Ways Cats Can Help Reduce Anxiety and Depression

For cat lovers, there’s no question; the fuzzy faces, soft paws, and purrs are enough for them to feel better about their mental health.

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The rest of us are missing out on the miraculous effect cats can have on people.

Here are some ways cats help reduce anxiety, stress, and other mental and physical problems.

Fuzzy De-Stressors

Having a cat in your house is like having a meowing, walking, sassy, fuzzy stress reliever with you at all times. Cats can distress you by simply being near you. When you come home after a long day at work and pet your fuzzy fur baby, it can produce stress-reducing hormones in your body. Petting your cat can also lower heart rate, reduce your anxiety levels, and reduce blood pressure.

Great Furry Companions

Cats help reduce the feelings of loneliness. The companionship they offer has a positive effect on mental health. Having a cat as a pet gives people a purpose in life. When you come home and find your cat meowing at you, it eliminates the feelings of isolation. The reaction, reliance, and love cats give you is so pure that it elevates any negative thoughts.

The relationship with a pet is that of encouragement, positivity, and predictability. Unlike relationships with others, most humans are much more comfortable and trusting of their cats. It can also help forget the negative experience of human relationships.

The Healing Powers of the Purrs

It has been reported that cats purrs are between 20 and 140Hz ranges, which has healing effects on the human body. It is therapeutic for various illnesses. It is known to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression by reducing blood pressure, slowing down labored breathing, and healing bones and infections.

For some people, it may be hard to accept the healing powers of pet cats, but several studies suggest that the positive effects on mental health are legitimate.  Any cat owner will vouch for the positive effects of listening to cats’ purrs, including feelings of relaxations and restful sleep.

Cats Are Great as Therapeutic Animals

Therapy animals have been proven to help humans cope with different ailments. They are helpful in different settings, such as hospitals, schools, addiction and rehabilitation centers, and many universities and colleges.

Horses are popular therapy animals in addiction centers because they are great for creating a trusting bond. Dogs are excellent therapy animals for veterans struggling with mental health issues like PTSD. Similarly, cats help those who get seizures and those who have experienced sexual assault. All therapeutic animals have a positive effect on both our physical, emotional, and mental health.

Medical News Today reported that researchers conducted a study where they collected data from 4000 people ranging between ages 30 and 75 years old. The research was conducted over the course of 10 years. Half the participants owned cats, and the other half didn’t.

After the data analysis was complete, researchers found that those who owned cats had 30 percent less chance of dying from heart-related issues or stroke compared to the people who didn’t own cats. Other factors, such as heart health, diabetes, smoking, and cholesterol, were also considered. Despite taking all the factors into account, cat owners still reported having better heart health.

A strong heart is in some ways related to less stress and anxiety, and having one sometimes reduces symptoms of depression in a person.

Benefits of Having Cats for Older Adults

Cats are helpful to young people, and they also play an immensely positive role in the life of older adults. Having cats helps with the healthy aging process.

Older adults find meaning and joy in having pets. When they were young, life was busy; they had work, kids, and other responsibilities. However, older people don’t have much to do, especially after retirement. They spend their days reminiscing about days of yore. In some cases, they get sad and depressed. Cats can help them overcome negative feelings. Cats give elderly people a sense of fulfillment and companionship.

It also helps them stay connected with other pet owners in their community. Making new friends is tough, but if having a pet and joining pet-related communities can bring a spark to their lives.

Cats help reduce anxiety and stress without requiring any physical effort. Unlike other pets, you don’t have to walk them outside for hours. All you need to do is relax on the couch with your furbaby on your lap and pet those stressful feelings away.

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