The cats-only clinic said they’re hiring a cuddler because cats are often traumatized by the experience of going to the vet.
“Once they’ve had a surgery or a vaccine or anything that they feel is an unpleasant experience, we want to turn that around and make it into a good experience,” said head veterinary nurse Roisin Foran.
The cuddler will be responsible for playing, reassuring and offering comfort to the cat after their treatment.
“Any cat owner will tell you that the difference between dogs and cats is that cats need more time, reassurance and comfort [when going to the vet],” said Foran, explaining that cats rarely leave the house and only do so when they need to go to the clinic.
“Once they see that cat carrier, they know there’s something nasty coming, so what we’re trying to do is to make the whole experience a nice, calm, relaxing experience,” she said.
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, nearly half of U.S. cat owners did not take their cats to the vet for regular check-ups. Some reasons include the fact that the cat didn’t exhibit illness or it was too costly to visit the vet. But Just Cats’ veterinary surgeon Aoife Caulfield said some owners avoid clinics because cats get too stressed during their visits.
The clinic said they’ve received hundreds of applications for the cat cuddler position and have closed the job listing.
Foran said the most qualified applicant will be someone who is recognized by the Veterinary Council of Ireland and is gentle, calm and soft-spoken.
“We just want someone who will appreciate that they just need to sit there and give these cats time. They need to have patience and they need to be cat people,” said Foran.
The position will have the same base salary as other veterinary nurses in Ireland, said Foran, which starts from €20,000 to €25,000 (C$30,000 – C$37,500).
In Canada, various SPCAs and rescue organizations across the nation accept volunteer cat cuddlers.
But be warned: according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the U.S., cuddling cats can be risky and cause serious illness if the feline infects you with cat scratch fever.Follow @jennynotjen
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