Mutual Health Benefits for Cat Owners

19 November 2014

Mutual Health Benefits for Older People with Cats

Cat Haven in Shenton Park is encouraging older people to adopt a cat from their shelter and reap the rewards of the health and wellbeing benefits of owning a cat.

As part of Seniors Week in WA, Cat Haven is promoting the benefits of cat ownership and offering their Golden Oldie deal where people can adopt a homeless cat over 7 years old for just the cost of a gold coin donation to the shelter. They also help pensioners and concession card holders with the cost of owning a cat by providing their Snip and Chip deal – cat sterilisation and microchipping – for only $50.

‘We all know the benefits companion animals bring, such as helping withdrawn people come out of their shell and giving them a focus in life, especially to older people who live alone or in a nursing home. The health benefits to humans are commonly known as reducing blood pressure, relieving stress and anxiety, reduced risk of heart attack, prevention of allergies and an improved immune system.’ Chandra Woodley, Marketing Officer at Cat Haven said.

Cat Haven has commenced its Nursing Home Cat Placement Program this year, whereby several inner city nursing homes have adopted cats for communal care. The program has been very successful so far and Cat Haven encourages more nursing homes and retirement villages to take part.

Sarah Thomas, Divisional Therapist at Kimberley Residential Aged Care took on a 13 year old communal cat called Possum. She said that “Possum has become a vital family member to our home environment at Kimberley. She has adapted so well to the environment and if not sleeping, is looking for a quick pat. She has filled a void to allow our cat lovers to maintain their love for a pet; they all treat her as their own and love to talk about her to their family and friends. Possum has had a positive effect on the staff, as well as the residents. Her easy going nature is just perfect for our environment.”

Chandra Woodley explained ‘We provide a suitable older cat to the nursing home for free and they provide the TLC; it’s a mutually beneficial arrangement. Cat Haven supplies all the food, cat litter, and vet treatment to take care of the cat’s physical needs and the residents have the joy of owning a cat.’

‘Perhaps a cat has played a significant role for you and your family so Cat Haven can assure you that if you pass away before your cat, they can look after it and rehome it to a loving family if you ensure you provide some funds and instructions in your Will – as we are a charity, any bequests are put to good use in improving the lives of shelter cats.’ Chandra Woodley at Cat Haven said.

Cat Haven takes in over 6500 unwanted cats a year and as a charity it relies heavily on the kind donations of the public. Please donate, adopt a cat, volunteer, bequeath to Cat Haven or join as a member. They have over 200 cats onsite or in foster care currently needing homes and kitten season is already bringing in more kittens each week to their shelter.

For all media enquiries contact Chandra Woodley on 0412 115 937


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