The dream job does not exist… except for the role of a professional cat cuddler. In 2017, the Just Cats Veterinary Clinic in Dublin, Ireland, announced they were hiring a cat cuddler. In doing so, the feline-centric practice changed the entire meaning of “doing what you love.” Although the position has been filled, many opportunities exist for people who’d like to turn their love for cats — or cuddling — into a career.
“Now Hiring: Cat Cuddler”
Overall, the purpose of a cat cuddler is to help calm cats with anxiety by petting them and reading their body language. Visits to the vet can be stressful for all kinds of pets and rescued strays, and the Just Cats Veterinary Clinic wanted to take care of their patients’ emotional health while they treat their physical health.
“The ideal candidate must have gentle hands capable of petting and stroking cats for long periods of time,” read the job prescription when it was live. “They need to be soft-spoken and capable of cat whispering to calm the nerves of some of our patients. An ability to understand different types of purring is a distinct added advantage in helping you secure this position with us.” 
In an interview with a Dublin radio station, Just Cats head nurse Roisin Foran said, “The vets and the nurses are really busy with keeping the day to day things going. We need someone who can back us up and continue the care with the cats, so they’re not feeling like ‘oh I feel horrible, and I’m sitting here in a kennel, and I don’t know where I am and I don’t know these people...'”  The job is essentially the reversal of an emotional support animal.
More Jobs for Cat Lovers
If you’re disappointed about missing the cat cuddler opening, don’t worry because there are many other kitty-centric jobs available, including:
- Cat behaviorists
- Cat groomers
- Owners of therapy cats
- Cat cafe baristas
- Cat photographers
- Cat sitters
- Animal shelter employees 
More Cuddler Jobs
If you’re more of a dog person, have no fear because you can become a professional canine cuddler and playmate. For example, Hounds Lounge is a doggie daycare and “luxury resort” where pets could stay when their families go on vacation. The company boasts of 24/7 care and indoor and outdoor cage-free play areas. So people hired as Hounds Lounge’s “Play Yard Attendants” get to interact with the pups for hours on a regular basis. The company’s mission is to “provide unbeatable measures for an exciting vacation for dogs” but for dog lovers, anywhere with cute pups is a vacation in its own right! 
And if you’re not an animal person but still love cuddling, your local maternity ward may want your expertise. That’s right, you can become an official baby cuddler by volunteering at a hospital. Cuddles are actually extremely important for the health and development of newborns. In fact, human touch can help lower infants’ heart rate, reduce stress, help them gain weight, and improve their neonatal mental health. But some babies in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) are more lonely than others.
“Families can’t always be in the unit 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” says pediatrician Tony Barozzino. “Sometimes it’s just because of logistics … Some of them have children at home that they’re caring for while they have a sick child in the hospital. Sometimes the mothers themselves will have their own physical issues after delivery that requires them to be either hospitalized, or resting at home.” 
But fortunately, there are many people who love babies and volunteer to help out newborns and their families. For example, Julia Gluck is a baby cuddler at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, Canada, and she adores her work. “It’s like being in heaven,” she says. “I walk out of here so calm and so refreshed. It’s way easier than paying for therapy. I can tell you that! …How to give back I think is a challenge to a lot of people. This is the almost perfect way of giving back.”
Keep Reading: Cats and Dogs Can See ‘The Invisible’, New Study Suggests
- “An Irish company is looking to hire someone to cuddle cats.” KAGS. January 17, 2018
- “Professional Cat Cuddler wanted by an Irish veterinary clinic.” Irish Central. Frances Mulraney. May 25, 2017
- “11 dream jobs for people who love cats.” Insider. Michelle Larkin. November 26, 2018
- “Fur’real, you can get paid to be a professional dog cuddler in west Little Rock.” THV11. October 19, 2021
- “Need a snuggle? Vulnerable infants bond with volunteer cuddlers.” CBC. Kas Roussy. October 10, 2016