Good PR: Rescue Cats Find a Home on Social Media
Leveraging the power of social media, cat lovers are helping rescue cats find forever homes
It can often be an overwhelming or even insurmountable task for overrun shelters to promote and find homes for all the cats and kittens in their care. Luckily, social-media savvy community members are stepping up to help.
Volunteers like Traci Highsmith of Raleigh, North Carolina, is one such individual. She has harnessed the power of social media to help her local shelter, Safe Haven For Cats, find much-needed homes for their cats and kittens.
Traci was already regularly fostering for Safe Haven when she discovered “the wonderful community of kitten fosterers” on Instagram. She quickly noticed that
some of the accounts were drawing so much attention that the cats and kittens they posted about were adopted almost right away. Inspired, Traci decided to create an account.
Traci started her account in September of 2015 and now has over 35,000 followers on Instagram and has, to date, found homes for almost 100 cats and
kittens. “I just kept posting daily,” she shares. “Consistency and adorable subjects is the key!”
Her followers are enthusiastic. “Her fan base is national so we get emails and calls from people who are on a road trip to Raleigh to see if they can adopt a kitten,” enthuses Safe Haven For Cats founder and president Pam Miller. “It’s incredible the number of lives she has saved. The kittens she fosters would have been euthanized at a traditional shelter.”
Safe Haven now encourages other volunteers to share adoptable cats through social media. They have even created a social media policy to help guide staff and volunteers in υ engaging with the public online, with the end goal of getting cats into new, loving homes.
Traci’s cats are usually adopted in under a week, and her account is so popular that it stirs up a lot of interest—“sometimes to the point that people are practically fighting over the kittens,” Pam says, noting that potential adopters come from all across the US.
It definitely takes time, but Instagram is a great way to get adoptable cats in front of a vast audience of potential adopters. For those interested in using Instagram to promote cats and kittens needing adoption, Traci advises to “Just start posting photos of those precious babies, use lots of tags in the posts, and join the wonderful foster community by interacting with other fosters!” Your adorable subject matter primes you for success—“cat accounts are a niche that often see rapid growth,” says Traci. We all need more kitten pictures and videos in our lives after all!
How to Take Good Photos of Kittens: “Lots of natural light!” Traci advises.”Kittens don’t exactly stay still for long and require a fast shutter speed to capture their boundless energy. Natural light shows off the kittens best and allows you to shoot with a faster shutter speed to slow down the action!”
To see Traci’s account and get ideas for your own, visit @raleighkittens.
Raleigh, North Carolina’s Safe Haven For Cats is on a mission to ensure the well being of every cat through adoption programs, affordable spay/neuter, community outreach, and adherence to no-kill principles. They offer both short-term and long-term fostering volunteer opportunities to fit any schedule. If you’re in the Raleigh area and are interested in volunteering, visit safehavenforcats.org.