How to Certify Therapy Cat: Dogs and cats that have kind of predispositions like a Therapy Cat, are not educated but show patience with strangers they are wonderful pets for therapy. The therapy pets provide comfort and joy to hospital patients, older children and young people with learning problems, among others. To volunteer your time with your pet, you must register your dog or cat with a pet organization for therapy.
The organization offers certification for your pet after it passes a set of behavioral tests, which guarantees that it has the temperament for the job.
Certification of cats for therapy
- Contact a pet therapy organization in your area that deals with animals other than dogs. National organizations such as Pet Partners and Love On A Leash certify cats as therapy pets.
- Obtain the necessary documentation and take into account the requirements to join the organization of your choice. Ask all the questions you have about the registration process when speaking with a representative of the animal therapy organization.
- Take your cat to the veterinarian for a health exam and necessary vaccinations. Your cat should be healthy and free of parasites, such as fleas, to be certified as a therapy pet. Many organizations require a rabies test every year, feline leukemia virus and FVRCP vaccination. An annual test for feline infectious peritonitis is also required by some organizations.
- Attend the classes offered by the animal therapy organization. Some organizations, such as Pet Partners, offer classes for cat handlers in person or online.
- Organizations like the Animal Humane Society offer pet therapy classes specifically for cats at no cost.
- Have your cat evaluated by proper temperament by a pet evaluator approved by the organization they wish to join. The evaluator will have to fill out a verification form that your cat has the personality and behavior needed to become a therapy animal.
- The evaluators look for cats that are calm, well educated and kind to strangers. Your cat should enjoy being pampered by strangers and being able to walk in a harness without problems.
- Make the necessary test visits for therapy pets in a hospital, school or other place approved by the animal therapy organization with which you work. Some organizations require that cats must complete a certain number of test visits to evaluate their behavior prior to certification, according to Love on a Leash.
- Complete any necessary documentation to enroll in the animal therapy organization. Includes the cat evaluation form and any registration fee. You may also need to include one or more photos of your cat for identification purposes.
Wait until you receive the certification. Start working in pet therapy with your cat.
- Both cats and dogs must have at least one year before being able to be certified as therapy pets.
- Keep your cat’s nails trimmed. Although it is not usually required that cats be bathed before therapy visits, keep it combed and clean.
- Joining a pet therapy organization offers certification for your pet and protects you with special liability insurance.
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- Cats or dogs that are sick, in heat, pregnant or have recently given birth can not perform therapeutic work.
- Aggressive dogs or cats are not appropriate for therapeutic work.