Wanted: Therapy cats on campus


Vo Khanh | Special to The Union

There are two kinds of people in this world:

Dog people and cat people.

Dog people can go to the library lawn at El Camino College, pet the therapy dogs, and have a wonderful time.

But what about cat people?

Cats have been known to roam around campus for over 15 years as a natural part of the community.

The Active Minds Club, which hosts the therapy dogs event, needs therapy cats on campus because cats can be just as therapeutic as dogs and have their unique benefits.

According to UC Davis, Pet Partners is the largest therapy pet organization in the U.S, having 94% of their therapy pets as dogs. The rests are cats and other animals.

While dogs can be more suited for therapy pets, more outgoing cats can be just as effective as dogs can, according to the article.

UC Davis says those cats can form power bonds as strong as dogs and be emotionally supportive if you earn their affection.

Although this is true for cats and dogs, dogs will not like you immediately. You have to earn their trust and affection by sitting, petting and playing with them.

U.S Service Animals lists the top five pets to ease anxiety and said that petting cats for 10 minutes daily can reduce stress levels.

They said the same thing about dogs.

The other animals were fish, birds, and rabbits.

U.S Service Animals went on to say that cats can be loving companions that enjoy cuddling and spending time with owners, despite having a reputation for being distant.

With cats being comparable to dogs, purring is something only cats can do.

A cat’s purr can have a healing effect due to the purr’s frequency. The purr helps people who are suffering from breathing difficulties.

Breathing issues are a common symptom of anxiety.

Behavioral biologist Dennis Turner, mentioned in the full article from UC Davis, said cats can tell when their owners are depressed or nervous.

“The cats were trying to cheer them up,” Turner said.

With cats being just like dogs and, in some cases, being better, El Camino College needs therapy cats and therapy dogs.

However, there could be some issues. Where would the cats go since they can’t be outside?

There are multiple places on campus where a therapy cats event could occur. Such as in the library’s basement or the East Dining Room above the bookstore.

Another issue could be money. How do we pay for this?

This semester, there are four therapy dog events on campus. The first one was on Sept. 28.

The therapy dogs will be revisiting campus on Nov. 15 and Dec. 7, respectively.

It is simple enough to replace one of these dogs with a therapy cat event as a substitution.

What about the popularity of therapy cats?

You never know until you try. Sometimes events can be a bust, but they can also find luck and popularity.

With that in mind, it’s time for El Camino to take these therapy events to the next level.

Give the cat people what they want.


Editor’s Note: Added feature photo on Dec. 14, 2022, at 2:33 p.m.