Members at Chelsea Court Place were delighted to welcome a lively kitten Zeus into their home for a holiday over the summer. The tabby Maine Coon brought a smile to the faces of all, and surprisingly, much, much more!

Upon meeting Zeus, one Member proclaimed her dislike of cats, but within a couple of hours, with some gentle coercion, she became curious and asked to see him and eventually stroked him. This Member, who is living with Alzheimer’s, was unable to pronounce his name, calling him “June”. On day four, after much practice and to the surprise of the care team, she pronounced his name correctly!

Despite her initial reservations about cats, this lovely Member made a special bond with Zeus, she was calmed by him and often called for him.

Benefits of pet therapy

The benefits of our furry friends are well documented with dogs, cats, rabbits, horses and many other animals providing companionship to people of all ages. They can be our comfort or security blankets, something to cuddle, nurture and talk to – they never give negative back chat, they don’t judge and never complain (unless feeding time is delayed).

The calming nature of animals helps decrease the stress-inducing hormone cortisol and increase the oxytocin, the stress-reducing hormone, making pet therapy a valuable tool for care homes. Pets can be very soothing, not only helping decrease stress and reduce anxiety but helping with mental and physical well-being.

Pets can be a good distraction when times are tough, bringing joy and happiness to all – just as Zeus did to our Members.