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Make My Cat A Therapy Animal

Tips For Therapy Cat Owners

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Your priority is your cat’s safety. Activities directors, aides, teacherstheir responsibility is the resident, patient, child. Ask for someone to accompany you while visiting. If a resident falls, it is not your place to try to get them back into a wheelchair. You are not trained. Get your cat out of the way and let the employees take care of any problem. In the car, your cat should be crated for her safety and yours. Have your cat microchipped.

When you are visiting room to room at a nursing home, how will you handle your cat? Make sure Kitty is safe by keeping her in a secure carrier on the way to and from the nursing home. When inside, make sure all doors and windows are properly shut. If Kitty freaks out over something, you want to be able to recover her.

Keep your visits short at firstthirty minutes or less. As your cat gets used to the facility, extend your time gradually, up to an hour. The facility will try to talk you into longer visits but, as always, your first priority is your cat’s well-being.

If your cat will wear a scarf or hat, a little vest, or tiara, it’s a sure attention-getter. Make costumes seasonalit will spark memories. It’s hard to strike up a conversation with a stranger but a holiday scarf or fireworks vest will give you a place to start.

Therapy Cats: How To Get One Train Yours To Be Certified And More

So, you may or may not have heard of therapy cats before. What are they? Can you adopt one? How do they help people? Can you train your cat to become a therapy cat? Will it cost you anything?

This guide on therapy cats will answer all of these and some other essential questions. And who knows? It might even inspire you to become a volunteer and aid therapy kitties in saving more lives than you could imagine human and feline alike.

Emotional Support Cats Can Work Too

If you are suffering from an emotional or mental disability, then an emotional support cat may be just what the doctor ordered. Cats can make loving, dedicated and supportive ESAs that can help you get on with the rest of your life. Check with your therapist or mental health professional to see if you qualify for an emotional support cat. You may also seek support from an ESA letter referral service.

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How Do I Get A Therapy Cat

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Given that certified therapy cats are the product of time, expenses, and training, its unlikely youll find them for adoption or sale.

Think about it another way: retired show cats often become certified therapy cats after a lifetime of being handled and making people happy.

These cats probably will not be released by owners.

There are, however, three avenues in which you can experience the benefits that a therapy cat brings.

How Can My Cat Become A Therapy Cat

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Volunteering your time and your pet is a fantastic contribution to places like hospitals and schools. Therapy cats can help people find their happy place. But not all cats or owners are cut out for this starring role. If you want your cat to become a therapy cat, you should contact an organization such as Pet Partners or Love on A Leash to see if you and your cat meets some basic requirements.

You and your cat are a team. You’ll have to be evaluated by an organization before you and your cat can be certified.

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Problems And Proofing Behavior

As much as you may hope that your pup becomes an amazing therapy dog, not all dogs will make the cut. Each dog is different, so don’t be disappointed if yours doesn’t make it through training.

Sometimes it’s found during training that a dog does not have the right temperament or attention span to handle the job. It’s also common to find dogs who may not have the desire to spend that much time with strangers or become easily startled in certain environments. For others, a previously undetected health condition, such as vision or hearing problems, may be a reason to stop the training.

On the other hand, if you do become a therapy team, you can begin visiting facilities scheduled through your chosen organization. This is going to be the ultimate test of your dog’s behavior in real-world settings. After you get out there and start making a difference, you’ll be glad you took the time to go through the process. You and your well-trained pup will bring smiles to countless of faces and do a lot for cheering people up who may need it most.

How To Train Your Pet To Become A Therapy Cat

Being the owner of a professional therapy cat has substantial benefits for you and your relatives. Thats a given. But theres nothing better than knowing that you and your cat as a team have the chance of helping tons of other people.

Adopting a cat and successfully obtaining a therapy pet status guarantees that youll improve at least two lives with this human-animal interaction your own and your rescue cats life.

And if you decide to become a member of pet therapy organizations, you will also be able to improve the lives of others who are in need of some quality time with a cute kitty.

Pets do aid us tremendously in ways we cant even imagine. If you and your cat can ease even one persons suffering or prevent a suicide all that training will be worth it.

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Unlike Esas That Do Not Require Certification Or Registration Its Useful For Therapy Animals

Emotional support animals only require a letter from a licensed mental health professional. There is no registry or any other certification required. Therapy animals can benefit from joining a volunteer group and being registered or certified as a therapy animal. These additional measures can make volunteering easier, as more facilities will accept your therapy cat.

