What should a shelter do when they want to help socialise their cats ? Yoga of course! Well, at least bring humans in to do the yoga part...
The Good Mews Animal Foundation in California, USA came up with a great idea: organise on-site yoga classes to bring more people to the shelter to help socialise their cats whilst they wait for the perfect new family.
Yoga classes with cats
The idea came about as a way to help ease cat nerves in a place that may seem very foreign to them. At the same time, it was also designed as a way of bringing more people to the shelter in a bid to increase adoption rates.
Yoga, which encourages a calming and present energy, was the perfect choice for the cats. With yoga classes becoming more and more popular with people wishing to bring a sense a peace to their daily lives, what better way than to incorporate the relaxing purrs of cats with their daily class!
Cat home to yoga studio
The yoga classes take place in the living space of the shelter's adult cats. This way, all feline residents are able to come and go as they please.
In turn, class participants, of the human variety, love to come to class to wind down and hear the soothing tones of the cats purring. As all cat lovers know, a feline's presence can create a sense of calm and peace. You only have to look at the rise of purr therapy!
Socialisation and adoption
We can't deny that it's probably slightly harder for yogis to concentrate fully during classes; I mean, who can resist a pat in the middle of downward dog... err, cat. But yoga with cats is a win-win for all participants!
Many of the cats are curious about what these two-legged strangers are doing, with plenty either coming in for pats, curling up on participant mats, lying on outstretched bodies, or even joining in with various stretches.
It's not uncommon for playtime to commence shortly after the classes as well. Even the shyest of cats feel more at ease during the classes, proving that the sessions are an excellent means for helping less sociable felines to adjust to their surroundings!
And don't forget, the aim is to also encourage adoption. And how can a yogi resist the fur ball that's plonked itself straight on top of their outstretched toes?
You'll be pleased to hear that many of the yogis end up taking one home!
Where do we sign up?!
What do you think of yoga with cats? Would you love to do a class?
Photo credits: Good Mews Animal Foundation (website & Facebook)