Welcome to Sphynxlair! Connect with Sphynx owners & enthusiasts around the world!

What does it take to become a theripy cat?

Mews2much

V.I.P Lairian
V.I.P Lairian
Joined
Jun 14, 2009
Messages
4,564
Points
0
Everyone has told me Cleo would be great as a theripy cat because she loves people.
How can I get more info?
 

Bella07

Banned
Joined
Apr 2, 2010
Messages
2,078
Points
0
Great question! I have been wondering the same thing myself, especially after hearing about Piglet and Gleek. I know that temperment is key; but also there are certifications one must get....I look forward to seeing the responses you get!
 

Candys

V.I.P Lairian
V.I.P Lairian
Joined
Jun 9, 2010
Messages
1,703
Points
238
My past Sphynx, Goody Girl, was a therapy cat. They don't have any requirements in a town of 90,000. I was invited through our local SPCA. No questions. We went to nursing homes, convalescent centers, senior rehabs, etc. during the holidays when they are at their loneliest. We would take Christmas pictures with the pets in their laps or whatever worked for that person. They would line up for those pictures. It was a great experience. I noticed one lady had empty bird feeder outside her window so I went to the store and filled them up for her. Goody got so much out of it. When we got home from our therapy day, Goody was playful and loving. It is uncanny how she reacted - like she said "thanks, I enjoyed that and I feel good let's play, snuggle and EAT." Very gratifying. I am preparing Dinka. I try to take him with me to different places and let him interact with people. I am not sure yet. You want them to be calm around people. You can tell if they can handle it or not. Good Luck with your research. :BigSmile:
 

Mews2much

V.I.P Lairian
V.I.P Lairian
Joined
Jun 14, 2009
Messages
4,564
Points
0
Thanks I know Cleo can handle it because sometimes 20 people want to pet her at once in the benching area at the shows.
She always hugs the people.
 

MissMySphynxBoys

Gold Lairian
Notable Member
Joined
May 13, 2010
Messages
3,509
Points
323
I just replied to your PM from the other day M2M. I'm going to repost here now that I see this thread.

Sydkat, Candys, and Kushiel's Tart were great resources here for getting into PAT. Through Gleek's Breeder, I met a couple who have about 4 Sphynx they use for PAT in AL.

Once a cat is 1 year old and you have owned them for 6 months, you can take a course and be evaluated by the Delta Society, a PAT credentialing organization.

Delta Society requires a PAT cat to be contained on a leash and harness, be under regular veterinarian care, have the basic vaccinations and rabies, and cannot be on a raw diet. They should also not spray or act aggressive.

Sphynx make a great PAT cats; they generally love to snuggle and feel so good to touch.
 

ilovemysphynx

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Feb 2, 2009
Messages
4,988
Points
271
I think Sydkat will have alot of info i this. I have thought about doing it with Leo I think he would be great. I just worry that I will feel bad for everyone.
 

Candys

V.I.P Lairian
V.I.P Lairian
Joined
Jun 9, 2010
Messages
1,703
Points
238
It can be emotional. But the benefits of lifting someones heart outweighs it.

And in regards to the Delta Society, I would have to drive all the way to Waco, Texas and have the expense of food, lodging and fuel.
 

Mews2much

V.I.P Lairian
V.I.P Lairian
Joined
Jun 14, 2009
Messages
4,564
Points
0
I got your pm but will answer here.
I will have to ask Debbie then since she has been doing it with her cat.
I would feel sorry for the people also.



 

MissMySphynxBoys

Gold Lairian
Notable Member
Joined
May 13, 2010
Messages
3,509
Points
323
It can be emotional. But the benefits of lifting someones heart outweighs it.

And in regards to the Delta Society, I would have to drive all the way to Waco, Texas and have the expense of food, lodging and fuel.


I would most likely have to take the "handler" portion of the class online. Luckily I should only have a 1-2 hour car ride to NH to be evaluated as a team when Gleek turns 1 in April.

I got your pm but will answer here.
I will have to ask Debbie then since she has been doing it with her cat.
I would feel sorry for the people also.



As Candys siad, don't focus on the sadness, but on the love and happiness of both your kitty and the person getting some Sphynx lovin'.
 

lawgrl

Lairian
Joined
Aug 13, 2010
Messages
98
Points
34
I just about to start the training to get Twiggy certified through Delta (although, in order for Twiggy to be able to volunteer I'm going to have to take Choppy off his raw diet--no animals in the household can be on raw diets--but overall I think it's going to be worth it to be able to take her to volunteer and then hopefully him too when he gets a little older).

I live about an hour from any of the cities that offer classes or evaluations, so I'm doing the "home study" route. You can order a "home study" book for about $30 (give or take, I think it may have been more like $37). You do the study and training portion on your own. I'll have to travel to have the evaluation done but that will hopefully only be a one time event (if she passes on the first try), so that's not too bad.

The Delta website has a section where you can search by state and city to see where the closest classes (instead of home study you can do 12 1-hour in-person/pet training classes) and evaluations are to you. I just ordered the book Monday and I'm excited to get started!
 
Joined
Apr 3, 2010
Messages
1,307
Points
0
M2M that is great thinking about Cleo as a therapy cat! So sweet she gives hugs! You will have to get pictures of her doing that! She sounds like such a lovebug.
 
