Dogs have long been known as therapy animals, but the number of cats becoming therapy animals is rising. Studies have shown cats are beneficial in reducing stress, lowering blood pressure and helping treat anxiety disorders. Alzheimer patients seem to react very well to therapy cats, with some patients speaking again after spending time with a therapy cat.
So how do you determine if your cat would be a good candidate for animal therapy certification? Here are some requirements for becoming a certified therapy cat:
*The cat must be at least a year old and in good health
*Have a good personality
*Works well with people
*Be able to sit for long periods of time
*Content being brushed
*Tolerates being handled and held by variety of people
*Able to tolerate loud noises
*Stays calm around medical equipment
*Current on all vaccinations
*Ok wearing harness and leash
Once you’ve determined your cat is a good candidate for therapy certification, you and your cat must complete a training program. There are several organizations that provide training and certification. Pet Partners (formerly known as The Delta Society) is a well known organization for therapy animal certification. For more information on the process, check their site at www.deltasociety.org.