Purrfect Senior Companions

Over the last few years, pet companions have become popular with older adults who are feeling lonely or have dementia. A 2017 study revealed that the interaction between aging adults and animals — whether real or robotic — can help lower blood pressure, ease anxiety, reduce feelings of loneliness, and improve overall quality of life. Some nursing homes even offer pet therapy for dementia patients to ease any unintended agitation and aggression.

That may be why so many Amazon reviewers gave five stars to Ageless Innovation’s Joy for All Companion Pets. These plush robotic animals have built-in sensors, “vibrapurr” technology, and brushable fur, making them surprisingly realistic. Yep, they look, feel, and sound much like the cats that your loved ones grew up with (minus the litter box cleanup). Insert four batteries, and the cats, who come in four different shades to sorta-kinda mimic real breeds, can open and close their eyes, lift their paws, and move their heads and bodies. If you pet them in the right spot — like on their belly or back side — they’ll “purr.”

And yeah, there’s a dog version, too. But he doesn’t purr.

One Amazon reviewer said, “My family recently had to place my mom in a nursing home for long term care. She has dementia and my 88-year-old father could no longer care for her. We worried about the time she would spend there when no one was visiting or during the periods of time with no activities. Because of this, I got her one of these cats. I am happy to say that this was one of the best purchases I have ever made. It is truly remarkable what this cat can do. It is very lifelike and although my mother knows it isn’t real, she enjoys it nonetheless.”

Another wrote, “My wife of 72 years has been diagnosed with rapid onset moderate dementia. She always wanted a dog, but I knew that in our situation a real dog would demand more than we would be able to provide. When searching for robotic dogs as a novelty gift, I came across this companion pet and purchased it, if for no other reason than its realistic appearance. She has since spent hours with it every day since.’It has a heart’ she says, reacting to the beating mechanism inside. Anything that can bring such joy and happiness is something to be truly grateful for.”

Prices vary, but most are just under $100 at Amazon and other online retailers.

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About the Author ()

Mousebreath Magazine is an award-winning online magazine that celebrates cats and the cat-centric lifestyle. Editor Karen Nichols is a popular conference speaker and writer, whose current project is The Cat Scout Handbook. She is also the denmaster at CatScouts.com.

Comments (2)

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  1. Erin The Cat says:

    What a great idea. I wish we’d had one of these a few years back. I could have gone on holiday and had some me time whilst it helped out. The price sounds great, too.
    Purrs
    ERin

  2. A local library near me has a companion cat like this, which is used at nursing homes. I wonder if having one at the office would be helpful; I know I could use some fur therapy several times a day!

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