Cats are a common household friend to many homes in America. But also, cats can be amazing therapy animals. Dogs are usually what we think of for therapy animals but cats really have an incredible therapeutic effect. Read on to learn more.
What Are The Benefits Really?
Therapy cats can provide huge benefits to many of those struggling from stress and anxiety to hospital patients. There is something comforting about these feline companions. It has been shown that the vibration from a cat’s purr actually holds healing properties which reduces anxiety, depression, and lowers blood pressure levels. But wait…there’s even more therapeutic benefits we can thank cats for.
A study conducted in 2012 by french researchers, examined the effects of children with autism spending time with therapy cats. They had incredible results! They found that children with autism, age 5 and older, had help from the therapy cats to improve their prosocial behaviors as well as increased positive effects such as laughing, smiling and displayed behaviors that were far less self-focused.
What Qualities Are Important For Therapy Cats?
The quality that is most important for any therapy animal is their temperament. If they do not like to be handled, they will not provide much therapy to those he or she comes in contact with. Cats that are comfortable being held and pet, have a calm demeanor, are gentle and like to be touched and held will be the most beneficial to offer therapy to those being visited. Since a therapy cat’s environment is ever-changing, it is important for them to feel comfortable in almost any setting including schools, hospitals, jails, libraries, etc.
How Do I Register My Cat?
Interested in working with your cat and helping others? After just a few steps, both you and your cat can become registered.
Research several different pet therapy programs to find the one that best suits you. Each program will have slightly different requirements and usually will list them all on their website. Once you find the program you like, contact them or sign up and begin the registration process.
One requirement most programs will require is an exam from your veterinarian. Contact your Ellicott City, MD veterinarian today at 410-465-6218 to schedule your cat’s examination. Whichever program you choose, working with any therapy pet program will surely be a rewarding experience for you, your pet and those you help.