Love Reading? Love Cats? Come read to the cats at APS of Durham!


Summary: Volunteers aged 5 – 100 are welcome to come spend time with APS shelter cats while reading aloud for our new program Reading Time with Cats. Volunteers are encouraged to bring appropriate reading material to read aloud in the cat room 1 cottages (one volunteer at a time) and cat room 2 (two volunteers at a time). Volunteers should sit or stand and read aloud between the hours of 12-2 PM Monday – Saturday. During this time volunteers should focus on providing soothing/calming enrichment.

Goals: Our goal is to provide a soothing/calming environment in which the cats can relax while in the company of people. According an article, Book Buddies: Kids Read to Cats, during reading times “cats are learning social skills that will help them get adopted [;].” It also provides the Volunteer the opportunity to learn how to care for animals. We hope that this program can encourage more volunteer opportunities.

Rules/Regulations: per our regular volunteer guidelines, all children under the age of 15 must be accompanied by an adult at all times. This opportunity will open up volunteer opportunities to children as young as 5 of any reading level, and any individual who may not feel comfortable handling cats.

  • Volunteers under the age of 16 MUST be accompanied by an adult at all times (all ages 5 and up are welcome).
  • Volunteers for this assignment MUST NOT handle the cats. Volunteers who wish to engage in other types of cat enrichment must sign up as a regular cat care volunteer. Please see the APS of Durham website for Volunteer sign-up details.
  • Reading materials MUST be appropriate for the public and children.
  • Please read to the cats in a calming/soothing voice.
  • Reading Time with Cats is scheduled between 12-2 PM, Monday – Saturday.
  • The public is welcome to visit with cats in all cat rooms during this time.
  • Volunteers are encouraged to politely address potential adopters’ questions about the Quiet Time with Cats program and should direct all other questions to the front desk or a staff member.

Set up in Volgistics: 

  • Reading Time with Cats volunteers should sign up through our volunteer portal on the APS of Durham website and attend an initial volunteer orientation (children 5-14 should be accompanied by a parent). Volunteers for this program don’t need to attend regular cat volunteer training (they will NOT be handling the cats).  Any current APS volunteer may sign up.

Times: 12-2 PM Monday – Saturday. 2 Hour long “windows” of time. Volunteers can come in any time during that window and stay as long as they can. 3 people can sign up per day, 1 volunteer for cat room 1, and 2 volunteers for cat room 2.