Virtual cat therapy visits available throughout May

Purina and Pet Partners offering online cat therapy sessions.

In honor of Mental Health Awareness Month this May, Purina Cat Chow has announced a partnership with Pet Partners, a national non-profit known for its Therapy Animal Program, and Institute on Aging (IOA), a non-profit dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for aging adults, to help more senior adults experience the therapeutic benefits of cats. 

Throughout the month of May, seniors over age 60 can call Institute on Aging's 24-hour toll-free Friendship Line at 800-616-5152to schedule one of 50 free virtual therapy cat team visits with Pet Partners. 

Pandemic Impact on Seniors
"The Covid-19 pandemic took an emotional and mental toll on every population, but aging adults with health concerns were disproportionally affected both physically and socially," said Mia Grigg, Institute on Aging's vice president of Integrated Care Services. "At IOA, calls to the Friendship Line, our hotline for adults over 60, jumped by 30 percent, demonstrating an urgent need for connection and emotional support."

Therapeutic Benefits of Cats
"While nothing replaces the emotional connection of petting a cat, research shows engaging with virtual pet content can still be impactful, while also keeping all parties safe," said C. Annie Peters, president & CEO of Pet Partners. "In fact, one study cited within our recent white paper1 showed that even watching animal videos has been correlated with a more positive effect for the viewer, leading to an enhanced mood and increased feelings of positivity."

Further research cited by Pet Partners has found that therapy animals have been shown to:

  • Increase perceptions of social support, decrease levels of general anxiety and alleviate symptoms of depression2.
  • For older adults, they have been shown to comfort people with dementia, promote socialization and engagement in older age and decrease depression, anxiety, and irritability in seniors2.

How to Help
Cat Chow is calling on all cat-lovers to help share the healing power of cats. From May 1 through May 31, 2022, for every purchase of Cat Chow Complete, Purina Cat Chow will make a donation to Pet Partners, up to $25,000, to support the cats in their Therapy Animal Program so more people can benefit from the therapeutic benefits of cats.  

For more information, visit catchow.com/therapy.  

 

 

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