Many people only associate dogs with the term “service animal.” While it’s true that the majority of therapy pets are canines, animals like cats, guinea pigs, and even fish are helping people who struggle with mental health issues.
In the Queen Anne district of Seattle, Washington, Bayview Retirement Community gives its residents a special new friend. Meet Abner, a hypoallergenic Abyssinian cat who loves to spend time with everyone he meets.
Abner isn’t like any feline you’ve met before. His calm nature and unique personality make him perfect for a residential therapy animal. Lynn Arntuffus, Bayview’s activity director, calls him a “rockstar” among pet therapy cats.
It’s said that petting an animal can lower blood pressure and release the feel-good chemical, serotonin. Abner loves to make his human friends feel present, grounded, and brings a sense of peace anywhere he goes.