If you share your home with a cat, I’m sure you’ll agree that they’re great companions and unknowingly help us on many levels. Studies have shown that cats improve your mental health by helping to reduce stress and even lower blood pressure. For those who live with depression or anxiety, pets can truly be a vital part of getting through the day and overcoming challenges.
The reality is that cats improve our mental health just by being themselves. All those warm cuddles, calming purrs, and gentle head nudges have such a lasting effect on us. Adopting a cat offers companionship, decreases our stress and anxiety, and they act as a therapy animal; whether or not it’s official. Bottom line, cats improve our mental health and overall happiness.
Cats Reduce Anxiety and Stress
Did you know that anxiety disorders are the most common mental health issue in the United States? According to the Academy of Anxiety and Depression of America, 40 million adults in the U.S. are affected by anxiety disorders ages 18 and older, or 18.1% of the population every year.
If you’ve grown up around cats, then you know the healing power cats have when enduring a difficult time. There is no question why animals have been trained to be emotional support companions and improve our mental health.
Cat parents are less likely to suffer from depression than those without pets. The simple act of playing with your cat can elevate levels of serotonin and dopamine, which calm and relax the body. These two neurotransmitters are responsible for regulating mood disorders like anxiety and depression.
Cats Give Us Unconditional Love
Cats improve our mental health by giving us unconditional love. They make you a better person by striving to do better to earn their trust and devotion. It’s an easy and uncomplicated love that you look forward to seeing every time you come home, without fear of judgment. Whether you realize it or not, your kitty loves you dearly and you love your kitty right back. Cats give us love without expecting much in return….ehh except a full food dish.
Cats Create Calm in the Chaos
Cats improve our mental health by bringing sheer joy to our lives on a daily basis. They find ways to steal our heart and make us laugh without even trying. Cats have the ability make us feel all warm and fuzzy even during the most trying of times.
Having a cat (or three!) gives a cat parent a sense of responsibility and purpose. Cats improve your mental health by literally making you get up every day. Even though it’s s small task, it sets a routine and something to focus on other than yourself. Cats need your help to do many basic life things like eat and use a clean bathroom.
Having a cat especially improves your mental health in moments where you may feel like too many things are beyond your control. Having sense of routine and responsibility creates purpose and logic where there may too much uncertainty.
Cats Create a Happy Distraction
Sometimes it can feel challenging to turn off our brain with seemingly endless tasks of to-dos. One suggestion experts offer is to create distractions for yourself with things that make you happy. Playing with your cat is a guaranteed mental health booster. It’s so easy to let go and laugh when your kitty is acting silly while watching them chase around feather toy or squeeze into a box that’s just not quite the right fit.
Cats improve your mental health and can help relieve some anxious feelings by actively engaging in playtime with them. This also helps to avoid major swings of depression from too much inactivity. Even simply petting your cat can improve your mental health. Did you know just 15 to 30 minutes of quality time with a cat can calm your nerves and boost your mood. Stroking your cat’s soft fur helps you to relax by putting your mind at ease and clearing your thoughts.Did you know just 15 to 30 minutes of quality time with your cat can calm your nerves and boost your mood. Click To Tweet
Cats Have Healing Powers
We all know cats are magical animals but the sound of a cat’s purr actually improves your mental health. A cat’s purr creates vibrations within the range of 20-140 Hertz. Studies have shown that vibrations within this 20-140 Hz range can have a myriad of health benefits.
A cat’s purr is known to lower blood pressure, improve bone density, and even aid in healing tendons and muscles. Purring in this frequency also produces similar effects to what can be achieved through meditation, relaxation, and other stress relief activities to improve your mental health.A cat’s purr is known to lower blood pressure, improve bone density, and even aid in healing tendons and muscles. Click To Tweet
Cats Are Great Emotional Support Animals (ESA)
People usually think of “Therapy Animals” as a dog’s realm, but cats can certainly be certified as Emotional Support Animals as well. Cats can provide love and emotional support to their parents in the same way dogs can to improve mental health. If you’re not familiar with the term Emotional Support Animal, it simply refers to any animal that brings comfort to an individual.
An emotional support cat goes beyond just a pet, but rather an animal that helps a person suffering from an emotional or mental disability. An Emotional Support Animal helps improve your mental health and helps you to cope and live a normal life.
It’s certainly not necessary to have your pet certified as an Emotional Support Animal to feel their love and support during a difficult time. Emotional Support Animals are not considered service animals. They differ because they have no specific training for executing specific tasks like alerting people who are deaf or guiding people who are blind.
Cats Are Loving and Affectionate Animals
Cats have the reputation for being aloof and sometimes get a bad rap for not being overly affectionate. Just like us, every cat is different and has their own personality. The key is finding the right kitty for you. Cats improve our mental health by just being themselves. Their ability to reduce stress, offer companionship, heal with the power of purrs, and even offer their services as therapy animals make them a pioneer for improving mental health.
“Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.”- Anatole France
If you want to know how to thank your kitty for improving your mental health, check out 10 Tips To Be A Better Cat Parent