Therapy Cat Evaluation
POV and masks are required
Cat must be a minimum of one (1) year of age to participate
A clean, tidy appearance is expected from both the handler and cat.
Cat must arrive in a crate.
The cat must be evaluated and visit on a harness with a 4’ or 6’ leash made of either leather or nylon.
Nail caps are acceptable.
Exercises to be completed:
- Introducing the Team to the Evaluator – Team will introduce themselves to the Evaluator, cat must remain calm. Evaluator will ask permission to examine the cat and ask for the cat to be put on a table. Examination will include petting the cat’s head, ears, stroking the body and tail, and lifting the front paws checking that nails are short and filed smooth or if the cat is wearing nail caps. Cat should be at ease and comfortable being touched and handled by the Evaluator.
- Walking as a Therapy Cat – Team will walk around the inside of the room with the cat in their arms. Handler will greet and interact with volunteers. Cat must be calm in the Handler’s arms and should be struggling or fighting to escape.
- Milling Crowd – With the cat in the Handler’s arms, the Team will walk among moving pedestrian traffic. Cat should be confident and may display interest in the movement.
- Staying in Place/Restraining Hug – With the cat in their arms, the Handler will sit in a chair and the Evaluator, while in a wheelchair, will approach quickly from behind asking for a visit from the cat. Handler will place cat on the Evaluator’s lap where the Evaluator will gently wrap their arms around the cat to monitor its ability to accept being hugged.
- Distractions – Noise and Approaching Dog – While Team is visiting with Evaluator, an assistant will drop metal bowls or a bag of cans making a loud noise. Cat may acknowledge the noise and startle but should recover quickly. Upon a signal from the Evaluator, volunteer at the side of the room will talk in a loud voice to someone else in the room. Lastly, a volunteer with their cat friendly therapy dog, will walk into the room, stop, do an about turn and exit the room.
- Crowd Surrounds Team – The Handler will stand in the centre of the room holding their cat. The volunteers will crowd in, in a friendly manner, greet the Handler and say hello to the cat. One of the crowd will imitate the hand and head tremors of a patient with palsy. Cat should not show any discomfort.
- Taking a Treat – The Evaluator will approach the Handler and ask if they may give the cat a treat. Evaluator will hold the treat and allow the cat to take it.