Are you a cat person? If your answer is “no”, wait a minute. After you are done reading this article you probably will be. This International Cat Day learn how fur balls can truly improve your mental health.
Nowadays, we already know that having a pet can improve your overall health. Studies have shown that having a cat can elevate your mood, lower your blood pressure and your anxiety levels. However, cats can provide a multitude of therapeutic benefits, including to your mental health.
To put it simply: they’re just plain good for us.
History of International Cat Day:
International Cat Day is a celebration which takes place on 8 August, every year. It was created in 2002 to raise awareness about ways to help and protect cats. In 2020, International Cat Care, a non-profit (charitable) organization that has been striving to improve the health and welfare of domestic cats worldwide since 1958 took over the unofficial holiday of International Cat Day.
Here are seven ways cats help distressed and depressed humans:
- Unconditional love. They can sense when you’re feeling down and depressed and show you with extra nuzzling they have to be by your side. Your kitty will improve your mental health just by making you the object of their unconditional love and affection. They’re precious!
- They need a routine and so do you! House cats depend on you for food, water, and affection. That can motivate you to get out of bed and move, which keeps you from isolating yourself, being sedentary, or wallowing in misery.
- Lift your mood! Studies show petting or stroking your cat can improve your mood. Even more therapeutic is hearing your cat’s purr, and that can make you feel calm and at peace.
- They encourage you to move. Taking care of your kitty and playing with them encourages physical activity, which offers you psychological benefits since studies show exercise is a natural remedy to fight depression.
- Your support during trying times. Like, we don’t know: a pandemic. During quarantine, people who have cats can feel better than those who don’t. And if you find it difficult to talk to another human being, you can always air your feelings to your furry ball of love.
- Lower blood pressure and anxiety levels. Stroking your cat’s coat produces a calming effect, which in turn raises their purring levels for even more psychological benefits. The act of stroking an animal can reduce the level of stress-related hormones in the blood stream. This lowers blood pressure and heart rate, both of which can increase risks for stroke and heart disease if elevated for long periods of time. According to researchers’ results from a study of the University of Minnesota, owning a cat cuts stroke risk by a third.
- They help you sleep better. A sleep study by the Mayo Clinic Center for Sleep Medicine showed that 41% of the people in the study admitted they slept better because of their animal. Sharing your bed with your four-legged companion eases feelings of loneliness and anxiety and helps you relax as you drift off to sleep. Better sleep means feeling more positive and hopeful in the morning.
We hope you have enjoyed our article about the ways cats can improve your mental health. Your cat might not completely alleviate symptoms of depression or anxiety, but there’s nothing like coming home to a furry bundle of love. It’s the antidote for a stress-filled life and delivers a healthy dose of joy every day. 🐈