There are also legal benefits to registering or certifying therapy animals. Registration or certification means professionals gave your animal the thumbs up on their behavior and training.

The other benefit) is that most organizations will have some sort of legal insurance policy in place. After all, you are taking your animal into a public setting, so if any incidents occur, you should be legally protected.

What Are Therapy Animals

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First, its important to note that therapy animals are not the same as service animals. Service animals, such as guide dogs, are trained to assist people with disabilities and are not considered pets.

Therapy animals are sometimes called emotional support animals or comfort animals. Petting and physical contact with these animals triggers the release of oxytocin, also known as the love hormone, in humans.

Pet Partners, one of the nations largest registry of therapy animals, clarifies that therapy animals visit many different facilitiesincluding senior living, veterans, educational, hospitals, and hospicesand interact with a wide array of people: veterans with PTSD, seniors living with Alzheimers, students with literacy challenges, patients in recovery, people with intellectual disabilities, those approaching end of life, and more.

Registered therapy animals typically include the following species:

  • Dogs
  • Llamas/alpacas
  • Domesticated rats

The Therapy Animal Program at Pet Partners, for example, is made up of 94 percent dogs, but also includes cats, horses, llamas, and many more.

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What Is The Fair Housing Act For Cats

Did you know that the FHA allows emotional support cats to live with their owners? Additional pet fees cannot be charged for emotional support cats.

The FHA or Fair Housing Act allows you to live with your emotional support cat, even in no-pets apartments and condos. The FHA protects ESA owners from unlawful discriminatory acts by landlords and homeowner associations . If you find yourself being turned away for owning an ESA cat, you can contact the HUD and file a complaint.

If Your Emotional Support Cat Helps You They Could Help Others Too

Your emotional support cat can help others just like it helps you! A therapy cat can help those with anxiety, depression, a wide variety of health conditions and disabilities.

Just the presence of an animal can help those in need, by petting and cuddling with your cat. Animals are natural stress-relievers and quickly connect with strangers in a way that would take humans hours or days. You can share your emotional support cat with the world and help those around you by volunteering your time. And of course, your cats time.

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How To Make My Cat An Emotional Support Animal

If you already own a cat, you can discuss your needs to have your cat serve you as an ESA cat. You can start by asking yourself if your cat offers you emotional support in your daily life. If your cat gives you emotional support, then there isnt much else you need to do to make your cat an ESA. Your cat doesnt need to go through any special training to be an emotional support cat for you. Your cat may be doing the job of an ESA for you because your cat is already a companion to you.

Because an emotional support animal doesnt need special training to become an ESA, your cat can serve you as an ESA because it is already a part of your family. When you speak to a medical professional and discuss your need for an ESA, you wont need to do anything else to make your cat an emotional support animal. Once you decide that your cat is a good fit as an ESA for you, there are several ways to get your ESA letter.

Benefits Of Emotional Support Cats On Mental Health

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Emotional support cats offer a variety of benefits for their owners mental health. Studies have shown cats reduce stress and blood pressure levels in their owners.

Additionally, research shows ESAs can lower anxiety, reduce depression, decrease feelings of loneliness, and may even offer benefits to those with PTSD.

Lack of sleep can also impact mental health. One survey, however, found some people slept better when they slept with their pets.

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Heres A Quick Rundown On What Emotional Support Cats Can And Cannot Do:

Public Places

Unlike service animals, Emotional Support Animals are not permitted to access public spaces like restaurants, departmental stores, etc.


Emotional support animals are not required to receive any sort of training. However, it is in your best interest to confirm your ESA is trained on basic pet etiquette and in no way pose a harm to people surrounding you .

Flying and Living

Service animals AND ESAs have the same rights as both can fly or live with their owner free of charge.

Note: Service dog vests and emotional support dog vests are not required but encouraged when traveling or in public places.

What Programs Train And Certify Therapy Cats

A variety of organizations train and certify pet therapy teams . Pet Partners is one of the most well-known national organizations that facilitates and promotes animal-assisted therapy and offers training and registration for therapy animal teams. Love on a Leash is another national organization. Some areas have local organizations, like the Miami Valley Pet Therapy Association in Troy, Ohio.

To find the best option in your neck of the woods, search the Internet or check with your local humane society.

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How To Get An Emotional Support Cat With Certapets 5

If you dont have a regular doctor or have time to travel far to get to a nearest mental health professional, these obstacles might stand in the way of getting an emotional support animal. Theres also no shame if you suffer from social anxiety and cant go outside the house or from depression and cant get out of bed. You want to actively improve your well-being and that means something. You shouldnt be stopped if you cant make the trip to your LMHP.

