I spoke with several of the volunteers in the cat department and we tossed around some ideas on how best to photograph the cats.
The number one issue is the spread of disease between the cats. I'd suggested using one of the empty cages and placing the cat to be photographed in there...and cleaning that cage afterwards...problem there is you need to wait 10 minutes for the cleaner to work.
Since we have so many cats that need to be photographed I think the fastest way to get the job done is have a volunteer remove and hold any objects which are in the cage and would make for a cluttered background...like litter boxes etc. Then take a close up head shot of the cat and an image of the entire cat. The trick is to place the lighting (speedlight) so that you don't get a reflection on the stainless steel cage...done properly the stainless steel becomes a neutral grey and actually makes a nice background for the portrait. It was also suggested that a volunteer simply hold the cat and then I get in close for a tightly cropped image.
So...that's the latest on my project. Your ideas are always welcome.
Thanks - Wayne.