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TV Cat Whisperer Helps Philly Cats Put Their Best Paw Forward

by Molly Daly

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Two Philadelphia animal rescue groups have been chosen to take part in a special positive-reinforcement training program aimed at making shelter cats more adoptable.

Jackson Galaxy, host of Animal Planet's "My Cat From Hell," developed the program with a team of animal behavior experts.

The Animal Care and Control Team of Philadelphia (ACCT Philly), and the Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) were among nine groups selected by the Jackson Galaxy Foundation to participate in the Cats Pawistive program.

cat pawsitive
(credit: Jackson Galaxy Foundation)

PAWS Executive Director Melissa Levy says although it's common for shelter dogs to get rewards-based enrichment training, when it comes to cats, "It's much rarer to find an actual program to enrich them and engage them, give them something fun to focus on, and actually develop some skills while they're in the shelter."

Among the skills: helping shy cats come out of their shells, and teaching outgoing kitties to give high fives.

Weekly training sessions for human staff and volunteers start February 2nd, led by an expert in feline behavior.

Levy's looking forward to seeing the results, when the feline students show off their skills to potential adopters.

"How will the cats interact with them, and maybe put their best paw forward, to find a new home," Levy said.

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