HELENA — A Helena yoga studio has come up with a creative way to help shelter cats find their forever homes. Each month, Gentle Healing Center hosts "Cats On Mats" - a yoga class with shelter cats from the Lewis & Clark Humane Society.
Gentle Healing Center owner Robyn Lund came up with the idea for Cats on Mats four years ago, and since then, Lund said it has become a favorite tradition.
“We do some yoga, nothing crazy because people mostly…follow the cat,” Lund said. “They watch the cat, get all the snuggles.”
On Saturday, it was shelter cat Gwen’s turn to give yoga a try. Lewis & Clark Humane Society development coordinator Kat Martineau described Gwen as a sweet and lovable cat. Gwen has a little nerve damage, which makes her walk very unique.
“She is perfect for yoga!” Martineau said. “She needs to stretch it out a little bit, so I think she is going to be really enjoying it at yoga.”
Another benefit of yoga class for Gwen, and shelter cats like her—some time with people away from the shelter.
“Any interaction is really important for them, especially when they’re out of a stressful environment and in a relaxing place like yoga,” Martineau said. “It really helps them to meet people and show their true personality.”
There is another benefit—Cats on Mats has brought together cats and their forever families.
“It’s fabulous,” Lund said. "I have some people who have sent me pictures a year or two later saying, ‘I still have this guy, we’re doing yoga together!’”
Cats on Mats costs $20 per person, and every penny of the class price is donated to the Lewis and Clark Humane Society. Not every cat at the humane society goes to Cats on Mats, but a full list of adoptable cats and dogs is available on their website at: https://lchsmontana.org/