How Cats Help Boost Our Mental Health

Day after day ,we’re subjected to countless news stories and details of research highlighting the benefits of pets on our mental health.

Far from just household fixtures, animals previously thought of as just ‘pets’ are now being used in a whole variety of ways, playing key roles in therapy practices, as well as providing routine and stability for the elderly and dementia sufferers.

Whilst we often consider dogs to benefit our mental health and wellbeing the most, research suggests that cats may be just as good…

As one of the UK’s most popular pets, here are some of the ways that research has demonstrated the extent of the benefits that cats can have on their owner’s mental health and wellbeing:

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Positive Mental Wellbeing

Contact with animals is commonly said to promote mental wellbeing, with cats no exception to the rule…

A survey, conducted in Scotland, found that children aged 11 to 15 had a better quality of life if they also had strong bonds with their cats.

Furthermore, the benefits are not just limited to physical contact with cats. Another study found that people who watch cat videos online reportedly felt fewer negative emotions afterwards, with higher levels of positive feelings.

In short, cats promote less anxiety and sadness, with improved levels of happiness and contentment.

Reduced Stress Levels

Cats have also been found to be a source of calmness, resulting in reduced stress levels.

In a study of 120 married couples, it was found that cat owners responded better to a series of stressful tasks than those without cats.

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When their heart rate and blood pressure was monitored, it was found that cat owners had naturally lower resting rates, performed better during the tasks and recovered faster afterwards.

So, if the little things start getting to you, perhaps a kitten could be the way forward!

Improved Social Relationships

Finally, research has shown that cat owners are more socially sensitive than non-cat owners.

The American Psychological Association found that cat owners were more likely to trust others, as a result of their relationship with their pet.

Speaking of the relationship between being socially sensitive and being a cat owner, Rose Perrine and Hannah Osbourne of Eastern Kentucky University said:

“Positive feelings about dogs/cats may engender positive feelings about people, or vice-versa.”

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Our relationships with our cats (or any animals, for that matter) really are invaluable!

As the kids head back to school and the summer comes to an end, Tailster have all of your pet care needs sorted! Whether you’re looking for regular, daily walks or someone to pop in occasionally to check on your pets, we’ve got you covered. Click here for more information on Tailster’s pet walking and sitting services

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