Pets As Therapy cats

tiggerwillow

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Has anyone got their cat registered and working with Pets as Therapy?

I'm hoping that Tigger can get the okay to do it, there's currently a question mark over whether she's medically up for it, temprament wise she's fine for it (although she hasn't been assessed by them, they said they would need to have it in writing from the vet as to if she can do it)

Willow won't do it, she's not fond of strangers touching her furs :heartshape:
 

fionasmom

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Do you mean a cat who could visit facilities such as memory care, hospitals, juvenile facilities?

I know one, Ruthie, who is part of a certified group of therapy dogs and cats (although the cats are infrequent). Any therapy animal, dog or cat, has to be impeccably trained and pass certain tests. Ruthie allows anyone to hold or touch her, including allowing strangers to touch her stomach. The pet has to be entirely non-reactive. A local hospital tests dogs by taking them into a corridor and dropping a moderately heavy object to see if they react. On days when they visit, the animal has to be exceptionally clean.

Many facilities here allow a family member to bring a pet who is not a therapy animal for a visit as long as they are behaved.
Ruthie with dogs.jpg
 
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tiggerwillow

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Do you mean a cat who could visit facilities such as memory care, hospitals, juvenile facilities?

I know one, Ruthie, who is part of a certified group of therapy dogs and cats (although the cats are infrequent). Any therapy animal, dog or cat, has to be impeccably trained and pass certain tests. Ruthie allows anyone to hold or touch her, including allowing strangers to touch her stomach. The pet has to be entirely non-reactive. A local hospital tests dogs by taking them into a corridor and dropping a moderately heavy object to see if they react. On days when they visit, the animal has to be exceptionally clean.

Many facilities here allow a family member to bring a pet who is not a therapy animal for a visit as long as they are behaved.View attachment 478077
yep she would visit places like hospitals, care homes, etc

Her back leg problems are the concern, she LOVES cuddling with anyone who will cuddle with her, its rare for her to run away from a human (the only exception is she runs away from the lawnmower and the scary motorbike that a neighbour likes to make really loud noises with, both are understandable, and indoors you don't normally have a lawnmower rumbling around or a scary motorbike zooming around) :heartshape:

This is IF she ever gets to the point that she can physically handle it, I'm not signing her up for anything as at the moment her back legs are not medically up for the stress

I'm trying to persuade her that the new catnip plant is the same as catmint, she's smelled it then walked away :heartshape:
 

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One of my friends has gotten two of her cats certified as therapy cats. I think it's a year-long process for training and passing several levels of tests for the certification. Both the cat and the owner have to pass the tests.
 

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tiggerwillow tiggerwillow I think you need to let this one go. Both fionasmom fionasmom and GoldyCat GoldyCat know a bit about it; it isn't just a case of thinking your cat might be good and then doing it. It's a really rigorous process, she would need to be on a leash, training etc costs quite a bit and Tigger would need to pass a lot of tests. And there can certainly be loud noises in support places.
 
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tiggerwillow

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tiggerwillow tiggerwillow I think you need to let this one go. Both fionasmom fionasmom and GoldyCat GoldyCat know a bit about it; it isn't just a case of thinking your cat might be good and then doing it. It's a really rigorous process, she would need to be on a leash, training etc costs quite a bit and Tigger would need to pass a lot of tests. And there can certainly be loud noises in support places.
One day, if I get a younger cat who can both medically and temprament do it, is it a idea to put on the shelf for a future cat in the event that a future cat could do it, or is it a "don't even try it, with any cat" thing?

I know (Queen) Willow wouldn't do it, I'd have to either completely drop the idea or just shelve it until both girls are no longer here, as Willow will NOT tolerate strange cats in HER house, if she's in the wrong mood she literally goes for them, across the road have a older kitten and Willow went for him before, just cause he sniffed in the general direction of (Queen) Willow's garden (to be fair, she was in a bad mood that day, and seeing another cat sniffing in her general direction was the straw that broke the camel's back)
 

Kwik

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That's what I do for a living,I'm an animal trainer - I train,test and sign off for certification and registration by the State

Sami is registed as a Certified Therapy Animal,- I began his training from 2 months old,animals are not eligible for certification until they are one year old and after they have completed a training course with a Certified Org ,do your due diligence in researching facilities and State requirements

Few cats fit the criteria because even though a cat might be well trained on a lead,basic obedience and very social and friendly cats are highly territorial and do not do well in unfamiliar environments - unlike dogs who will go anywhere as they are comfortable with their handler- cats are comfortable with their territory and easily distracted outside of it- short attention span

