Welcome to the world of cats


The Cal Poly Cat Shelter Program started in 1992 as a senior project by Garret Quindimil to solve the problem of the rising cat population at Cal Poly. A seond senior project developed an adoption program where students have the opportunity to adopt domesticated feral cats and provide loving homes for them. Today, the Cal Poly Cat Shelter estimates the feral cat population on campus is at 30 as opposed to the 400 cats that roamed the campus back in the 1990s. Their adoption program has placed more than 1,500 cats and kittens into caring homes.

Molly is one of the 42 cats currently housed in the Cal Poly Cat Shelter. She is a feral cat, which means she has had little or no contact with humans and is in the process of being 'socialized.' Feral cats do not like being picked up and even though Molly only has three legs, she is quick to bolt when approached. The shelter utilizes volunteers and hosting opportunities to socialize feral cats to become amiable with other cats. There are 14 feeding stations on campus in places such as the Crops Unit and Poly Canyon Village. Fogg says one of the cats even lives in the Grand parking lot structure. The numerous feeding stations are upkept by volunteers. There are currently 30 feral cats that live on campus and survive off the feeding stations. The remainder of cats who cannot live on their own are housed in the shelter. Some of the cat food is kept in a cabinet inside the main cat shelter room. According to Andrew Bianco, program trainer, cats generally are fed Friskies unless they get donations of other food brands from PetsMart. Since cats do not tend to drink a lot of water, the shelter makes sure the cats get their daily intake of moisture by feeding them wet food in the morning roughly around 8:30 a.m. Bianco said. The shelter free feeds the cats by placing out dry food for the remainder of the day. Medication used to only be administered by executive directors, Edie Griffin-Shaw and Ellen Notermann, but Fogg recently delegated that responsibility to a trained animal science student or an intern. The medication whiteboard is updated frequently and indicates which cats receive medication and at what time. Certain cats are always on the board: Jacob, for example, is diabetic and must get insulin injected two times a day. Kara Hagedohm, animal science senior, is one of the students who is trained to administer medication. Here she gives Polly special food that has less protein in order to help her digest nutrients in the food easier. Polly is in kidney failure. Danielle Fogg, assistant director, gives Theo a break from sleeping in one of the cages. Theo was found wondering around Morro Bay and after no response from the owner, Fogg decided to nurse him in the shelter. He is currently recovering from a bad case of flea anemia: a condition where fleas drain cats blood to the point where they cannot function normally. The shelter is primarily cage free, but cats who are caged are confined for one of two reasons: either the cat is being quarantined (a cat is ill and is kept in a cage to not harm itself and others) or a cat is brand new to the shelter and has not yet been socialized. Kiwi's previous owner shot four beebee pellets into his spine, causing him to lose control of his bowel movements and have greater sensitivity in his legs. Bianco advises those who enter to Shannon Burne, biology freshman, begins her first day of training to volunteer in the Cat Shelter. The shelter does not usually do training on Fridays, but 29 people are being trained this week which is an unusually high number. When Burne found out Cal Poly had a cat shelter, she immediately knew she wanted to volunteer.


Danielle Fogg is the assistant director at the Cal Poly Cat Shelter. She oversees all operations in conjunction with Edie Griffin-Shaw and Ellen Notermann who are directors of the shelter. Danielle works up to 13 hour shifts to ensure that day-to-day life for the cats at the shelter is as smooth and fufilling as possible. She is an integral part to the program and above all, has a true passion for her love of cats.

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Adopt a cat

Adopting a cat is easier than one may think! Listen to the stories below of those who have brought a loving cat into their home.

Feral Cats

Feral cats are a vital part of our society. Unfortunately, there is a lot of controversery surrounding their existence in the world. Read below to see why we should be saving feral cats instead of eliminating them.

"You miss 100% of the shots you don't take - Wayne Gretzky" -Michael Scott

Samantha Pryor | Cal Poly Cat Shelter | Style Tile | Contact: sapryor@calpoly.edu