Robotic CATS for companionship

Our Rotary Club of Wakefield is doing an amazing thing!

Sheila with catWe have been purchasing Robotic Cats for several years to support and comfort people who have Dementia, their carers, lonely people who are socially isolated or children with special needs.  We raise the money to purchase the cats by fundraising, donations or grants wherever possible.  We have also been helped by some schools which have raised funds for us. These robotic cats help carers and family members by the calming effect they can provide.

The cats are supplied under the trade name – Joy For All - by Ageless Innovation (USA) and are very realistic, they move, turn over, miaow and purr.  They are controlled by four batteries and can be silenced or muted. We provide cleaning/hygiene advice supplied by the manufacturer.

The project accelerated in 2018 after a BBC programme ‘Let’s Get a Good Thing Going’ and we started to receive enquiries from all over the UK. Realising the benefit of making the cats available to other Rotary Clubs we published articles in the Rotary magazine thus setting out to not only respond to local requests, but also to supply them to other clubs in return for a donation to reflect the costs involved. Retailing at over £100 we try wherever possible to keep a supply going by asking clubs to make a donation towards the costs involved and we discuss this with the clubs concerned.

In 2019 the ‘Your Cat’ magazine joined with us in promoting the benefits of the robotic cats and launched an appeal to raise funds. As a result, a further 20 cats were purchased and then, in early 2020, they asked readers to nominate an individual or care home etc. who might appreciate a cat free of charge.

The 20 cats were distributed all over the UK and each one was delivered by a member of the local Rotary Club. Some donations followed, in addition to individual contributions or occasionally a grant from other charitable organisations.

In August 2020 ‘Your Cat’ published several letters and emails from people who had received a cat and this generated several other requests to provide them.  (see pages from the magazine        Page 1         Page 2.     ) The internet also has several examples of how the ‘Joy For All’ cats are received.

We always try to provide a cat either free of charge or ask for a donation towards the cost and enquiries can be directed to the club by emailing: cats@rotarywakefield.org.uk.  We welcome enquiries from Rotary Clubs in the UK, from private individuals or care homes etc.

So far over 250 cats have been donated. Responses from relatives, friends and Rotarians who delivered them have been poignant, moving and full of gratitude.  This is a small project which requires little effort, but the outcomes provide comfort and joy to many who find themselves in a lonely place.


A message from the Manager of Walton Manor Care Home, Wakefield which illustrates the effectiveness of these therapeutic companions when used by some patients with dementia.......


"I would like to say a massive thank you for the Rotary donation of the cat to Walton Manor. In a short period of time you have changed people's lives. 

We have a lady at Walton Manor who is living with Dementia. She has over the past few months become so frustrated that she called out and screamed a lot of the time through the day. We have tried all sorts to help with this as carers, using different activities, stimulation and reassurance; nothing worked.Then you brought the cat!! 

This lady has cuddled, named and loved him. She no longer shouts out and is happy and content. We were amazed at the change and the new life this lady now has.

A family member whose mother has Alzheimer’s witnessed this and bought a cat for her as she showed episodes of anxiety and depression. This has also stopped.

Not only have you changed the life of these ladies but you given our staff a knowledge of the different kind of needs people living with dementia may have.

I cannot thank you enough for what you did for us and please don’t hesitate to ask if we can return the favour to you.

Kind regards
Helen Batty
Manager, Walton Manor"

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