Two Sphynx therapy cats owned by colleagues at HC-One’s Clarendon Hall care home, in Humberston, Grimsby, were welcomed into the home for a calming cat therapy session with residents.

Clarendon Hall Wellbeing Coordinator, Hayley Sandison, and Kitchen Assistant, Jamie Biddles, bought two beautiful Sphynx Cats, Iggy and Ozzy, as young kittens. The hairless cats have subsequently been visiting the home on a regular basis ever since residents discovered that colleagues owned kittens.

The pets provide a calm and relaxed atmosphere, while making themselves right at home with residents. When James and Hayley were previously chatting to residents about how carefree, easy-going, and loving the cats were, everyone wanted to meet them.

The pair of feline friends first visited the residential and nursing care home as young kittens, and residents have loved their visits ever since, the most recent one being on Tuesday, May 28, where they posed for photos.

Averil Johnson, who lives at the care home, said:

“It makes me happy; I like the animals. The pictures were shared with my daughter who lives in New Zealand.”

Averil’s daughter was thrilled to see her mum looking so relaxed and happy. Cats can provide many benefits to elderly people, including therapeutic care, and it can highlight the value that assistance companion animals bring.

Residents can also improve their wellbeing and social interaction by engaging with pets. Everyone at the home, residents, relatives, colleagues and visitors, are always asking about how the cats are and what they have been up to.

Nicola Walker, Home Manager at Clarendon Hall, commented:

“It makes the residents feel nostalgic and they reminisce about the pets they have had.  It makes them smile and very relaxed. 

“The residents get excited when they know the cats will be visiting and they really look forward to it and are very thankful. We don’t have any residents who don’t like the pet visits!”

Other colleagues also bring in their dogs to visit residents, and they comment on how well behaved all the animals are. Everyone smiles and talks to the visiting animals and, as they all visit regularly, they have seen them grow and feel a bond towards them.

The whole experience sparks much conversation between residents, who chat about their love of four-legged friends. Clarendon Hall residents Jean Lennox, Amy Glover, Jean Warren and Margaret Sethi revealed their enjoyment after the cat therapy session.

Resident Jean Lennox said: “I like the dogs as it reminds me of my dogs. I always had big dogs.”

Resident Amy Glover said: “I prefer cats to dogs and have always had pets.”

Resident Jean Warren said: “I love animals and used to have a dog and a cat.”

Resident Margaret Sethi said: “I really like it, they cheer me up, I really like the dogs too.”

The cats have been specifically helpful for some residents more than others. One resident was feeling quite restless lately and, as soon as the cats visited, they produced a calm atmosphere and happily relaxed in the lap of the resident.

In another instance, the cats were taken to see a resident who was on end-of-life care. The cats made the resident and her family feel very relaxed during a difficult time.

Toni Yardley, Deputy Home Manager at Clarendon Hall, remarked:

“It has been amazing watching the cats growing to how they are now, and I look forward to seeing them.  It is lovely to see the residents smiling and happy and I feel that they bring comfort to both the residents and their families.”

Everyone is very much looking forward to the next visit from Iggy and Ozzy.