Kitten Therapy Launch – Germiston City News
A cat changed the life of Jordan Soares, and now, as a self-confessed catwoman, she’s on a mission to change the lives of other cats.
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Bedfordview resident Jordan runs Germiston-based NPO Cat Mom.
She hopes her unique approach to running her cattery and raising funds for the kittens she cares for will catch the attention of donors and future adoptees.
“It all started with a cat during the 2020 lockdown, when I had a feral cat that regularly visited my house.
One day she brought me her kitten, and I named him Max.
“I was never a cat person, but somehow this little girl kept coming back. Then one day she came back pregnant.
Jordan arranged for the mother cat, now named Lilly, to be trapped and neutered.
She has also found homes for her new litter of kittens.
After his sterilization, Lilly joined Max as a member of the Soares family.
“It was the cat that started it all for me.”
Jordan said she knew she could do more, and in August 2020 she joined her aunt in turning part of her aunt’s Germiston property into a cattery.
“My aunt helped me set everything up and I started getting calls from people who needed help.”
The facility now has a dedicated isolation area for sick and recovering kittens, as well as spacious, well-equipped rooms and catteos for the 64 cats and kittens cared for by Cat Mom.
In August Cat Mom was registered as an official NPO and earlier this year Jordan and his team reached capacity.
“Early on, I realized that there were more kittens that needed help than people were willing to adopt.”
She thinks it’s because there are still many misconceptions about cats.
To achieve her goal, Jordan took a unique approach to both education and networking with the kittens she cares for.
“So many people have said that playing with my cats and kittens is therapeutic. I thought it was a good idea to open therapy sessions with kittens for the community.
“I decided to put a poll on various social media pages asking if anyone would be interested in kitten therapy and there was such interest.”
She explained that residents can book a therapy session of an hour or more with Cat Mom and during that time they can relax and play with kittens or sit down and read a book.
Alternatively, residents are also welcome to have a meal during their session.
“When people arrive they are given a packet of catnip to use and a toy which they return at the end of their session.
“During the therapy session, visitors can play, observe and interact with our kittens.”
Jordan said the idea of kitten therapy is a growing trend in countries like Japan and she hopes it will take off in South Africa as well.
“Playing with cats and kittens is a great way to relax and unwind.
“The main idea behind the therapy is to raise money for Cat Mom to help with spaying and care of the kittens at the shelter, but we also hope that someone who falls in love with one or more of the kittens and is considering adopt.”
The first hour of Kitten Therapy will cost R150 and R50 for each subsequent hour, and sessions must be booked in advance.
“A maximum of four people will be allowed in therapy at a time. It’s not just about complying with Covid regulations, it’s also about ensuring everyone has a fair chance and as many kitten cuddles as possible.
“We are still a brand new organization. You never really know how big the problem is until you’re in the middle of it.
“I get at least four calls a day for people who need help with cats. Everything from mother cats needing to be neutered to feral cat rescues and people who would like to abandon their kittens from a unexpected reach.
Cat Mom has helped cats and kittens from around Gauteng and even as far away as Rustenburg.
“I always knew I wanted to help people, now I’m helping cats that will help people. It’s a beautiful cycle.
While Jordan and his dedicated team ensure that each kitten and teenage cat is cared for, Cat Mom’s resident cats, Sam and Doppel, take on the role of caregivers for the kittens.
“Sam was never a mom, but she lovingly took on the role of all the kittens brought in. Together with Doppel, she teaches the new kittens the ropes.”
Like any organization, Cat Mom is always in need of donations, including food, cat scratchers, and litter.
“We can also use anything like books for our therapy library and even empty boxes because cats love boxes.”
Cat Mom adoptions cost R850 per kitten, which includes neutering at five months, full vaccination, microchipping and up-to-date tick and flea treatments.
In addition, each kitten undergoes a check before leaving for its forever home.
“I want the best for the kittens. Many of them had a rough start in life and Cat Mom was the start of their new life. Cats changed my life and now it’s my turn to change theirs,” Jordan said.
For more information or to book a chatonotherapy session, contact Cat Mom on 084 277 8888 or on [email protected]