There are usually 10 parts to a course ,the animal must pass each part .....Most therapy orgs assign you to where you will go after your animal is certified and have a minimum of hours required unless you sign up and are accepted by a hospital or health care facility that has their own program ( like Sami and I that visit the hospital we volunteer at.visiting cancer patients)

If a cat successfully completed the course at the training/ testing facility most likely he'll do well in any place BUT it's an expensive course to TRY if your unsure ... you can get pdf of the program an tests to do your own assessment before signing on- which I suggest

If your cat is lead trained and you take him/her everywhere visit a busy dog park and if ' sit/stay" is no problem and you have your kitties attention you've got something to work with

I used to bring Sami in the car outside of the hospital ER and outside the fire station when he was little - the car was part of his established territory and we moved on to Walmart automatic doors and every place there was sudden unexpected distractions in his stroller before he was on the ground in strange places- he was ready to pass every tests at 9 months old( that was 7months of daily training).....3 months late we had the Covid pandemic and his certification was delayed .....
 

Kwik

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Samis first day at the hospital he was in his stroller and they announced " code blue in ER) suddenly doors flew open,people running ,pushing a rattling gurney and then the fire alarm sounded,the sweet little darling started howling at the top of his lungs- thankfully no one could really hear him with the fire alarm blaring

I picked Sami up and he put his little head under my armpit so I ducked into a rest room until it stopped-- I was the one shaking,not him,lol,I'm sure it was tough on his ears but he certainly proved to be one terrific little Therapy Cat- but these are the unexpected things that happen in these type of environments and the animal must be in control ,reliable,predictable and trustworthy at ALL times--- for their safety and the safety of others
 

Kwik

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20210518_044757.jpg

Little Sami learning " stay" outside watching dog walkers,birds ,squirrels and passers by

We tried many times to convince ADA that cats can be Service Animals by performing his ' services' in front of the Board - turn on lights,turn off lights,fetch medications and other specified items, open doors,close doors - little tasks and biggest of all " call for HELP".... Lifeline button

Nope,they will not consider cats
 

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Service animals encounter all kinds of situations on the job. Humans don't always respond to them well. One time I saw some teenage girls come into a clinic where I worked. They saw a service dog, and they got all dramatic that they were scared. They screamed bloody murder wanting attention. The dog had been trained to ignore loud teenagers, so he didn't make a sound, and they didn't get the drama they were hoping for. Service animals must be exceptionally competent. They are usually chosen from childhood and trained in youth.
 

IzzysfureverMom

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Service animals encounter all kinds of situations on the job. Humans don't always respond to them well. One time I saw some teenage girls come into a clinic where I worked. They saw a service dog, and they got all dramatic that they were scared. They screamed bloody murder wanting attention. The dog had been trained to ignore loud teenagers, so he didn't make a sound, and they didn't get the drama they were hoping for. Service animals must be exceptionally competent. They are usually chosen from childhood and trained in youth.
I have had the same types of experiences with seeing eye dogs for the blind. These dogs are so well trained and laser focused.
 

fionasmom

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A woman down the street home raises seeing eye puppies for Guiding Dogs for the Blind. One of her responsibilities is to expose the puppy to as much activity as possible so that they become accustomed to many situations. Even with litters who are specifically bred for this work, many do not make it. One flaw is enough to disqualify them. One little golden puppy got car sick and another could not be easily medicated so they were taken out of the program. There is a huge waiting list for the "failures" so it all ends well for everyone.
 

IzzysfureverMom

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These amazing dogs help people maintain their independence. I really felt it was a honor to work around these animals and the blind.You are not suppose to be going up to them and trying petting or anything else we tend to do when we see a cute animal. The dogs that make these programs literally will ignore people that try to engage them. THEY ARE ON THE JOB!!!! I still consider it one of my most worthwhile job experiences. Their training is extensive and like fionasmom fionasmom stated they are often removed from programs when they don't measure up. You have to remember they are assisting a person in navigating stairs and even very busy city streets alone.They are quite literally a person's eyes.
In contrast, cats who do well in being trained are excellent it nursing home settings. However, a certain level of training must be met with them as well.
 
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tiggerwillow

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Service animals encounter all kinds of situations on the job. Humans don't always respond to them well. One time I saw some teenage girls come into a clinic where I worked. They saw a service dog, and they got all dramatic that they were scared. They screamed bloody murder wanting attention. The dog had been trained to ignore loud teenagers, so he didn't make a sound, and they didn't get the drama they were hoping for. Service animals must be exceptionally competent. They are usually chosen from childhood and trained in youth.
I'm not sure how good Tigger's hearing is nowadays tbh, I don't think she can hear screaming, she doesn't react when kids are running around screaming outside, don't know for certain though
 
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