Tabitha Blog

Tabitha Blog

Cat Therapy is for All Ages and Walks of Life

Cats are the most requested therapy animal after dogs, but make up only three percent of all therapy animals, according to Allison Hunter-Frederick of Lincoln Animal Ambassadors. The comfort provided by a therapy cat is a well-kept secret that Allison wants to let out of the bag.

Pet therapy is used to help people with health issues or mental disorders. Pet owners and their animals get evaluated and certified to provide emotional and social support, in addition to helping achieve physical goals. Therapy cats encourage interaction and reduce anxiety as well as provide companionship and entertainment to clients.

Rainy, therapy cat

Rainy, therapy cat

Allison’s cat, Rainy, is a certified therapy cat and Tabitha Volunteer. Together, they visit Seniors at Tabitha Nursing and Rehabilitation Center (TNRC), and are also trained Tabitha Hospice Volunteers. The pair work with an organization called Love on a Leash, a nonprofit that helps therapy teams get the training and certification they need to provide support in the community.

How can cats improve patients’ well-being?

  • Lower blood pressure
  • Reduce stress
  • Decrease isolation and boredom
  • Improve communication
  • Develop sense of community

In addition, the vibration from a cat’s purr can actually slow down breathing, improve bone density and promote healing. Therapy cats can also help stimulate memories and emotions in individuals suffering from dementia and Alzheimer's disease. Beyond the patient, cat therapy provides needed comfort and healing for family members, too.

Who can benefit from cat therapy?

  • Chemotherapy patients
  • Long-term care facility residents
  • Memory care residents
  • People in the hospital
  • Veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Children having procedures
  • Stroke victims
  • Rehabilitation therapy clients working to regain motor skills
  • People with mental health disorders and sensory disabilities

Where is cat therapy used?

  • Senior living communities
  • Senior centers
  • Youth centers, schools and libraries
  • Hospitals
  • Hospice (communities or in people’s homes)
  • Drop-in and group homes
  • Prisons and shelters

How do therapy cats interact with clients?

Clients can:

  • Watch them play with toys and do tricks
  • Feed and groom the cat
  • Hold or let the cat sit on their lap
  • Enjoy the animal’s comforting presence

What is the ideal therapy cat?

  • Any size or breed
  • One year or older
  • Current on shots
  • Able to wear a leash and harness
  • Enjoy car rides
  • House-trained
  • Comfortable with dogs
  • Calm and loving

Allison enjoys seeing the joy that Rainy brings to Seniors and their families at Tabitha and encourages cat owners to consider being part of a certified therapy team.

See links below to learn more today:

News Feed

At each doctor’s visit, it’s important to be open about your health. Talking about your health means sharing information about how you feel physically, emotionally and mentally. Read more.

Nonprofit Tabitha is honored to be nominated for Lincoln's Choice Awards for Senior Living, Physical Therapy, Work Environment and Charity/Nonprofit. Please vote Tabitha daily through Feb. 24.

Heart disease is an encompassing term that includes various conditions affecting the heart including coronary artery disease (CAD), congestive heart failure (CHF) and heart attack. Learn more.

Recent studies have shown how volunteering with people or a cause you care about can actually mitigate depression and anxiety issues. Here's how.

Tabitha Offers Grief Groups, Remembrance Service and Hospice Volunteer Training throughout February.

Tabitha is proud to partner with the Lincoln Track Club to present the Tabitha Miles for Meals Run on Saturday, March 30, 2019. See our training plans here.

Genetic, environmental and lifestyle factors all play a role in influencing our cognitive health, the way we think and learn. Here are some factors that contribute to cognitive health decline.

Tabitha Meals on Wheels joins Meals on Wheels America and Subaru of America in Sharing the Love this Holiday Season. Learn more.

Tabitha, Nebraska’s industry-leading Senior Care provider, offers grief groups and hospice volunteer training throughout the month of January in Lincoln, York, Grand Island, and Nebraska City, NE. Learn more.

Aubrey Paulsen serves as a Senior living advocate at Tabitha, offering complimentary expert guidance to help Seniors and their families understand options that best fit their needs, in and out of the Tabitha Continuum. Learn more.

Tabitha was voted the Best Home Care Provider in Lincoln for the 10th year in a row and was among award winners for Best Place to Work, Best Retirement Community and Best Physical Therapy. Read more.

For older adults, eating healthy couldn’t be more important and can have positive effects on chronic diseases. Here are four ways to get your “plate in shape."

Studies show that people who regularly perform intentional acts of gratitude experience a variety of health benefits. Read more here.

As the holidays approach, the Tabitha bereavement team would like to share with you some thoughts on how to take care of yourself when gathering with friends and family this holiday season. Read more.

Tabitha is gearing up for the global Giving Tuesday campaign. Occurring on November 27, Giving Tuesday is held annually after Thanksgiving. Tabitha is a grateful recipient of a $10,000 match, provided by Thrivent. Learn more.