Should Shelter Cats Become Office Intern Cats?

“I think animals make people better,” Frank Fantini, who works at Love Garden, a record store in Lawrence, Kansas, told KCTV. “It changes the store. They make it more of a calming place.”

He’s referring to Mickey and Sam, two cats who spend their days in the store, to the delight of many customers who come in just to see these “meowsic experts.”

What are these felines doing at a record store?

They are part of an idea developed by shelter workers at the Great Plains SPCA in Kansas City as a unique alternative to foster care for cats: foster offices. The shelter recently launched a new program to partner with local businesses, which can foster or adopt shelter cats to live at their establishments. The group is even offering to pay for food, toys and other expenses.

“It’s a great way for people to enjoy the benefits of companionship while they’re at work,” explains Courtney Thomas, the director of the Great Plains SPCA. She adds that shelters often receive an influx of kittens during spring months, and allowing workplaces to adopt or foster at least one cat could lighten SPCA’s burden.

“Shelters get flooded with pets who just need a place to go,” says Thomas. “What better way to do that than to get businesses involved.”

Her plan has two important aspects: the first is that having the cats in the workplace will help promote them as great adoption candidates and lead them to having happy homes.

Secondly, studies show workers are more productive and happy when they have a furry friend curling around their legs, so it’s a win-win situation for everyone.

Cats could also be good for employee health: studies show the animals lower blood pressure and lower the risk of strokes and heart attacks.

Presumably those workers might be less happy if their cute co-worker jumps on to a computer keyboard or if they happen to be allergic to fur, but Chip Badley, who works at the Raven Bookstore in Lawrence, can’t get enough of those furry felines.

“The cats are the best co-workers I could have had,” Badley told KCTV News. “You come in and you get to have your cat fix for four or five hours a day.”

The Raven Bookstore has two cats, Ngaio and Dashiell, who were named after authors Ngaio Marsh and Dashiell Hammett.

Badley said the cats not only attract customers, but they have also become mascots for the shop, which sells postcards and other merchandise with pictures of the bookish felines.

The program seems to be working well both for the other employees and for the businesses involved, but what about the cats? Do they approve?

It’s too early to tell for sure, but so far none has expressed their displeasure by tearing up the furniture or pooping on the counter.

What do you think? Should cats be loaned out to businesses? Will those same businesses still want them once they aren’t cute little kitties anymore? What then?

Photo Credit: KCTV5 online video


Jim Ven
Jim Venabout a year ago

thanks for the article.

Carrie-Anne Brown

thanks for sharing :)

angela l.
angel l.2 years ago

I always like to see animals in any store I go, they don't bother me. In fact, it makes me stay longer hanging in the store, it makes me feel that the world is full of love and caring. It's a good idea to help animals and people healing if businesses allow to have animals. I would love to take my dog to work if they allow me.

Janice Thompson
Janice Thompson2 years ago

In Theory, it is a good idea; however, some coworkers are allergic to cats, why not get a dog? Less people are allergic to dogs.

Debbie Crowe
Debbie Crowe2 years ago

We have a couple of businesses here that have resident cats. The owners take them home at night and bring them back the next day!
The cats know they are loved and don't even try to go out the doors! They just love all the attention they get.

Gail Dunning
Gail Dunning2 years ago

Again, it sounds like a good idea. It might make us feel good when we see them in an office or at the vet or any number of places however this isn't about "us". I still want to reiterate that it is important to think through this as all situations may not be a good fit for this kind of thing. Also, all cats may not be suited for this type of situation. Yes it is better than living in a cage for the most part and definitely better than euthanasia but it is not always about that.

Jennifer H.
Jennifer H.2 years ago

I have visited care homes during pet outreach visits and a couple homes have a resident cat or two. The cats are happy and so are the residents. It is worth considering.

Christine Franks
Christine Franks2 years ago


Karen Bennick
Karen Bennick2 years ago


Susan T.
Susan T.2 years ago

I love it when I walk into a business and they have a cat or 2 lolling about....makes me like the owners immediately.
All of these "shop" cats seem very happy, content and well .... several clinics I have worked at have had clinic cats too, so yes I think it is a win-win situation and I did not read it was only the kitteh's being sent on missions....cats ..... kitteh's being highly adoptable would not help the overpopulation of the shelter I would think....(having worked in several.) anyhow good idea. nice to read a happy non-divisive story. :)