Tracy enjoys volunteering with her two Therapy Cats Roger and Sal and wishes that other cat owners would join her.
In this 39th episode of Therapy Dog Talk, I switch things up to chat with Tracy and her Therapy Cats, Roger and Sal. We explore their unique journey into therapy work and discuss why more cat owners should consider getting involved in this heartwarming volunteer field.
Tracy shares how her cats, raised by dogs, naturally took to therapy work, and how they volunteer at a local children’s hospital and in hospice care. We also talk about the surprising number of therapy cats registered with Pet Partners—only 140 in the US—and why we should encourage more cat owners to join in.
Throughout our conversation, we touch on the requirements and training needed for volunteering with a cat through Pet Partners, including leash training and harness requirements. We even discuss the challenges of working with cats, such as their tiny paw knives, and how Tracy manages them during therapy sessions.
By the end of this episode, you’ll gain a fresh perspective on the world of therapy animals and the potential for cats to make a difference in people’s lives. Whether you’re a cat lover or just curious about the rewarding experience of volunteering with therapy animals, this episode is sure to leave you inspired and ready to explore new ways to help others with your four-legged friends.
In this episode, we discuss …
- How being raised by a dog made Roger a natural at pet therapy.
- What the requirements are for volunteering with a cat through Pet Partners.
- What to look for in a cat to know if they would enjoy, and be suitable for, pet therapy.
Key moments you won’t want to miss:
- [01:32] Tracy introduces her three cats, including Therapy Cats Roger and Sal.
- [02:56] Roger’s unique upbringing, being raised by a dog.
- [04:22] The differences between Pet Partners evaluations for cats and dogs.
- [05:08] Discussing leash training and harness requirements for therapy cats.
- [06:28] The locations where Tracy, Sal, and Roger volunteer together.
- [07:03] The surprising number of therapy cats in the US: only 140 registered with Pet Partners.
- [10:42] Addressing concerns about cats’ tiny paw knives, or “murder mittens.”
- [13:17] Tracy’s advice on exploring different opportunities in volunteering with animals.
- [15:41] A heartwarming memory from Tracy’s first year volunteering in hospice with Roger.
- [18:25] Navigating hospital restrictions for therapy cats and ensuring the safety of immunocompromised patients.
I hope you enjoy this episode as much as I do. Give it a watch or a listen and then let me know in the community which part you found the most helpful!
Mentioned in this episode:
- ASU Sun Devil PAWS Therapy
- Cheyanne + Tiana
- Hospice of the Valley Arizona
- Pet Partners
- Phoenix Children’s
- Soft Paws
Rate, Review, and Follow the Podcast
Therapy Dog Talk is a podcast where I interview a different team each week via Instagram Live. If you enjoyed this episode please find us over at Apple, Google, or Spotify and give us a follow after you leave a review.
Do you know someone who would make a great guest? Be sure to reach out and let me know.