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Training of a Therapy cat?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
My cat Stormy is very mellow and calm, and I have thought about training him to be a therapy cat. I knew someone who had a therapy cat once, and she told me a little about it. Does anyone know what training is required for a therapy cat?
post #2 of 8
I'm not sure, but would guess the basics are a calm cat, one who is willing to be dropped in a lap and sit there for a few mins. Willingness to be handled by a lot of different people who may or may not pet them rough (depending on if they have a slight disability).

IMO males usually are better at this I've had a few males that would have been excellant "therapy" cats - just didn't know about it at the time. My best two cats would have been Mitten (my first boy) - 14 lbs of cat but very loving. And Spooky, my pedigree rex - he loved people and adored kids
post #3 of 8
the old folks home across the street from my house requires that all pets be on a leash, I'm guessing most places would require this so it would help if your cat is comfy wearing a collar or harness, he does'nt have to like walking on it, it's mostly so he don't run off if he gets scared. I take Pumpkin over there all the time, I used to take Booja when she was little but she is too scared now.
post #4 of 8
I would suggest talking with the red cross....
post #5 of 8
I think that you can get them certified by the same place that does Therapy Dog; they just modify the test to your cat. I would get in contact with the Therapy Dog association.
post #6 of 8
I really really wanted to do this with Kiwi, she would be so perfect.

BUT, one of the requirements was that they be declawed, and she is not. So, I wasn't about to declaw her just for that. I offered to put nail guards on her, but that was a no-go.

This was through my local SPCA, they have a pet visitation program. There was no real training involved, it was more about personality. The cat had to be calm, easygoing and friendly with strangers of all sorts. They would also have to be fairly bomb-proof, meaning they wouldn't be scared at strange sights (wheelchairs, IV poles, etc) sounds (from people, medical equipment, etc) or smells (hospital antiseptic, etc.)

Good luck! I've done visitation with my rabbits and dogs and it is such a rewarding experience.
post #7 of 8
That's HORRIBLE - I can see their point, but its wrong. Spooky would have NEVER used his claws on anyone. Guess my cats will never be therapy cats if declawing is mandatory!
post #8 of 8
Aww, hopefully you and Stormy can find a program I knew someone who recently went through training and her cat did not need to be declawed to get her certification. I do not know specifics, but I remember the owner having to take some kind of test and the cat having to pass through a series of tasks like sitting on people's laps, not freaking out in a situation where there is noise and lots of activity, not be afraid of medical equipment, etc.
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