Meet Teddy the Therapy Cat - the kitten who is training to be a therapeutic feline
PUBLISHED: 16:20 25 January 2018 | UPDATED: 08:36 27 January 2018
Archant Norfolk 2018
Meet Teddy - he is four months old, lives in Caister and has already learned so much.
He belongs to 36-year-old Caroline Graham, who has had him since he was a tiny kitten.
However, while other kittens his age focus the majority of their time on sporadic sprinting, chasing toys and exploring the depths of under the sofa, Teddy has been learning to do a very important job.
Miss Graham and daughter Paris Miller, 17, have been training Teddy to become a therapy cat for elderly people, children with special educational needs and those affected by dementia.
He goes through a regular routine of learning to be more docile and better prepared to act as a therapy feline.
Miss Graham said: “We have been training him with treats so he can learn certain commands, such as ‘no’ and ‘come on’ and generally helping him to be calm.
“He trains three or four times a day for around five or 10 minutes at a time,”
The pair have also been doing different exercises with Teddy to get him comfortable with the environment that comes with the job, with Miss Graham using her experiences working with children and in care to design his regime.
She added: “We take him out on a harness and make sure he gets plenty of human interaction so he is very comfortable with people.
“We have also been introducing him to water so he won’t get startled by something like a drink spillage and even playing YouTube clips of babies crying so he won’t be spooked be outbursts.”
Teddy is already attending weekly wellbeing sessions Miss Graham runs at a function room at the Never Turn Back pub on Fridays, in which people can come and meet him.
However, the over arching goal for Miss Graham and her daughter, however, is to open a cat lounge in the village - with the only stumbling block left being a property.
The lounge, which will be called Darling Darlings Cat Lounge, would provide an opportunity for people to get up close and personal with feline friends, including Teddy who would become a regular visitor.