Cats that have a positive impact on an owner’s health or wellbeing.
Elias - WINNER!
Owned by Jack and Sally Dignam-Thomas, of Hillesden, Buckinghamshire
For Army veteran Jack Dignam-Thomas, three-year-old Elias is more than a pet. He is a vital link to the world when he becomes consumed by the painful effects of post-traumatic stress disorder.
When his symptoms start, Jack can spend long periods of time withdrawing into himself, and it is then that Elias steps in.
By jumping up and demanding fuss and attention, Elias can bring Jack round and help him engage once more in everyday life.
Elias was selected as the winner of the Most Caring Cat category by celebrity judge Eden Taylor-Draper, who said: “It's a lovely story which shows how much the cat cares for Jack.”
to read more about this year’s category judges.
Photo credit - Phil Carpenter
Clementine - Runner up
Owned by Rosemary Clapton, of Ripon, North Yorkshire
Nearly two years ago Rosemary Clapton received the call that was to shatter her life. Her husband Jonathan had been seriously injured in a work accident and was in a critical condition. Despite sustaining severe head injuries, Jonathan pulled through but faced an agonising road to recovery.
During his five-month hospital stay, Rosemary turned to their pet cat Clementine for support, comfort and companionship. And now Jonathan is back at home, three-year-old Clementine has provided a constant source of joy for the couple as they begin to piece their lives back together.
Photo credit - Lee Bradburne
Maci - Runner up
Owned by Kelly Bollington, of Exmouth, Devon
At 17 years old, Kelly Bollington was finding the world a tough place. Plagued by anxiety, she found it difficult to sleep, had low confidence and had dropped out of college. That all changed when Maci came along.
With her pet cat sleeping next to her in bed, she plucked up the courage to keep the lights off at night and began sleeping properly. It was a major stepping stone towards boosting her confidence and gradually Maci helped Kelly find the strength to return to college.
Now, four years on, Kelly has a job, lots of friends and a bright future - all because of Maci.
Photo credit - www.danielsmith-photography.com