For centuries, a cat has been a frequent companion in human life, so it had the opportunity to gain popularity almost on a par with a dog. It is generally accepted that cats follow their own path, and there is some truth in this, but the domestic cat is a real companion in everyday life. Cat owners say that there is nothing more soothing and soothing than a quiet purr and a touch of soft fur, because the cat is an exceptional therapist.
His extraordinary abilities were taken quite seriously, and the result was the creation of a new method of animal therapy known as feline therapy.
Feline therapy is an element of contact therapy.
based on the relationship between a cat and a person, in which the presence of a cat should have a positive effect on human health, not only physically, but also mentally. It has been observed that not only physical contact with a cat has a positive therapeutic effect, but observation itself and being in her company is also beneficial.
Studies have shown that this leads to an improvement in well-being and a surge of good mood, improved communication and the emergence of the ability to express feelings and emotions. The existing barriers cease, various existing limitations are overcome, and at the same time the level of anxiety and loneliness is reduced. Studies have shown that people in the presence of a cat increase the secretion of endorphins and improve the stimulation of the immune system. It lowers blood pressure levels, reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease, and even reduces the symptoms of rheumatic diseases.
For patients, cat therapy is not only about playing with a fluffy cat. The therapy itself most often consists of, among other things, stroking the soft cat’s fur, playing with it, brushing or observing its behavior. In the case of autistic children, feline therapy has been found to be more effective than dog therapy. Perhaps the excessive immediacy of dogs in relation to their restraint plays a negative role. In addition, the cat does not need training. Correctly conducted therapy with its use contributes to the establishment of contacts with patients, and also contributes to concentration.
Vibrating your cat tremendously reduces depression, stress and helps you relax.
Research shows that the purr, or vibration of a cat, is equivalent to that used in devices used in sports medicine or modern orthopedics. But surely these cats have been known for a long time.
Some say that just being in the company of a cat has a healing effect. This is not surprising, since by his presence he can integrate both social and family environments, and also improves the relationship of the wards with the therapy team. It is also a frequent topic of conversation, playmate, and responsibility education target among children and adults.
Patients can be of almost any age group. The benefits of cats have been noticed and appreciated in some countries where feline therapy programs have been developed. Cats play the role of therapists here, helping handicapped children, children from orphanages, youth from welfare centers, patients in rehabilitation or nursing home residents. This is the case in the Scandinavian countries, the United States and the United Kingdom, where cats lived in nursing homes and mental hospitals, which ensured their constant presence and unlimited availability. Feline therapists find that their presence has a positive effect on patients and at the same time reduces treatment costs. The data show that the lifespan of those who care for cats is increasing. As a curiosity, it is worth mentioning that in the United States, prisoners have the right to care for a cat as a reward for good behavior during their stay.
Cats also play an educational role and increasingly attend schools and kindergartens.
The breed of cats does not matter in feline therapy, but not every cat is suitable for her.
A prerequisite is the completion of the first year of life (younger cats with an excess of energy show an increased desire to play) and good health. A feline therapist candidate must also have the necessary vaccinations. Experience shows that the most suitable therapists are cats who are open to stroking, calm and balanced, and have no problem in contact with people. By all accounts, cats are definitely better therapists than cats.
However, in order for the therapy to have a positive effect, its regularity is important, since it has an obvious effect on its effectiveness. Classes can be conducted both individually and in groups.
In recent years, feline therapy courses conducted by foundations have been quite popular. During class, they teach how to properly administer therapy, including stroking, hugging, feeding, brushing, and grooming. They allow you to learn about the psyche of the cat, the symptoms of stress and the ability to reduce it. However, they require the guardian cat to follow the rules of hygiene, proper nutrition and constant veterinary supervision.
Finally, it is worth noting that every cat owner, due to the close presence of his personal therapist, unknowingly became a patient undergoing daily feline therapy.