BUFFALO, NY (WKBW-TV) — Toni Steinbarth is a cat lover who can't have a cat where she lives. She took a test run with a cuddly critter named "Rascal" who looks like a lovable orange tabby, but is actually a robot.
Toni is Managing Director of Community Based Treatment for Spectrum Health and Human Services. Considering the benefits of pet companionship, Toni thought that high tech tabbies might be good for some of Spectrum's clients.
"They have found it to be helpful with clients who come to session, especially people that are experiencing trauma" Toni says, adding "They have also found that staff members, when no one is using them, have them in their laps because they vibrate."
Rascal was such a hit that Spectrum has purchased three other robot cats and had a naming contest. They are named Linus, Woodstock and Moe. The cats purr, blink, meow and vibrate.
Tony says the cats have many advantages over real cats including, no vet bills, no liter boxes and they have an off switch.