Q: My one-year-old Ragamuffin has a very good temperament and is very tame, even with children and strangers. I’d love for him to be a therapy cat, but I wonder if he needs to be certified before we start. How can I make it happen?
A: You’re right about Ragamuffins. They’re sweet and loving cats. The name “Rag” implies that they will not move once they are in your arms. They have a calm temperament and are very patient. Rags are typically medium to large built which makes handling them relatively easy.
Your Rag sounds like a good candidate for a therapy pet. However, there are no courses that I know of that provide certification for them to be therapy cats. I suggest you start by attending cat shows with him. This will test his temperament as he will not only be exposed to humans but other animals as well. Cats have a very keen sense of smell and some will react differently; some will hiss, some go berserk and others will remain calm. Most felines that are exposed to this kind of environment will make a good therapy cat.
It’s great that your Rag is comfortable with kids and strangers, but attending pet events will test his limits so I would encourage you to let him meet as many people and animals before you embark on his career as a therapy pet. Prior to all this, you’d also need to make sure he is properly vaccinated. He has to be deticked, dewormed and should have a clean bill of health certified by your vet. There are also several pet therapy groups that you can get in touch with to see how they operate. Good luck!