Therapy Cat Brings Joy to Critically Ill Patients

A friendly cat named after a jazz legend has brought joy to critically ill patients at a California hospital. Meet Duke Ellington Morris!

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This adorable black and white feline recently visited ill patients at the UCSF Medical Center. He’s part of a new initiative between the SPCA and the hospital, known as the animal-assisted therapy program. It allows shelter pets to visit critically ill patients to help reduce blood pressure, pain, stress, anxiety, and depression.

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The hospital explained that patients are screened before the special visits. “Our staff screens for allergies before the cat visits, as well as taking precautions with hygiene etc. In addition, the SPCA’s animal-assisted therapy program has specific grooming guidelines.”

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An adorable video of patients petting Duke was shared on the hospital’s Facebook page and has been viewed more than three million times. During Duke’s hospital visit, he was pushed around on a cart to greet a few patients in need of a cuddle.

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The hospital said: “Duke brings furry snuggles and joy to critically ill patients in our intensive care unit! Our staff thinks he’s pretty “purr”-fect too!”

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Watch the  video here:

( h/t )

Click here to see different kind of cat therapy!

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