Cat (Animal) Assisted Therapy Program
Cats have been used in therapy for over 30 years, but it’s only recently that they’ve been recognized as a legitimate form of therapy. The American Association of Human-Animal Bond Veterinarians (AAH-ABV) officially recognizes cat therapy as a viable treatment option in 2018.
Cat therapy is a type of animal-assisted therapy that uses cats. With their calm and non-judgmental demeanor, therapy cats can help people with depression, anxiety and other mental health issues. And best of all, they’re here to tell you that everything’s going to be OK! The idea of using cats as therapy animals is not new. In fact, it’s been around since the 1950s when researchers discovered that people who were depressed or had low self-esteem experienced a boost in mood after interacting with cats.
A study conducted by the University of California found that having a therapy cat in your home can reduce stress levels and improve overall health. The study showed that people who had access to cats had lower blood pressure, lower heart rates and less anxiety than those who didn’t have one.
Therapy animals have made a real difference in countless lives. There are many different ways that therapy cats can help people. It could be as simple as a cat sitting in your lap There’s plenty of proof that therapy animals can be beneficial to the people they interact with while you’re reading a book or just having someone to talk to who isn’t judgmental. Some therapy cats even go so far as to lay on people’s chests while they sleep, which is known as “purring therapy”. Not only does this help people fall asleep faster, but it also reduces blood pressure and stress levels.
Becoming a Certified Cat Therapy Handler
About Our Program: We offer feline-assisted therapy as an adjuctive modality to our many programs that we offer at ICCMIN. Our Cat Therapy program includes our in-house Cat Therapist who visit our organizational partners as well as assist with training and certifying Therapy Handlers.
- We have 1 new Therapy Cat that has been added to our program. He is in 2/3 part of his training. Jagger is a Chinchilla Maine Coon and has been shown to be wonderful with children with disabilities.
- Our rescued Scottish Fold, Bibi, has been put under evaluation for therapy sessions at this stage. We hope that with continued work, he can return to our program.
- We are working with current breeders and training 10 new handlers. We currently have a waiting list, click here to get on our waiting list.
We are expanding our in-house Cat Therapy Program for our organizational partnership with hospices, charter schools, and autism-based-IDP after-school programs. Due to unforeseen circumstances, we are looking for quality, hobby breeders to join our cause and build a partnership agreement so that we can provide the best Cat Therapy to our clients. Please let us know that you are interested, as we are workable. Part of this process is that we offer Certification as Therapy Cat Breeders when partnering with us for which will assist with adding a valuable layer of professional esteem to your current breeding program besides Cat Breeding Credentials.
Therapy cats are wonderful beings that can brighten the lives of so many people. However, if you are looking to have your cat become certified as a therapy animal, there are certain traits your cat needs to have. This includes being friendly, patient, and gentle, as well as being comfortable with humans touching them through petting and grooming. Additionally, therapy cats must not be aggressive at all. A trained team of pet therapists can train your cat to recognize emotional signals and react appropriately with love and affection.
Cats are so much more than pets with sharp claws and stinky litter boxes. Therapy cats can be trained to recognize emotional signals, and react appropriately with love and affection. They make everyone feel better.
Becoming a therapy cat handler may be more than just a dream for some cats, but it is important to understand that not all pets can work as therapy animals. Therapy cats need to be friendly, patient, and gentle. Additionally, therapy cats must be comfortable being touched by humans, even humans who may not know how to properly handle a cat.
There are many benefits to incorporating therapy animals into your pet care routine. Cats who are trained as therapy animals are taught to focus on their owner, not react to loud noises or distractions, and practice good manners such as sitting or laying down (without being asked) in order to interact with children and people of all ages.
Are you looking for a new way to bond with your cat? All cats have the ability to provide comfort and companionship in a therapeutic manner, but not all are cut out for the job. If you think your feline is the perfect match, join us in class to learn how!
We offer training, education, and support for helping professionals who would like to add Animal-Assited Therapy as an adjunctive modality to your practice. Reach out to our Evaluation Team for an assessment. We will not be taking on new Therapy Handlers until March 2024. After an Evaluation you will be placed on our list. We also make recommendations to partnering Breeders who have shown behavioral and genetical proven traits for establishing a therapeutic bond with your Therapy Cat and becoming a Certified Cat Therapy Handler.