Thats why, we at CertaPet, a telemental health support service for those in need of emotional support animals, want to help you get connected to a licensed mental health professional in your state today.

Take the pre-screening to see if you qualify, and if so, youll be sent to one of our highly qualified therapist/LMHP.

There youll get to talk to them about why you think you would benefit from an emotional support cat and explain the struggles you face in your daily life.

Youre not alone. And sometimes getting started is only one click away.

Should You And Your Pet Be A Therapy Team

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Maybe you think your pet would make a good therapy animal. But what about you as their handler? Consider the following guidelines from Pet Partners. You must be able to:

  • Read your animals particular body language and recognize when your animal is stressed, anxious, concerned, overstimulated, or fatigued
  • Demonstrate positive interactions with your animal by praising, cueing, encouraging, and reassuring the animal as needed
  • Cue or redirect your animal without raising your voice, forcefully jerking on the leash, or offering food or toys
  • Make casual conversation with those you meet on visits while still being attentive to your animal
  • Guide the interactions of others with the animal in a professional and polite manner
  • Advocate for the safety and well-being of your animal at all times

If youre seriously interested in registering your pet as a therapy cat or dog , take this nifty quiz from Pet Partners to find out more.

Therapy animals are a precious and increasingly embraced service in our society. We are truly hopeful for the continued expansion of animal-assisted therapy. Animals = love.


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Service Cats: Giving Emotional Support To Pet Parents


You’ve likely seen service dogs out and about assisting their pet parents, whether as guide dogs, diabetic or epileptic alert dogs, or emotional support dogs. But what about service cats? Cats are increasingly being sought out to help people in need as well.

Emotional support cats and therapy cats provide comfort to their pet parents and others in need of emotional and mental health support. Cats can provide a gentle and calming presence to people struggling with anything from loneliness or stress to depression, chronic anxiety or PTSD.

How To Train A Therapy Cat

This article was co-authored by Brian Bourquin, DVM. Brian Bourquin, better known as Dr. B to his clients, is a Veterinarian and the Owner of Boston Veterinary Clinic, a pet health care and veterinary clinic with three locations, South End/Bay Village, the Seaport, and Brookline, Massachusetts. Boston Veterinary Clinic specializes in primary veterinary care, including wellness and preventative care, sick and emergency care, soft-tissue surgery, dentistry. The clinic also provides specialty services in behavior, nutrition, and alternative pain management therapies using acupuncture, and therapeutic laser treatments. Boston Veterinary Clinic is an AAHA accredited hospital and Bostons first Fear Free Certified Clinic. Brian has over 19 years of veterinary experience and earned his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Cornell University.There are 11 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 68,980 times.

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Your Esa Is Covered Under The Fair Housing Act

This act states that your landlord must provide reasonable accommodations to you and your ESA however, if it imposes any financial or administrative strain on your landlord, your landlord can also reject your ESA through legal proceedings. This is also possible if you have an ESA that is very large

There Isnt An Official Registration For An Emotional Support Cat

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The only kind of registration that you will need is your ESA letter from a therapist. There is no official register that you are legally required to sign your cat up for. Additionally, an emotional support cat doesnt have to wear a special vest or tag of any sort, declaring your companions status as a support animal.

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Importance Of A Legitimate Esa Letter

At present day, so many online sites are popping up that claim to issue genuine ESA letters. These sites are a scam just waiting to empty your pockets. However, there are also sites present that genuinely offer what they promise a real ESA prescription recommended by licensed doctors or therapists. We are one of them, Therapy Pet, a company that specializes in offering individuals ESA letters the quick and easy way.

When you visit their website, you are required to a free ESA assessment that tells you whether you qualify for the letter. All this is carried by a licensed therapist who reviews your assessment and decides if you should be issued the letter. Their letters contain the therapists license number assigned to your assessment, which means your ESA prescription can be easily verified by confirming the genuineness of the therapist who wrote it.

Keep in mind that walking around with a fake ESA letter could get could you into a lot of trouble, not mention it may even end up putting you in the airlines or property managers blacklist. Airlines and landlords today are smart, so dont think they wont notice that you are trying to trick them. A fake ESA letter can cause you serious embarrassment, and a lot of hassle, and are just not worth the trouble. So make the right choice, choose a reputable online site, such as Therapy Pet.


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