energy with softer, integrated actions. This formula can help calm the hyperactive, high-strung animal, but also those who just need to instill a brief pause between thought and action. Hyper Helper was crucial in helping Pig Pen control his adolescent energy. The combination of being surrounded by other animals in an enclosed territory, along with age (a one year old cat is equivalent to a human teenager) proved to be over-stimulating for Pig Pen. This formula, along with burning excess energy through play, was the perfect combination for Pig Pen. Hyper Helper to the rescue!
During the shelter makeover, Jackson made sure that Stress Stopper was on-hand at all times. Stress Stopper is formulated to help animals adapt and cope with unusual or stressful situations, such as thunderstorms, boarding, remodeling, visitors, or similar situations. This formula is designed to help animals feel grounded and protected. Jackson taught the volunteers and staff at Santé D’Or about Spirit Essences formulas, and showed them how to administer it topically, and in food/water. Between the noise, lights, and their territory being in a state of flux, Jackson was applying Stress Stopper constantly to bring down the high stress. The most important application during the makeover was misting the cages and hammocks.
Once the rescue makeover was completed, Jackson replaced the Stress Stopper with Safe Space for Cats. Stress Stopper helped ease the short-duration stress the cats felt during renovation, but Safe Space for Cats helped the cats explore their brand new territory with confidence, and prevented them from marking/peeing all over their brand new catified space! Safe Space for Cats is formulated to help the cat establish appropriate boundaries and reduce territorial stress that may manifest as spraying, inappropriate elimination, aggression, or other stress-related behaviors. This formula helps reassure the cat that his territory is safe and protected from intruders from within and without.
Jackson and the volunteers consistently added drops of Peacemaker in the community water bowls, as well as misted it around the litter boxes, to help re-establish the social flow and prevent any conflict from arising in their free-roaming environment. Jackson explains that the combination of Peacemaker and Stress Stopper helped ease territorial issues that may have led to negative space marking (spraying) because of the new furniture and items in the rescue. Peacemaker is formulated to reduce or eliminate aggression, tension, and jealousy between animals, and may help to keep the peace in multi-animal families.
Jackson Galaxy's Spirit Essences™ work best when part of a more holistic program, that may include proper veterinary care, diet, behavior modification, and other holistic modalities. Consult your veterinarian before adding any new product to your pet’s care regimen. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.