People frequently ask why our organization provide purpose-bred cats to our clients, as opposed to training rescued or shelter cats. While shelter or rescue cats can make excellent companion pets, their unknown heritage makes them unreliable for therapy cat training. It’s impossible to know how different cat breed characteristics will present in a mixed kitten.
Shelter cat may also have histories of trauma, which would affect their ability to reliably help humans. Before pairing a assistance cat with a client, it’s important to know that they will still be a dependable companion in the event of an emergency. Very few meet the health, temperament, and training requirements necessary for them to graduate as certified therapy cat. Since therapy cats often have to cope with unfamiliar situations, purpose breeding helps us make the best prediction for how they will react.
A suitable therapy cat must necessarily be affectionate and friendly with humans of all ages. They need to enjoy being handled and held, and ought to exude patience, ease, and gentleness in all circumstances. Therapy cats must be willing to have strangers handle, pet, and even hug them without retaliating or resisting.
The ideal therapy cat is laidback and friendly and shows no aggression toward people or animals. The feline should also be comfortable with loud noises and unpredictable situations. Retired show cats often make good therapy animals because they’re used to frequent handling and being around lots of people.
Purr-fect Cat Therapy’s (PCT) breed, raise and train purebred Siberian cats specially bred for temperament, health and longevity. The PCT Director of breeding program researches earlier generations to ensure that heart, kidneys, and general health is predictable and stable. Then, there is the added benefit of knowing the entire history of the cat, from birth to placement. Because we start at whelping, we know everything about these kittens as they grow and train for the first year of life. We see them develop, and we learn their strengths as they grow, that ensures the best possible placement for the client, and the cat.
Another real concern is that shelter cats often are exposed and or carry viruses, bacteria, parasites, and fungi health problems that should be considered and looked for when rescuing a cat. These diseases can be transmitted from cats to people. They are called Zoonotic Disease. Individuals with immature or weakened immune systems are more susceptible to these diseases. This includes infants, individuals with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), the elderly, and people undergoing cancer chemotherapy or receiving other drugs that may suppress their immune systems.
PCT has an in-house breeding program and also obtains kittens from selected breeders who produce cats with genetic predispositions to be trained to provide many years of therapy and partnership. When we go outside our breeding program we do this very carefully, ensuring the breeder in question holds our high breeding and raising standards.
Every cat in PCT’s breeding program receives the following health exams and related clearances:
PCT provides top-quality veterinary care for program cats and keeps careful health and veterinary records from the date kittens enter the program through their entire lives. All PCT cats are spayed or neutered unless they are being considered for the PCT breeding program.
PCT cats are carefully socialized as kittens and gradually exposed to experiences and public places to make them calm and confident. Siberians are fearless, quiet, playful and calm. They can take up to 5 years to fully mature but remain playful throughout their lives. These cats love to be close to family members and get along great with children, dogs, cats and other animals. They are more likely to chirp or trill than meow. They are also very creative ad intelligent; Siberians are problem solvers. They are loyal, loving and enjoy playing fetch and other interactive games with their humans, which may be why some people say their temperament is dog-like. Siberians are mellow, relatively quiet cats.
PCT utilizes positive reinforcement methods in its training program, It takes approximately 1 years for a PCT cat to complete therapy training.
We take donations of kittens from breeders but also purchase them. When the kitten is collected from the breeder it has a health check by our organization vet and is given a complete health check and vaccinations. We also have a breeding programme of our own. The Prescription (ESA) Siberian kittens are free of charge to approved Veteran applicant suffering of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder including Veteran Sexual assault victims.