But one overlooked way to improve your mental health is getting a cat. Believe it or not, a pet cat can help you feel happier and less stressed. That’s why therapy cats are getting more recognized as a valid treatment option.
What Is A Therapy Cat?
Using animals to help people improve their mental health is an old idea, but up until recently, most people used dogs as therapy animals. Sure, dogs are very good at that. But dogs aren’t without their problems.
Getting Help From Your Cat
But how do cats help you like this? Mental Floss lists many ways cats can help you feel more positive and happy. Having a loving creature like a pet cat can help you better cope with things that cause sadness or anxiety. Even though you cannot exactly talk over your problems with a cat, you can snuggle, play, and feel love and acceptance from them. That can do a lot for your peace of mind.
In fact, owning a cat can lower your stress levels. Humans just find something comforting from spending time with feline friends. Studies show that cat owners have less risk of dying from heart attacks and feel more connected. And because cats eat more fish than other pets, they can be better for the environment — something that can help you feel better as well.
The Establishment explains another reason cats can help improve your mental health: They are good role models for relationships. Cats are interested in you and want to spend time with you, but they are not codependent. They won’t let owners treat them poorly, and when faced with disrespect, they pull away. That can help you learn how to have healthy relationships with other humans.
A cat can help with the day-to-day struggles with anxiety and depression, but they can do more than that. As DrugRehab.org explains, having an animal companion like a cat can help when you are in addiction recovery. Part of why is how pets are non-judgmental. Unlike your human friends, they are not going to ignore you just because you struggle with alcohol or drug abuse. They care about you regardless of any addiction. That can really help you get through a rough time.
Your cat can be a part of a formal addiction recovery program, or you can just pick up a friendly cat at your local shelter. Either way, having a pet cat can reduce your anxiety, lessen feelings of loneliness, encourage your independence, and take your mind off cravings and pain. All of these can help you avoid relapses and be successful in your addiction recovery.
Get A Pet Cat Today
It’s not like a cat can take the place of a doctor or therapist, but owning a pet cat can help improve your mental health. Whether you’re in addiction recovery or just working through a tough time in your life, search for local pet shelters in your area to find a cat that will help you get through it all.
Ms. Brody created OurBestFriends to offer a place for animal lovers to share their favorite pet photos and stories about their furry pals.