Cat Library

Borrowing a book from a library may not be high on many people’s list these days, but instead of a book what if you could borrow a kitten? How would you take out a kitten you ask? Well, there is a kitten librarian receptionist of course! This is an older story that I came across but worth sharing as it demonstrates a positive and innovative way to help homeless cats.

The Dona Ana County office building in Las Cruces, New Mexico installed a Kitty Kondo, what employees later renamed the cat library, in the lobby of their building where cats from the local animal shelter are made available for adoption. Animals considered less adoptable or special needs in a shelter environment, like cats that have been abused or have minor medical issues, are also given equal time in the Kitty Kondo. There is a great deal of exposure, perhaps more so than in the shelter, by having the cats in the center of a very public place with literally hundreds of people walking through the lobby daily. The end goal is to help reduce euthanasia, increase cat adoptions as well as educate the public about cats that need homes. The other winners in this are the employees who get free stress relief by being able to check out a cat for an hour to have at their desk while they work.

The kitty condo is 5 years old this May and with a 137 cat adoptions to date they have lots to celebrate. All work including socializing, cleaning and feeding is done by employees and, the cats come spayed or neutered, micro-chipped, vaccinated, checked for feline leukemia and heart worm all for a minor adoption fee of $50.

The program has attracted a lot of attention and has created interest in other governmental offices which means it’s only a matter of time before we see more programs like this pop up elsewhere – a win-win situation for all involved.

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7 thoughts on “Cat Library

  1. It sounds wonderful, and I hate to pour cold water on this, but 2 concerns immediately popped into mind: 1 Might the cats get stressed by having so many people passing through all the time? 2 Might it encourage impulsive “Ah so cute” adoptions by people who hadn’t intended adopting, and hadn’t really thought it through and properly committed to it? Hopefully the shelter has proper checks in place, and if it leads to more kitties finding forever homes, it’s all good. Thank you for this interesting story.

    • I understand, there is always concerns, but having volunteered in a shelter for 12 years I can say that the shelter environment is one of the most stressful places for cats. Now, depending on the shelter there may or may not be enough traffic, or volunteers etc..so working with pet partners whether PetSmart or in this case government offices helps reduce euthanasia of healthy cats & the bonus here is there is not an overcrowding of cats, it’s monitored & the cats get more socialization from the office workers. It is also a great way to educate people who likely would never make it in to a shelter. I would hope that everyone is committed but even with shelter adoptions that is not always the case. The program is 5 years old & 137 adoptions which is great!

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