cat house

The Cat House’s interior includes play space.

OKANOGAN – A new building for long-term residents of the Animal Foster Care Cat Shelter is in place in town.

“The length of stay for our long-term residents weighs heavily on us,” said a shelter announcement. “Despite numerous and varied attempts, we have been unable to find many of them homes of their own.”

As of late last week, the shelter housed 33 cats that have been there more than two years and a few of them as many as five or six years.

“There has been a lot of discussion on what to do about the situation and we are very excited to announce that soon they will have a space of their own to live,” said shelter officials.

A private donor is providing a building for the long-term residents.

“We are calling it The Cat House and it will be an extension” of Animal Foster Care. “Our shelter is not set up for, nor intended for, long-term stays; in their new space they will have the chance to live kennel-free and have both indoor and outdoor space to explore safely.”

Shelter officials’ goal is still to find them their own homes “and we will continue those efforts, but in the meantime, we hope this will give them a more life-enriching experience,” said the volunteer group. “This will also allow us to help and save more cats in need by freeing up space at the AFC shelter for it to be used as intended - a safe place for rescued cats in transition who are waiting to be adopted or transferred to one of our partners.”

The long-term residents are being moved this week to The Cat House.

“Although the space is being provided to us at no cost, this second location will, of course, mean an increased need for volunteers and financial support for supplies, maintenance and upkeep,” said the group.

An open house is in the works.

“We look forward to this new opportunity; we are so excited to see how our cats will blossom in this new space,” said the group.

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