why cats are good for mental health

Have you ever wondered why cats are good for mental health? In this post you’ll discover many reasons why owning a cat has a positive impact on your mental wellbeing.

If you already have one of these purring bundles of fur, you’ll know some of the benefits it has on your wellbeing.

However, if you’re just thinking about getting a cat, I hope this post helps you realise just how much cats benefit mental health.

We’ll look at how cats help with anxiety and depression, as well as loneliness. Plus the healing power of purrs, and why many hospitals are now allowing cats into wards.

How Cats Reduce Anxiety

One of the reasons why cats are good for mental health is their calming effect. Even though your kitty may drive you mad at times, her presence for the most part will be calming.

There’s nothing quite as soothing as stroking a purring cat. Whether you’ve had a stressful day, or feeling anxious, a cuddle with your cat will soon calm you down.

In fact, it’s been scientifically proven! Studies have shown a cat’s purr can lower blood pressure as well as heart rate.

One such study has been published in the journal of vascular and interventional neurology. This is encouraging as high blood pressure can result in strokes.

Can Owning A Cat Help With Depression?

why cats are cats good for mental health-depression

Another reason why cats are good for mental health is their ability to lift your mood. I defy any cat owner to feel down for very long.

These little furballs can be just like clowns. They seem to have an uncanny knack of lifting your spirits with clownish antics.

My cat definitely knows how to make me laugh, and can lift my mood in an instant! It’s just as if he knows how I’m feeling.

Spending quality time with your cat each day not only helps bonding, but is good for your mental health as well. Whether playing games or stroking kitty, you will feel better.

In fact, serotonin a feel good chemical is released into the body when you spend time with a cat. The same chemical is also released during exercise, or when you’re in love.

If you suffer mild to moderate depression, owning a cat may certainly help, especially if you live alone. Having a furry companion greet you at the door makes you feel welcome.

Many who live alone feel isolated, and owning a pet provides company. It doesn’t matter that your companion is furry with four legs!

Having another living being that’s dependant on you gives a sense of purpose. No matter how bad you feel, you still have to feed your cat.

Wouldn’t it be good if doctors could prescribe a cat instead of pills! I’m sure it could work well for some patients.

In fact, many who suffer depression and sadness find talking to a pet helps. Surprisingly, cats make good counsellers.

They don’t judge you or answer back. In addition, they’re highly sensitive and sense moods.

Simply talking to your cat while stroking her may ease any depression. Her soft purrs and warmth can work magic.

Cats As Therapy Animals

therapy cats for mental health

While many think of dogs as therapy animals, cats can provide excellent support in some settings. These may include hospitals, care homes, and hospices.

Your kitty would need to meet certain requirements if you want to consider her for a therapy cat. These include your cat being at least one year old.

Also, you’d need to have lived with your cat for six months and have a strong relationship. Plus, only cats with a calm, people friendly nature would be considered.

Another obvious requirement would be your cat is leash trained. This is for your cat’s own safety. Added to this, being tolerant of travel and seeing new people are a must.

Although still uncommon, cats are slowly gaining popularity as therapy animals. Sick patients will benefit from interaction with a cat by simply stroking it.

The Healing Power Of Purrs

One reason why cats make such good therapy animals is the healing power of their purrs. Amazingly, cats often purr when injured to help self heal.

No one understands a great deal about purring, but it’s believed to release endorphins into the cat’s body. It’s also believed stroking a purring cat has the same effect on humans.

So you can imagine the healing power of a cat on those with mental health issues. From mild depression to stress, your cat can help.

An interesting fact about your cat’s purr is the vibrational rate falls between 25-140 HZ. This same frequency has been shown to aid healing in broken bones.

Why Cats Are Good For Mental Health In The Workplace

pets in the workplace are good for mental health

During lockdown your workplace may have been your home. If you share your space with a furry feline you may already be aware of the positive impact it can have on your mood.

Working next to a purring kitty can be soothing, except of course when she’s pouncing in your laptop! However, for the most part cats can be great co-workers!

In fact many large companies such as Amazon and Airbnb have a policy allowing workers to bring their pets. While the majority have dogs, there’s no reason why you couldn’t bring your cat to work!

It’s been shown that pets in the workplace reduce stress and increase productivity. While you may think the opposite to be true, pets can have a positive impact.

Pets can even encourage friendships between workers. Talking about your pet and sharing stories makes for a happier workplace. Of course, you may find your kitty chasing a co-worker’s dog around the office!

Banish Loneliness By Adopting A Cat

If you’re someone who suffers loneliness it can be depressing. Many who live alone feel happy and fulfilled. However this isn’t always the case.

If you find living alone makes you feel lonely consider adopting a cat. I’m almost certain your furry companion will soon banish any feelings of sadness.

Final Thoughts

I hope this post has helped you understand why cats are good for mental health. Whether you feel a bit down or suffer depression, owning a cat may help boost your mental wellbeing.

As you’ve also discovered, cats have amazing healing powers. Not only for themselves, but their human companions as well. Even some hospitals and care homes are starting to allow therapy cats to visit patients,

Also, larger companies are encouraging workers to bring their pets. Although most will be dogs, there’s no reason why cats can’t be included as well!

If you’ve enjoyed this post please share. Also, if you have any questions or would like to share experiences, leave a comment below.

Wishing you a purrfect day,

Leave a Comment

Join Our Cat Loving Community!

Get Cat Care 101, Plus regular blog post updates...

We respect your privacy.