I realize that with a store called Pawsome Doggie, you might think that we're only about dogs. While it's true that much of our merchandise focuses on canines, we love felines, too. It's why one of our brands is called Kittieware. We offer unique gifts for cat lovers.
Coming soon: a cake pan shaped like a cat. So cat lovers can celebrate their kitty's birthday the way that dog lovers can celebrate their pup's birthday.
Another way that we love cats? Because there is such a thing as therapy cats, just as there are therapy dogs. In fact, I recently wrote about this topic for Parade.com in time for National Cat Dog 2018.
Just like dogs, which are well known as service, therapy or emotional-support animals, cats can provide animal assistance to humans, too.
Pet Partners, the nation’s leading organization registering therapy animals for animal-assisted interventions, doesn’t focus on just dogs. The Therapy Animal Program is also open to cats, horses, rabbits, pigs, llamas and alpacas, birds, guinea pigs and rats. In fact, a recent New York Timesarticle about therapy cats says that there are some 200 registered therapy cats through Pet Partners.
Pet Partners suggests some recommended characteristics that help identify potential therapy animals. These include a friendly temperament, comfort with being touched, well trained to follow basic commands, and enjoy attention and meeting new people. In many instances this can describe cats, pets that often get a bad rap at being aloof animals.
According to an article on the Purina website, cats can help in animal-assisted therapy sessions. When cats were present during a therapy session:
- Depressed patients were more social and experienced decreases in depression.
- Children with severe ADHD showed increased attention spans.
- Autistic or developmentally disabled patients were more social and showed increased attention spans.
- Patients with Alzheimer’s experienced decreases in depression and anger with increased attention spans.
Of course, this can also be true of dogs present in therapy sessions. But for some people a cat may seem less threatening or intimidating than a dog. In fact, that New York Times article referenced a study on the use of cats with children with autism that found the following: “People who had ‘positive relationships with their cats’ and had cats in families with a child with autism-spectrum disorder ‘often provided valuable bonding, attention and calming effect to the child.'”
One of the more recognized ways that therapy cats are being used is at airports. Since 2017, Denver International Airport has had a Canine Airport Therapy Squad that, like its acronym (CATS), includes a cat. She is Xeli, and the Petco Foundation has designated her as a Helping Hero.
This is Xeli, the therapy cat.
So, have a cat lover in your life? Well, consider gifting them with some of our unique gifts for cat lovers highlighted below. We believe these are great cat gifts for cat lovers or even terrific ideas for Christmas gifts for cat lovers. Two paws up, am I right?
Use KITTIEWARE at checkout to save 15% on your purchase.