Companion Cat Program
Companion Cats in Care Facilities
Research is showing that by including animals in the lives of people living in care facilities it can become an integral part of the residents physical and emotional wellbeing. Some of the benefits to residents have included:
- A lower risk of depression
- An increase in social interaction
- Cognitive stimulation and reminiscence therapy, and
- A reduction in agitation, aggression, empathy, increased relaxation and lowering of blood pressure.
(HelloCare Editorial Team, 2016, Do aged care home’s allow pets? https://hellocare.com.au/do-aged-care-homes-allow-pets/ )
Cat Haven currently has 11 cats happily living in care facilities across Perth. Comments from the care facilities are typically reflected in-
“Promotes conversation starters between staff and clients”
“I love that he sleeps on my chair and keeps me company.”
“He sits with me on the over-the -bedtable while I do my colouring in and like to help by playing with my pencils.”
“I see the joy he brings people and its just so lovely and rewarding to witness. When a client strokes CC’s fur, they smile, he smiles, they are bonding. By stroking his fur, it brings peace to some residents, he just brings them back to a calming state.”
Through the generous contribution of an anonymous donor Cat Haven are able to provide our care facilities, who take a companion cat(s,) the following support
- Examination by our veterinary staff to confirm the cat(s) are in good health, desexed, microchipped, with up to date vaccinations and treated for parasites.
- The cat(s) will go through our established behaviour assessment process to ensure the cat is suitable to take part in a 6-week trial period in the care facility.
- All food, vet treatments and supplies will be provided by Cat Haven to establish an initial set-up and provide on an ongoing basis for the duration of the cat(s) time at the care facility.
- Cat Haven will provide information on cat behaviour and body language for the care facility to offer their staff some degree of understanding of cat behaviours and body language.
- To help support the introduction of a cat(s) into a care facility we will provide an Animals in the Health Care Setting Policy and a companion Animal Risk Management Tool for the care facility to consider putting into place.
- An emergency contact person and phone number will be provided to facilitate the coordination of veterinary services should the cat(s) become unwell while onsite at the care facility.
- Transportation to and from Cat Haven’s veterinary clinic or agreed nominated veterinary provider for prior arranged treatment will be facilitated by a Cat Haven representative.
- The co-ordinator of the Companion Cat Program will organise and contact you to inform you of when the cat(s) are due for their health check appointments.
- Cat Haven will provide ongoing support should you have any concerns or questions.
- If at any time you are no longer able to keep the cat(s), Cat Haven will happily take it back for rehoming.
We understand that taking on a companion cat(s) can bring additional responsibility for staff. We are happy to offer a 6-week trial period so if you feel as though a companion cat(s) is not right for your organisation Cat Haven are happy to take the cat back for rehoming.
Please feel free to contact us if you would like any further information on the details included or have any questions we would love to hear from you, please email Bev Yardley, Co-ordinator Companion Cat Program. firstname.lastname@example.org