Strike a Yoga Pose and Help Shelter Cats Find New Homes

Lori Ennis
by Lori Ennis
The yoga-classic ‘cat pose’ is taking on a whole new meaning. As well as stretching, this free yoga class is helping find shelter cats furever homes.

The P.A.W.S Animal Adoption Center in Bangor, Maine has come up with a unique way to help their shelter kitties find furever homes. They are offering free monthly yoga classes–but with a twist! Shelter cats join the yogis during class, bringing some feline fitness to potential adopters.

P.A.W.S. executive director Shelley Butler says that the classes are a win for both humans and the cats. Yoga has proven therapeutic benefits to humans and the cats just bring joy to many people. She’d seen similar ideas from other shelters across the country, and decided to give it a whirl.

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The idea came from a concept called Yoga For Cats, which is also known as Meowga. Started by yoga practitioner Jeannette Skaluba in Decatur, Illinois, Yoga For Cats works with shelters across the country to create programs where yoga enthusiasts and felines can combine to help benefit shelter cats as they look for permanent homes. Skaluba’s YouTube video of her doing yoga with the first feline yogi went viral, and it’s clearly making a difference in the lives of homeless cats.

In New York, for example, Yoga and Kitty classes are offered several times a month to benefit nonprofit KittyKind, a rescue for cats. Yoga instructor Amy Apgar lets the groups help give playtime to the cats and also allows them to participate in a 45 minute yoga class. All the cats are up for adoption, and many end up finding their forever homes from the yoga practitioners.

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Which is just what P.A.W.S was hoping to have happen as well, according to Shelley. Seems to be working, as since they started offering the classes in January, all of the cats that have attended the classes have been adopted! Seems people really are crazy about ‘cat pose’ after all!

Lori Ennis
Lori Ennis

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