ROBOTIC cats are among initiatives introduced to help people with dementia in South Craven and across North Yorkshire.

Behind the move is Dementia Forward, funded by North Yorkshire County Council. It fears that the cancellation due to the pandemic of regular gatherings and organised events could exacerbate problems for people living with the condition.

The robots are a similar weight to a cat and interact in a lifelike way.

Around 50, donated by a Rotary club, will be distributed before Christmas.

Jill Quinn, of Dementia Forward, said: “The robots are very lifelike and purr and react when they are stroked.

“They can provide comfort for a person with dementia who is anxious or unable to settle.

“One example was a woman who was very into arts and crafts, however her dementia meant that she would get anxious. But once we placed the cat on her knee, she sat and stroked it.”

Dementia Forward runs a helpline on 03300 578592.