Have you ever wondered if your cat could be a therapy cat? Any animal lover knows the unique healing power of our furry friends. We’ve even written a whole post dedicated to the Mental Health Benefits of Having Cats in particular. Cats are a source of comfort, love, and support; they help us handle the stress of whatever life decides to throw our way. And science has shown that these effects aren’t just in our heads; animals can lower our blood pressure, improve our heart health and even help us with psychological challenges like PTSD. But have you ever looked at your feline friend and wondered… can my cat be a therapy cat? What do therapy cats actually do? And how do I get my cat therapy certified? This guide to therapy cats will help you answer all of these questions, and get an insight into what life as a therapy cat handler could look like. Whether it’s to train up your own emotional support companion or to fulfill your wish of becoming a therapy cat volunteer.
The Low Down On Therapy Cats
- Cats provide some unique benefits as therapy animals. Their low maintenance lifestyle, low energy levels, and healing effects are the most impactful.
- There are two types of therapy cats — Certified Therapy Cats and Emotional Support Animals (ESA).
- Certified Therapy Cats and their handlers are specially trained to offer comfort, support, and healing to those in clinical settings or care facilities.
- To become a therapy cat, you will need to have your kitty assessed for eligibility. This ensures they have a suitable temperament and are experienced enough before applying.
- Once approved you will enroll in a training program, to get your cat certified as a therapy cat.
- Not all cats have what it takes to be a registered therapy animal. But this doesn’t mean they can’t still have a positive effect on the lives of others.
- To support your own wellbeing, you can register your cat as an Emotional Support Animal. This will grant them the right to accompany you in all living situations.
- To do this, you’ll need a letter from a registered health professional — such as a doctor, therapist, or psychiatrist.
What Is a Therapy Cat?
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