How Yoga4Cats Began

I was at HBPS one day and I was visiting with the kitties. Oreo was all over me I thought, THIS is a yoga cat. She sure has a lot of energy – I can’t believe she’s about 12 years old. She needs a promotional video! I soon realized that this can be bigger than that. June is Adopt-a-Cat month – I needed to do something that can benefit the cats in general. Then it hit me – Yoga for Cats! Oreo was my first nominee!
— Jeanette Skaluba
Oreo with Jeanette Skaluba at Homeward Bound Pet Shelter (HBPS).

Oreo with Jeanette Skaluba at Homeward Bound Pet Shelter (HBPS).

After her visit with Oreo, Jeanette got to planning.  She reached out to Homeward Bound Pet Shelter Supervisor Linda Clary,  other HBPS volunteers, and  yoga instructor.  A small group yoga session was held, instead of a class fee, donations of supplies and funds for HBPS were collected.   

Jeanette recorded video of the cat yoga class to promote Adopt-a-Cat Month in June 2015.   The video she created went viral, gaining international attention.   

Zen for Rescue Pets

Yoga4Cats was officially founded in February 2017 and became a licensed rescue in December 2017.

Yoga4Cats has 4 core programs:

WeTNR, We Educate Trap Neuter Return: A program to help to reduce the displaced cat population in Decatur and Macon County, and provide community education and resources. Cats are trapped, spayed/neutered, vaccinated, and assessed for adoptability. Feral cats are ear tipped to indicate they have been altered and returned to their territory, unable to reproduce.

deCATurFosters: As a foster-based rescue, Yoga4Cats does not have a facility, but relies on dedicated fosters to provide excellent care for adoptable pets. Kittens and social cats trapped through WeTNR are placed in foster care and get the socialization they need before going to a forever home.

Catification: Many animal shelters receive funds to improve kennel space and grounds for dogs, but cat areas can often use an upgrade. Yoga4Cats raises funds to purchase supplies, then designs, builds, and installs furnishings to improve the living areas for shelter cats.

Unique Fundraisers: Yoga4Cats plans, organizes, and executes all of our events – including yoga with adoptable cats. Proceeds benefit Yoga4Cats programs and often provide assistance to other nonprofit animal welfare organizations.

Team Yoga4Cats

The volunteer team Yoga4Cats began with Jeanette Skaluba, Erin Rockafellow and Misty Adcock.  The trio met during planning for Rock The Woof, an HBPS fundraiser, in 2015.  The group discovered a shared interest of focusing on underdogs and cats that needed a little extra help finding the right forever home.   In 2016, Melanie Bilbrey joined Team Yoga4Cats!  The quartet works as a team to engage the community with, raise funds for and awareness of no-kill shelters.   

The group has continued to host Yoga4Cats events, as well as other volunteer-initiated fundraisers, such as Dog Days of Summer and Parachute4Pets. The funds from the events featuring yoga with cats have been used to catify the free-roaming spaces at area shelters including HBPS (permanently closed in August 2016), Forever Home Feline Ranch, and Schuyler County Humane Society.

In 2019, Misty Adcock and Melanie Bilbrey-Snively voluntarily resigned their board positions and Yoga4Cats welcomed Tom Colin to the board of directors in an interim treasurer position. We are always looking for talented individuals with a passion for cats and rescue pets!

The current Board of Directors is as follows: 

President - Jeanette Skaluba 😺 Vice-President & Interim Secretary - Erin Rockafellow 🐾

😺 Treasurer - Tom Colin 🐾

The first ever Yoga4Cats!

Yoga and shelter cats?! Yes, please! It all started right here in deCATur, IL. Check out the *first ever* yoga class featuring adoptable kitties – a concept that went viral around the world! Yoga4Cats started with this purrfect promotion for Homeward Bound Pet Shelter (#HBPS), hosted by Yoga at Connie’s. This small event for Adopt-a-Cat Month raised over $500 for HBPS! So far, Yoga4Cats has raised several thousand dollars to improve the living space for cats within shelter environments – Project Catification! We will continue these fundraisers for other shelters, despite HBPS being permanently closed in August 2016