Cats are not just beautiful creatures, they can also become amazing emotional support animals and improve your mental and physical health.
Having a kitty provides a feeling of companionship and a sense of purpose. When you play with the cat or pet it, feel-good hormones get released that help you reduce stress and anxiety. In fact, cats can even help improve mild or moderate depression.
Below you will find what breed can help you with anxiety the most and whether cats can tell when you’re sad.
Why Having a Cat Helps You Reduce Stress and Anxiety
You might already know that it’s important to spend some time during the day playing with your cat for it to be happy. But did you know that these 15-30 minutes of interaction can boost your mood as well?
Whenever you spend quality time with your feline friend, your body starts producing serotonin (the so-called ‘hormone of happiness’). At the same time, the cortisol levels in your body go down.
Fact: people who own a kitty are around 30% less likely to die from a heart attack.
What Breed of Cat Helps with Anxiety?
Even though practically any kitty can become a wonderful emotional support animal, there are certain breeds that are considered to be a bit better at it.
Cats that can help the most with relieving stress and anxiety are usually the ones that are able to form a strong bond with humans. They are affectionate and friendly, but not overly demanding. They can also be gently playful and cuddly.
Of course, every cat has its own personality, but these breeds usually make amazing support animals:
- American Curl
- American Bobtail
- American Wirehair
- Exotic Shorthair
- Oriental Shorthair
- Norwegian Forest
- Selkirk Rex
- Scottish Fold
Can a Cat Help a Depressed Person?
Cats can help improve mild or moderate depression. If you have trouble sleeping, kitties can help with that as well.
That is because the fluffy balls are able to offer love, companionship, and comfort. If depression makes you feel extremely lonely, then pets can help break that cycle.
There are a few other things that having a cat can ‘offer’:
- A sense of calm – petting your kitty improves your mood. The cat’s purr also has a relaxing effect.
- A regular schedule – even if you’re not feeling great, you still have to take care of your pet. This means feeding the little guy, grooming it, and cleaning its litter. This routine will give you a sense of purpose and it will help you make it through the day.
- Physical activity – if your kitty has been trained to walk on a leash, you would have to take the fluffy ball out, even if you’re feeling bad. You might also make yourself play with the kitty for at least 10-15 minutes per day. Such exercises can help manage depression, as you start feeling more productive.
Bear in mind that the following is not true for severe depression. If you’re not able to get out of bed, then the pet won’t be properly taken care of. In such a case, you should seek medical help, and you should also try to find someone who is going to be with the kitty, while you’re dealing with the illness.
Why Having a Cat Is Good for Your Mental Health?
Cats are fluffy stress relievers
The kitty doesn’t have to really do anything to help you relieve stress – it just has to be itself. Petting such a fluffy ball of happiness can make your body start producing feel-good hormones. Your blood pressure and heart rate will slowly decrease and you will feel far less anxious.
In fact, nowadays, even some hospitals have cats that patients can pet to relieve stress and improve their health.
Cats provide the feeling of companionship
Having a long-lasting friendship positively affects your mental health. Kitties can help people feel less lonely and they also provide some humans with the feeling of purpose.
A relationship with a pet is a positive, predictable, and encouraging one. You know that your kitty will not leave you and will always be by your side. That feeling is especially important for people who have had negative experiences in relationships with humans.
Are Cats Good for Trauma?
Kitties can help alleviate anxiety, loneliness, and depression. All these symptoms are often associated with post-traumatic stress disorder.
In a lot of ways, cats can help cope with mental issues a lot more effectively than dogs. That is because a canine friend will, most likely, put up even with bad behavior, while a cat will not.
Kitties are interested in people and they can get attached to them, but, at the same time, they can also assert themselves. These creatures have quiet dignity which makes building a beautiful relationship with a feline friend a bit more challenging, but far more rewarding.
Why Does My Cat Make Me So Happy?
There is a ‘chemical’ reason for that feeling of happiness.
When you play with the fluffy ball, your body releases dopamine and serotonin – these hormones improve your immunity, reduce stress, and overall make you feel great.
When you’re petting your feline friend, oxytocin will get released – it is associated with the feeling of being in love.
All these chemicals combined will make you feel a lot happier when your pet is around.
Do Cats Heal You?
It might seem surprising to some, but a cat’s purr does have healing properties.
This sound is usually within the range of 25-150 Hertz which is considered to be healing for humans. Of course, the cat’s presence and its purr can help lower stress levels, but the magical sound can also assist in healing infections and even in…healing bones!
Some owners also believe that allowing their cat or dog to lick their wounds would speed up the healing process. Even though cats really can affect your health in a positive way, licking open wounds is not one of them.
In fact, you should never allow your kitty to lick your open sores, wounds, or even scratches. There are plenty of bacteria in the cat’s mouth that are not compatible with humans.
The truth is that some kitties carry bacterial infections in their saliva. These bacteria can get passed to a human if the cat licks your open bite or scratches you hard enough to break the skin’s surface.
The symptoms of ‘cat scratch disease’ include swollen glands, body rash, flu-like symptoms, and others.
Can Cats Tell When You’re Sad?
It hasn’t been proven whether cats understand ‘sadness’ the way we, humans, do. But kitties can sense when your mood changes.
That is because they are used to your normal behaviors and they will notice if something changes. These creatures are also incredibly intuitive and observant, so they can definitely understand when there is something wrong with you.
Do Cats Comfort You When You Cry?
Your kitty might not realize that you need comfort, but if you have shown a few times that you need affection when you’re crying, for example, they will come to you again when you’ll start shedding tears.
In a nutshell, cats do understand the nuances of your behavior and they will certainly respond to those.