By Jasmine Cabanaw
Jaetta Ferguson has two certified therapy cats, Flash and Venti, thru Love On A Leash. She is a big advocate of the joy and comfort cats can bring into people’s lives. Therapy cats are a bit different from service animals, which assist people with everyday tasks. With therapy cats, the benefit is comfort, love, and emotional support.
Are there certain breeds that are more conducive to therapy than others?
I don’t think any breed is better than any other breed out there. I think it depends on the cat’s personality. Flash is so laid back and most people are shocked to see how laid back he is.
How does a person go about getting a therapy cat?
There isn’t a certain place you can specifically buy a therapy cat. I would say rescue a sweet cat that loves people. Just need to find that one cat that can deal with visiting different places. Flash loves to visit almost everywhere.
How did you obtain your therapy cats?
I rescued both of my cats and socialized them from the very beginning. They both have done cat shows and 4-H with the kids. Flash and Venti both did very well, but would rather enjoy visiting with people.
How old are the cats? What are their histories?
Flash is a brown spotted tabby male and was rescued from a barn in Ohio. Venti is a solid black female rescued from an Indiana rescue called “From the Heart”. They both will be turning six years old this year.
What is involved with training?
The most important thing is getting them used to a harness and leash. The reason is so that you are always in control of your cat. Flash loves going for walks and ride in his stroller.
How do the cats provide therapy?
My cats are certified thru “Love On A Leash” and they provide comfort and joy to all the people they visit. We basically volunteer to go talk to the patients, the staff and family members. Just to put a smile on their faces is why we do it!
How have the cats improved your life?
They help brighten up a bad day and and that makes me feel happy. I love sharing my cats with anyone who needs comfort. It brings joy to my heart that my cats can do therapy work.
For more information:
Flash’s Facebook Page:
Love On A Leash Chapter:
Flash’s Fan Mail
P.O. BOX 6594
Kokomo, IN 46904
Flash the therapy cat: http://youtu.be/v-ufYDIqDi0