Feline-Ality: Finding Your Purr-fect Match!

Who’s excited about Wayside Waifs new feline adoption process? This girl! Feline-ality is the newest adoption survey program at Wayside Waifs. Feline-ality helps to match adopters with their ideal feline companion. Sound a little like a Match.com advertisement? Well, it kind of works like that too. You are asked to fill out a short survey before you go to the Cat Adoption area when you visit Wayside. This survey asks you questions such as “I would consider my household to be like, a) A library b) Middle of the road c) A carnival” or “I want my cat to love being with children in my home, a) It’s not important b) Some of the time c) Most of the time”. It’s as simple as that. Once you’ve finished your survey you are given a color and a personality. Based on your answers from the survey, the color and personality you are given is going to guide you to a cat on the adoption floor that would be the best matched cat for you. Pretty easy, huh? But what are the steps behind Feline-ality? 

Feline-ality is a process. It’s not as simple as “I believe this cat should be the color ‘orange’, and his personality should be a ‘sidekick'”. A lot of time and effort is put in to each cat that goes through the Feline-ality assessment. When cats enter the building at Wayside Waifs they are given a thorough exam and medical attention, and are then placed in their kennel. For the next 2-3 days they are not interacted with, but they are watched. Our feline staff record notes about the condition of the cats kennel, if they are eating, how they react if anyone approaches the kennel, and if they are adjusting. On the third day, the cat is taken from his kennel into a small room for his behavior evaluation. The assessor looks at different things during this test; how the cat reacts to toys, if they are social, if they like being held, if they are sensitive, etc. The behavior evaluation takes 12-15 minutes per cat. 

Based on the results of both the assessment and the behavior evaluation, a color and personality is chosen for each cat. Purple cats tend to seek attention and be pretty affectionate; orange cats enjoy being their human’s shadow; green cats are very adventurous and tend to be more independent. 

Feline-ality is not meant to be a quick answer or a guarantee on an animal’s behavior. It is meant for the adopter to use so they can better understand how their feline will be when they get home. Will their new companion run for the hills and not be seen for a few days? Or will they simply walk out of the carrier and in to their new owners lap? The results of the assessment and evaluation give the shelter inside information to how the cat will behave. Before feline-ality, we could only tell adopters what we had seen from the cat on a personal level. Now, we have a better guesstimate as to how a cat is going to behave in their new environment; which in turn, makes for a happier adopter and feline! 

Still want some more information? Go to the ASPCA’s website and search “Feline-ality”. You can take a test yourself, and also find out more information about each individual color and personality. If you are sold on feline-ality, come out to Wayside Waifs! We have plenty of felines with colors and personalities displayed proudly on the front of their kennel just waiting for their perfect match to come along and take them home!

Written by Alyssa Willet
Adoptions Supervisor at Wayside Waifs

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