A shelter cat named Matilda from Redwood City, Calif., is the grand prize winner of the third Annual Cat Pawsitive National High-Five Day Contest. The contest is part of Cat Pawsitive, a life-saving initiative for shelter and rescue cats that aims to increase feline adoption rates by instructing shelter/rescue staff and volunteers how to implement positive reinforcement training for cats.
Jackson Galaxy, a renowned cat behavior and wellness professional and host of Animal Planet’s “My Cat from Hell,” helped launch the Cat Pawsitive initiative, which is part of The Jackson Galaxy Project. This year’s contest was in partnership with The Petco Foundation and The Animal Rescue Site.
“This year’s entries for The National High-Five Day Contest illustrated incredible creativity and enthusiasm, and beautifully showcased how positive reinforcement training can truly enhance the human-cat bond,” Galaxy said. “As we have seen over and over again in the Cat Pawsitive program, this training can save the lives of cats and inspire the humans who live with and work for them.”
The contest kicked off on March 22 and the top 25 finalists were selected by Galaxy for the public to vote on from April 8-14.
“Matilda’s clever bell-ringing high-five won 4,997 votes,” officials said in a statement.
As the winner, Matilda will receive a personal cat behavioral virtual consult with Galaxy. A $5,000 grant will also go to Whis-Purr Rescue Inc., where Matilda currently lives with her sister Moxie and brother Maverick.
Other winners included:
- 2nd Place: Birdie and Finch won a 3,000 cash grant for Simply Cats Adoption Center in Boise, Idaho, and a signed copy of “Total Cat Mojo” by Galaxy
- 3rd Place: Joan wins a $2,000 cash grant for EASEL Animal Rescue in Ewing, N.J., and a signed copy of “Total Cat Mojo” by Galaxy
Since 2016, a total of 168 animal welfare organizations and more than 2,650 cats have participated in Cat Pawsitive programs with more than 1,600 staff members and volunteers taking part in the training of thousands of homeless cats, according to officials. To date, more than 1,800 homeless cats have been adopted during Cat Pawsitive semesters, with hundreds of more cats benefitting from being in the program and continuing their training on the road to adoption, officials further noted.
The Jackson Galaxy Project is a signature program of Greater Good Charities that seeks to improve the lives of cats at risk and help the people who care for them through innovative programs that educate, inspire and empower staff, rescuers and adopters.
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