Purina wants to world to have more therapy cats, so the company is helping to cover training costs

By Kelli Bender
September 23, 2020 05:49 PM
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Branded as aloof and temperamental, cats can get overlooked as therapy animals.

But, as many cat owners know, pet felines are often a great source of comfort and companionship. Purina believes cats deserve more opportunities to become therapy animals, and that the world deserves more therapy cats.

To serve both of these goals, Purina Cat Chow has partnered with the Pet Partners, a non-profit dedicated to registering therapy animals, and has donated $30,000 to help fund the training and registration of therapy cat teams.

Purina hopes by covering some of the costs that can come with getting a cat certified as a therapy animal, more cat owners will be open to getting their cat registered. Proud pet parents who think their feline might be an excellent friend to others are encouraged to visit www.petpartners.org/catchow. Currently, a new handler registration fee is $95 for a two-year registration. The Purina Cat Chow discount will offer new cat handlers a reduced registration fee of $50 for a limited time.

For those who aren't sure if their cat would be a good fit for therapy work,  Dr. Anne Valuska has some advice on the characteristics that make a great therapy cat.

According to the veterinarian, these are the signs to look for when considering a cat for therapy work:

  • A good therapy cat will have an affinity for interacting with people, a calm temperament, and predictable behaviors that can provide physical, psychological, and emotional benefits to those who interact with them.
  • According to our friends at Pet Partners, great therapy cats have a strong bond with their handlers and can pick up cues and commands. They are also tolerant of new situations, are comfortable walking on a harness and leash, and are at least one year old.
  • The most important element of a therapy cat is their easy-going personality and a strong bond with their handler.
  • The characteristics of a good animal handler are important to note as well. They should be able to read and interpret their pet’s body language and advocate for the cat’s welfare.

If the above bullet points from Dr. Valuska remind you of you and your cat, visit www.petpartners.org/catchow to learn more about therapy cat training.