Joined
Apr 3, 2010
Messages
1,307
Points
0
Love those! What a nice girl! Love when you hold them and they purr!!! Gable does not pur a lot but Amaryllis, as soon as you even talk to her she purrs!
 

sydkat7

V.I.P Lairian
V.I.P Lairian
Joined
Feb 8, 2009
Messages
1,606
Points
158
Sorry to get on this thread so late...some weeks I get so busy at work, I don't have time to go on SL. I cannot get on SL from work anyway because my workplace doesn't have the latest IE browser loaded onto our computer system and they refuse to allow us to load Firefox.:Angry:

Anyway, M2M, it sounds like you have gotten some good responses so far. Piglet and I do the animal-assited therapy through the American Humane Association in Denver, CO. Here is their website for more information: American Humane Animal-Assisted Therapy - The Power of Human-Animal Interaction

I had to go through a three-day long training and Piglet had to have an initial assessment (to see if she had the right temperament) and then a more formal evalutation with the American Humane Association. After Piglet passed the evaluation (which she did with flying colors!), we had to send her application and evaluation results to the Delta Society to get her "officially registered". Once she was registered, Piglet got her official "therapy cat" vest and we both got our badges. The American Humane likes to ensure that their new therapy teams are really ready to do the visits before we actually go out at large, so they'll assign each new team a "mentor" (a more experienced team) to work with us to get us ready. Piglet and I worked with our mentor only once before she deemed us "ready to visit". :ThumbsUp:

We then were given a choice of available facilities to visit. In Colorado, cats are not allowed to visit hospitals and medical centers, so we were limited to nursing homes, schools, libraries, and adult care programs. Piglet and I visit an assisted living home in Colorado Springs and a school for disabled kids in Denver on a regular basis, but we also do other programs from time to time. Piglet and I have signed up to start visiting disabled veterans in the very near future. :BigSmile:

Becoming a therapy team isn't free....there are training costs and membership fees involved before we can receive our coveted blue therapy vest. I think the training alone was $175, plus what we had to pay for membership and application fees for both American Humane and the Delta Society.

The animal-assisted therapy program here in Colorado is extremely well-organized and efficient. You will find that not all of the AAT programs in some of the other states are as organized as the one here in Denver.

Anyway, you may want to check the Delta Society website to see if there are any programs like this in your area of California (my guess is that there are probably several). Here is their website: Delta Society - Improving lives through Service & Therapy animals

Good luck to you and Cleo! :ThumbsUp: It's a real process to get into animal therapy work, but you will find that it's all well worth it!
 

Mews2much

V.I.P Lairian
V.I.P Lairian
Joined
Jun 14, 2009
Messages
4,564
Points
0
Thanks Everyone,
I figured you were busy.
I would love to do it if Cleo can pass.



 

sydkat7

V.I.P Lairian
V.I.P Lairian
Joined
Feb 8, 2009
Messages
1,606
Points
158
Thanks Everyone,
I figured you were busy.
I would love to do it if Cleo can pass.




From the sounds of it, I think Cleo would pass with no problems! :BigSmile: The tougher part would be to find a successful AAT program that's in your area, but I would think that there should be some good ones in a state as big as California.
 

sydkat7

V.I.P Lairian
V.I.P Lairian
Joined
Feb 8, 2009
Messages
1,606
Points
158
Remember Cleo has smacked judges at shows.

Yes, I haven't forgotten about that. I still think she'd do well in an environment where people are petting her and giving her positive attention rather than poking and proding at her. But you know your cat best. You may need to work with her a little before you decide to have her go through the evaluation process.

Here is a list of some programs in CA that I got off the Delta site...hope this is helpful:

Animal Health Foundation Animal Health Foundation of California [email protected]
Paw Pals Assistance Dogs Serving Southern California and Colorado [email protected]
Paws 4 Healing Paws 4 Healing Animal-Assisted Therapy [email protected]
Peninsula Humane Society and SPCA Welcome to Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA!
Pet Assisted Therapy at Huntington Huntington Memorial Hospital [email protected]
Pet Partners of San Bern Co. Hometown Has Been Shutdown - People Connection Blog: AIM Community Network [email protected]
RX: Pets Prescription: Pets [email protected]
Sutter Medical Center Pet Partners Welcome to Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento [email protected]
Wagging Tails Brigade
 

Mews2much

V.I.P Lairian
V.I.P Lairian
Joined
Jun 14, 2009
Messages
4,564
Points
0

Well it was not the judges she did not like it was the smells of the other cats oin the ring.
She is good with people.
Thanks for the links most are in So Cal which is not near me.
The closest is teh one in Sacramento which is 1.5 hours from here and San Mateo which we used to live near.
In fact we adopted a dog from there.



 

sydkat7

V.I.P Lairian
V.I.P Lairian
Joined
Feb 8, 2009
Messages
1,606
Points
158
There may be more out there; these are just the ones that are affiliated with the Delta Society. Finding an animal therapy group in your area can be tough....I lucked out having one so close to me in Denver.
 

sydkat7

V.I.P Lairian
V.I.P Lairian
Joined
Feb 8, 2009
Messages
1,606
Points
158
I forgot to add this but Cleo would have to get along well with other therapy animals, especially dogs, if she is to pass the evaluation. Part of the evaluation is seeing how the cat behaves when in the vicinity of other therapy teams (usually dogs). Piglet has had to work alongside therapy dogs and another therapy cat on some of our actual visits.
 
Top