Having anxiety and depression can make life more difficult for individuals, but thankfully there are plenty of tips to help reduce the effects. One of those that seem to help a lot of people is welcoming a pet into their life, more specifically a cat.
There are so many benefits to owning a cat, from providing company when lonely to helping reduce stress by having them sit on your lap. Scientists and researchers have conducted a number of studies over the years to prove the health benefits of owning cats and some of them are quite surprising.
- Offering companionship
One of the things that people with depression often say is that there are times where they feel lonely and pets are one of the things that can help break the cycle.
Desiree Wiercyski is a life coach from Fort Wayne, IN, and she says, “A pet can remind you that you’re not alone. Pets offer unconditional love, which can be extraordinarily soothing when feeling isolated.”
Compared to dogs, cats are more relaxed about their lifestyle and are happy to stay curled up on the sofa with you and they are so easy to be around. At the same time, they also enjoy a little play time every now and then, which will help to get a person’s energy levels up and stop them from feeling stuck in a rut.
While they may not be able to cure depression, they will be able to offer a distraction from any problems that might be causing someone stress. Just being able to have them laying in your lap and stroking them can do wonders to alleviate your mood and make you feel relaxed.
The reason for this is that it can boost the levels of serotonin in the body and release more oxytocin. This is the chemical that is known for helping new mothers’ bond with their babies after birth, so it allows you to have a strong connection with your cat.
Ever noticed how your cat seems to know when you are distressed or not feeling well? It is this bond that allows them to pick up on subtle signs and know when they need to make you feel better.
- Becoming more active
People with depression or anxiety often find it difficult to sometimes stay motivated and wish they could just stay in bed. However, owning a cat can give people a sense of purpose and help them into a routine. After all, the cat can’t feed or care for itself as it relies on a human to do these things.
It is the small things that can help people make it through the day and there is nothing better than hearing the purring that occurs when they are eating their favorite food or when they rub against your leg to thank you.
Cats make the perfect companion for someone with depression or anxiety because they are much easier to take care of in general, as well as being less expensive to feed. A dog needs to be walked at least once a day and for people with anxiety, it can sometimes be difficult to face the outside world depending on how they feel.
Luckily, cats are okay with being kept indoors, or if you think they would prefer the great outdoors you can always have a cat flap installed so they can go on their adventures.
- Making you healthier
Enjoying the company of a cat has more benefits than just keeping you calm and relaxed, such as being proven to lower blood pressure, which can cause a number of health issues later on in life.
A study at State University of New York at Buffalo found that people who own pets of any kind have better blood pressure than those who do not. This can also help to reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases. The University of Minnesota conducted a study that found people who didn’t own a cat were 40% more likely to have the disease than the people who enjoyed their furry felines.
An interesting benefit of owning a cat is that it may help people to decrease their chances of developing allergies and improve their immune function.
Cats will often comfort their owners when they are ill, which can speed up the healing process and also make you happy at the same time. Within no time, you will find that owning a cat has a lot more pros than it does cons.
Just the simple act of giving love to them can be very therapeutic and help people to become more mindful.
If you are a person who suffers from anxiety or depression and you are ready to take a step towards getting better, then owning a cat could be the way forward. Not only will you develop a close bond with an animal that will become your best friend for years to come, but you will also find that there are many benefits to make you feel at peace with yourself.
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