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A Cool Hangout for Kitties

A popular accessory for ferrets proves just as inviting to felines

A popular accessory for ferrets proves just as inviting to felines

New Rochelle Humane Society
Odds are that the sight of your sweaty next-door neighbor dozing in a backyard hammock isn’t exactly what you’d call cute. But in the shelter, hammocks can successfully showcase your adoptable cats, as staff at the New Rochelle Humane Society in New York have discovered.

Shelter manager Dana Rocco says that kittens love their hammocks—even more than their litter boxes. “You can see a definite preference. It must be a lot more comfortable to sleep in,” she says. “They love it. ... It just creates more space—another level.”

After shelter volunteer Denise Alexanian learned that ferret hammocks could be used for cats and realized that she could make the hammocks herself, the humane society adopted the idea last summer. Now Alexanian makes all of the hammocks for the shelter. “It’s a nice project for a volunteer,” Rocco says.

Through trial and error, an ideal design emerged. “The hardest thing was that the strings tend to fray with time. But [Denise will] replace them for us and we just throw them through the wash with everything,” Rocco says. “Thicker materials work better, folded over.”

The Humane Society attaches the hammocks to dog crates that house a litter of kittens or a mother and her kittens. The hammocks have become such a popular kitty hangout spot that a group of kittens sometimes requires two.

Rocco would like to use the hammocks in the regular cat cages, but the ties cannot be attached to the cage walls as easily as to crate bars. Current plans involve gluing hooks to the stainless steel and attaching the hammock ties to the hooks, but Rocco hasn’t yet found glue that is strong enough.

In the meantime, the kitty hammocks are doing a good job of showing off the shelter cats, Rocco says. “The cats look adorable in them, and it adds to the appeal—they’re not just sitting in a cage.”

 

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