Related Tools & Tips:
Meet Your Match® Feline-ality™ is inexpensive to implement and requires only a small space and a few everyday items of equipment. For reliable assessments, you may need to adjust the flow of cats through your shelter as described below.
Tip: Shelters who are most successful in implementing Feline-ality are those who worked through the logistics of the program before "going live" with it. Logistics included not only when and where to assess cats, but also details such as the locations where assessment supplies and completed assessment forms are stored.
When to Assess Cats
Cats must acclimate to the shelter for at least 18 hours before their Feline-ality Assessment. Examine and vaccinate cats at intake if possible so they are not disturbed once they have settled into holding cages.
During the acclimation period, we recommend spot cleaning while the cat remains in the cage, unless the cage is heavily soiled with organic matter. Spot cleaning is less stressful to cats than full cage cleaning, and a lower stress level lowers the probability of stress related illness. Acclimation is more stressful and takes longer if the cats are removed daily for cleaning. Refrain from spaying/neutering until after the cat is assessed and is assigned a Feline-ality.
Which Cats Should You Assess?
All healthy cats that can be handled and are at least nine months of age should be Feline-ality assessed after being allowed to acclimate to the shelter as described above.
Do not assess females in heat if it can be avoided. If you must assess them, be aware that the Feline-ality Assessment is less predictive for females in heat versus females out of heat. If the cat is still in the shelter after she has comes out of heat, you should assess her again.
All but the first assessment items will take place in the Novel Room.
- The ideal space is 10 feet by 10 feet, but a somewhat smaller or larger room will do.
- A room free of hiding spots is more important to the assessment process than the square footage.
- The area outside the room during the assessment must be as quiet and as distraction-free as possible.
- Avoid areas where barking dogs, chirping birds, ringing phones, talking, and high foot traffic will be audible. Distractions like these can invalidate the assessment
A large plastic tub is ideal for storing assessment supplies in the assessment room. As basic as it sounds, we recommend that you assign all supplies specific storage spots and designated some to be responsible for the replenishing of supplies when needed.
Download the supply checklist at the upper right on this page, which identifies the items you'll need and explains how they're used.
You will be using Feline-ality Assessments in the adoption process, so store the assessments where adoption counselors can easily access them while with a client. Be sure to identify this space before implementing, and determine how the paperwork will move with the cat as he or she is made available for adoption