Purina Cat Chow and Pet Partners Team Up to Promote Therapy Cats

Purina® Cat Chow® is teaming up with Pet Partners to help increase awareness for the therapeutic and emotional benefits of cats and to help recruit and support more registered therapy cat teams. These special cats improve lives, boost mental health and decrease feelings of loneliness.

A Pet Partners therapy cat team.
Roger Sterling the Tuxedo
A Pet Partners therapy cat team.
Roger Sterling the Tuxedo

Celebrating 60 Years with 60 Stories

Cat Chow 60th anniversary book cover.This year, Purina® Cat Chow® is celebrating their 60th anniversary! To celebrate and to thank the millions of cat owners who’ve trusted Cat Chow, the Brand has compiled personal stories from real cat owners that show how cats positively impact the families who love them.

60 Years, 60 Stories: Celebrating the Extraordinary Impact of Cats pays tribute to the profound impact cats have on our lives. There are even some stories featuring Pet Partners therapy cats! Cat lovers can visit catchow.com/60anniversary to learn more and purchase the book.

From Oct. 31, 2023, through Dec. 31, 2023, all proceeds from the book sale will directly support Pet Partners and our initiatives like Read with Me™, which helps children build literacy skills as they practice reading to therapy animals, including cats. Cat Chow will also donate an additional $60,000 to Pet Partners to help increase awareness for the therapeutic and emotional benefits of cats and to help recruit and support more therapy cat teams.

Purchase Your Book!

Join Cat Chow in supporting Pet Partners and therapy cats by purchasing your book which is available through December 31. It features a forward from cat-loving actress and singer Mandy Moore about the impact cats have had on her life. Moore currently has three rescue cats: Fig, Olivia, and Peanut, and is a self-proclaimed life-long cat lover.

Cats as Therapy Animals

A Pet Partners therapy cat team visits with a woman in a nursing facility.Purina Cat Chow recognizes the benefits of cats as therapy animals and like Pet Partners wants to improve health and well-being through the human-animal bond, a mutually beneficial relationship that improves the physical, social, and emotional lives of both animals and people who interact with them regularly.

“While most people tend to associate therapy animals with dogs, cats also provide a variety of mental and physiological benefits,” said Dr. Annie Valuska, Ph.D., senior pet behavior expert at Purina Cat Chow. “Cat owners often have lower stress levels than non-pet owners, which can improve blood pressure and cardiovascular health over time. Cats can also boost our mental health, decreasing feelings of loneliness and increasing a sense of purpose.”

What makes a visit from a therapy cat special?

Cats are appealing to people who might not like dogs, and their smaller size and affinity for sitting on laps and cuddling can make them a good option for quieter environments and people who have limited mobility. And there’s the impression of cats as being particular about who they interact with and how that influences the way people perceive them. “Cats have a reputation for being selectively affectionate. If a cat likes you, you’re special,” says Moira Smith, Pet Partners staff member, team evaluator, and cat handler. All of these things make visiting with a therapy cat a special experience.

There’s been a recent upswing in interest about cats as therapy animals, but they’re not new in this role—our Therapy Animal Program has had more than 1,500 cats registered over the years and currently has nearly 150 registered cat teams.

Cats of all kinds can become great therapy animals!

Some cats have just the right personalities to bring the healing power of the purr to their communities. Take Tommy the blind cat for example. Even after losing his sight, the eight-year-old tabby passed his therapy pet evaluation with excellence. Now, as a registered therapy cat with Pet Partners, he loves helping people of all ages with his handler, Christy Santoro.

Read more about Tommy
Tommy, a blind therapy cat, sits with his handler, Christy.
Tommy the Tabby

Interested in volunteering with your cat?

If you have a cat that is sociable, easygoing, comfortable on a leash, and enjoys new experiences, becoming a therapy animal team might be right for you. Learn more about the process of becoming a registered Pet Partners therapy animal team. Together, Purina Cat Chow and Pet Partners are working to enhance the well-being of local communities with the help of cats.