Kitten yoga? It’s playing in Peoria

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A cat sits in one of the many vertical spaces in the Peoria County Animal Protection Service’s new cat room, which now doubles as a yoga studio. | Leslie Renken/Journal Star via AP

PEORIA — Inspired by goat yoga, the Peoria Humane Society is starting its own new exercise craze — kitten yoga.

For a $20 donation, participants can interact with free-roaming kittens during a yoga session led by a certified instructor.

The idea was immediately met with enthusiasm. The first session at the humane society’s building filled up so fast organizers decided to add a second session. It filled up as well.

“We have a waiting list and there’s talk of doing it again,” said the aptly named Kitty Yanko, education coordinator of the Peoria County Animal Protection Services division. “It’s a fundraiser, so if there’s that much interest, we will certainly do it again.”

Kitten yoga is one of several new initiatives the county and the humane society are implementing this year in their ongoing efforts to find homes for the many cats that end up in the shelter.

“It’s a fun way to showcase the cats available for adoption and to promote the human-animal bond,” Yanko said. “It’s also a way for a local business to partner with a community agency that needs help.”

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