CAT'S CORNER

Explore the world of cats with fun and helpful articles and videos.


Pets Help Patients

It seems that human beings are natural care-givers. We thrive when we have others to love and look after, especially pets. And when we are troubled, we often turn to them for comfort and reassurance. Recent studies even suggest that pet owners experience less stress (and less stress-related illness) than non pet owners.

Because of our affection for them, animals have often been used to help us with healing.

In ancient times, it is said, if people felt in danger of going insane, they would carry dogs around with them. Tea merchant William Tuke was so disturbed by the harsh regimes of insane asylums in late 18th Century England that he founded the pioneering York Retreat, to care for mentally ill people in a kinder and more compassionate way. Among his new, enlightened treatments was giving rabbits and poultry to patients to look after, so that they could care and be responsible for them. The York Retreat was the forerunner of many uses of animals to help with therapy, which has continued up to the present day.

Advances in pet therapy
Hospitals & Other Institutions
Passive pet therapy

Advances in pet-assisted therapy
Since the 1980s in particular, knowledge in the field of pet-assisted therapy has considerably advanced, and it has become a professional discipline. There are two main branches: Animal-Assisted Therapy and Animal-Assisted Activities

  • Animal-Assisted Therapy
    Animal-assisted therapy (AAT) aims to work with animals in a planned way to increase desirable behaviors in people, or to decrease undesirable behaviors.

    An example is the case of a three-year old boy who refused to learn to walk or talk. He did not respond to the usual rewards of toys, music, food or juice.

    However, it was found that the encouragement and interest provided by a cockatiel was enough to encourage him to begin speaking. His first word was "bird."

    The little boy then learned to walk with the help of a trained dog. A graded therapy program culminated in the eleventh session. He took his first two steps - towards the dog. By the end of that session the boy had walked two meters so that he could pet the therapy dog.

  • Animal Assisted Activities
    The other main branch of the therapeutic use of pets is called Animal Assisted Activities. It aims not to change particular behavior, but to improve the quality of life.

Hospitals & Other Institutions
People living in institutions, such as residential and nursing homes, find themselves in artificial homes where daily life is very controlled. This can lead to feelings of depression and isolation.

When animals join them, however, both staff and patients benefit. It gives them an opportunity, to play, make friends and cuddle. In 1992, about 70% of the hospices in the UK and Ireland who responded to a survey reported having resident pets.

When it is not possible to have resident animals in an institution, such as a hospital, pet visiting programs have met with great success. Volunteers regularly bring in their pets, which can give great pleasure to ill and bed-ridden people. The pets are screened to make sure they're in good health and well behaved.

Passive pet therapy
Perhaps the best-known passive use of animals is the placement of an aquarium or small caged birds in medical or dental waiting rooms, workplaces, or residential homes. Patients do not handle the animals, but are found to benefit from their presence in the room.

See Our TV Commercial
Explore The Delicious Flavors
Create a Purr'Em For Your Cat
Comments ()
Add a comment
Sign Up

Log In

Already registered?

Logging in gives you access to special offers and features.

Forgot Password?
Log In

Sign Up

Two easy ways to sign up

For your convenience, you can sign up with your Facebook account–or you can sign up on this site. As a member, you’ll get access to special offers and features for you and your cat.

1

Sign Up With Facebook ► What's This?

What's This?

You can register and login to whiskas.com using your Facebook account. No more passwords to remember and logging in only takes 1 click! You can also be assured we will never share your Facebook info.

2

NOT ON FACEBOOK?
YOU CAN SIGN UP HERE ►
Log In

Sign Up

All fields are required.
Must contain 6-10 characters. No spaces.
 

Privacy policy. We will never share your information.

Thank You.

Your information is now up-to-date.

Remember—when you log in, you’ll get access to special offers and features for you and your cat.

Update Your Info.

Jenny Dammann

Please update your information

jenny@fromthe.block ••••••
06880
Log In

Forgot Password?

If you've forgotten your password, please enter your email address so we can email it to you momentarily.

Contact Us

For immediate answers, check our FAQs page.

We value your comments and opinions. If you have any feedback on WHISKAS® products, or suggestions to improve our site,
please let us know. We're listening.

Manufacturing Code Date Example

If you need further information or help, phone us in the USA toll-free at 1-800-525-5273.