Therapy Cats

We’ve all heard of dogs being used in therapy, but did you know that kitties are helping people more and more as therapy animals? If you’ve ever noticed that you feel calmer after spending a bit of quality time petting your favorite furball, this probably makes ‘purrfect’ sense. Our feline friends are truly starting to come into their own as therapy animals. In this article, your local veterinarian Greenwood describes how our feline friends are helping soothe troubled souls.

The Power Of Cats

Cats are truly amazing animals! Recent studies have shown just how helpful our feline friends can be. Just spending a few minutes with a cat can lower blood pressure, relieve stress, and make us smile. These things may just be Kitty’s nature, but they are proving very helpful in assisting stroke victims, Alzheimer’s patients, and people with hearing or speech impairments. Spending time with cats also has been known to help people suffering from depression or post-traumatic stress disorder.

Kitty’s Requirements

While kitties are well known for being able to calm people, our feline friends need some special skills to be certifiable as therapy animals. First and foremost, therapy cats must be friendly, but a very calm demeanor is also required. Many kitties may be perfectly docile in their home environments, but get scared and anxious when taken out of their homes. To work as a therapy cat, Fluffy must be able to move from place to place – and lap to lap – without skipping a beat. Kitty must also meet minimum age requirements, and may have to adhere to certain dietary restrictions as well.

Cats At Work

There are several places where you might find therapy cats. Kitties are becoming more and more popular in nursing homes. Many of our feline buddies spend their days calming and cuddling the elderly. Studies have shown these furballs help seniors stay alert, calm, and happy. Another place therapy cats are often found are children’s hospitals, where they help calm sick children and make them smile. Kitty can also be found in facilities that house juvenile delinquents or the developmentally disabled.

Even if your favorite furball isn’t officially certified as a therapy cat, you can give her a special treat just for being herself. Your pet can still help you by lowering your blood pressure, reducing your risk of heart attack and stroke, and reducing stress and anxiety!

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