Porky and Buddy Pet Health – Cats Are Good Therapy

Dear Porky and Buddy,
I have this wonderful cat, Bella, whom I rescued several years ago. She is so friendly and lovable and outgoing.

I keep thinking she would make a good therapy pet.

You know, visit people in nursing homes or wherever and purr and rub up against them and jump in their laps.

She does it for me and it is such good therapy for me on a down day. I would love to share her. But, I have never heard of therapy cats. Is there such a thing and how would I go about volunteering her services?

Dear Jo,
Funny you should ask.  We were just reading about the ability of cats to make great therapy animals, how they are especially good with elderly patients who may be overwhelmed by or fearful of a dog, but who often love cats (and may miss pets they had to leave behind).

And they make wonderful hospice companions, probably because they love nothing more than to curl up in bed with someone.

To make a good therapy animal, your cat must be very social, generally laid back and used to being handled and picked up.  They also have to tolerate wearing a halter and leash.

We bet Bella would do that if it meant more hugs and kisses!

There is a national organization, www.petpartners.org,  which promotes volunteer therapy pet partnerships and which is open to cats.

And here is the good news.

There is a local affiliate www.petpartnersofsyracuse.org that you can contact to talk to local people and maybe find some local training if Bella is a good fit.

We hope you are able to get involved. It sounds like fun!

The Oswego County Humane Society provides spay/neuter services and assistance, fostering and adoption of animals in urgent need, humane education programs, and information and referrals to animal lovers throughout Oswego County.

Our office is located at 265 W. First St., Oswego, NY.

Phone (315) 207-1070.

Email: [email protected]

Website: www.oswegohumane.org

Because people and pets are good for each other!