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The Build-Out

  • New cat colony room at Second Chance Animal Shelter in MA


    The new cat colony rooms at Second Chance Animal Shelter in East Brookfield, Mass., are homier for cats and visitors. TARA CHUMSAE/TC PERFECT IMAGES

Off the Shelf

Thanks to a donation earmarked to help cats, Arnell Memorial Humane Society in Amery, Wis., was able to create two communal rooms for resident felines to enjoy; they also serve as welcoming spaces where potential adopters can spend time getting to know the cats. The rooms—one for older kit ties, the other for youngsters—now have both the individual, stainless-steel cages that were there before, and three cat climbing towers fashioned from IKEA shelving. Cats spend their evenings in their cages, then are let out in the daytime to romp and climb on the towers, a big cat tree, and comfy easy chairs. There’s also shelving between two of the towers and high on the walls, letting kitties circle one room on three sides. "They love jumping around, [and] the reaching and the being able to scratch, of course, is a major thing for them," says Mary Bruckner, shelter manager, who devised the custom-made towers. Staff can wipe down the shelves to disinfect them, and the squares of carpet that are attached to some flat surfaces with Velcro can be swapped out when needed.

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