Companion Cats for Dementia

Tue 10th November 2020 at 2.44 pm - Wed 10th February 2021 - 4.44 pm

Rotary in Knaresborough are sponsoring robotic ‘Companion Cats’ for Dementia Forward’s “Cafe in a box” project. Robotic Cats run on batteries and are hugely realistic. They miaow, purr, lick their paws and bring a smile to everybody.

Companion Cats for Dementia care

People with Dementia and their carers have been hit badly by the pandemic with support groups unable to meet.  Now Rotary in Knaresborough are sponsoring robotic ‘Companion Cats’ for Dementia Forward’s “Cafe in a box” project. Robotic Cats run on batteries and are hugely realistic. They miaow, purr, lick their paws and bring a smile to everybody. They can become a real pet and companion to many Dementia sufferers. Research evidence indicates that the therapeutic value of the robotic cats can be more beneficial than drugs for certain Dementia Conditions.

The Charity, Dementia Forward, delivers a support service covering all areas of North Yorkshire working with the County Council and Clinical Commissioning groups, they can be contacted on 03300578592. Listen to an interview on Radio York at go to 1hr 13min 56 secs

Dementia Forward are launching a new service, “Café in a Box” for social Dementia therapy. A substitute for the regular weekly Café meetings and group activities for patients across North Yorkshire, held before COVID 19 to develop group social interaction and therapy in the treatment of Dementia. The boxes will contain a variety of activities for single patients and carers to use in the home. Contents include exercise support, soft bowling, colouring books, reminiscences books. Each box will also contain a few basic foods as a monthly treat. The “ Rotary Companion Cats” will only be included in boxes to be distributed to patients who have been clinically assessed to obtain maximum benefit form Robot Cat Therapy.

North Yorkshire County Council have carried out research on the value of these Robotic  cats for Dementia Therapy, with positive results  and are giving full support to this project.

Knaresborough Rotary is grateful for the sponsorship provided by Timpson Shoe Repairs Ripon, providing an engraved Pet name tag for each cat and also to Vida Care Homes who were helpful in trialing the cats for research purposes.                                                                                                “A…. absolutely loved the cat. She was very reluctant to give it back. It offered comfort and purpose to her and we saw a significant improvement in her mood.”                                                                                                                                                       

“Jhas experienced absolute moments of joy from ‘Jess’. Her daughter informs us she never had an affinity to pets but ‘Jess’ is proving different. We have had to buy shampoo caps to clean her as Joan doesn’t like to be apart even at mealtimes. Even on a quiet day the cat will spark conversation and a smile.”

An initial quantity of 10 Cats have been provided  by Knaresborough Rotary, but many more will still be required  as the scheme is rolled out across the entire  North Yorkshire region.

It is possible to give financial support to the Rotary Companion Cats project at

or contact

Dementia is a fast growing terminal illness.

Research indicates ONE THIRD of all adults will suffer Dementia before death. 

Harrogate District has at present 3,000 registered Dementia patients.

1,000 patients live in Care Homes, 2000 patients live at home isolated from the community with carer support.

1,100 of the total patients are registered on the Dementia Forward database receiving weekly care support.

Covid 19 has had a severe impact on Dementia Patients mortality rates with a 79% increase recorded  against the normal annual average since the pandemic began in March

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