Journeyer, if your kids (or spouse!) are begging for a kitty for Christmas, here are a few reasons to make that happen! Animal lovers know how much love, peace, and calm a cuddly cat can bring, but not all of us know the many other benefits that come with adding a feline to the family.
I’m honored to share this guest post from our neighbor and cat aficionado, Emily Parker. Please share your images and cat stories with us!
The Amazing and Healing Benefits of Cats
Ever since the ancient Egyptians worshiped cats as gods, there’s no doubt these furry four-legged felines have played an important role in the lives of humans. While they may not generally be viewed as gods today, cats are nevertheless revered by those who have them as part of their household.
Whether you’ve got an older kitty who may like to sleep more than play or a young kitten who seems to be full of energy twenty-four-seven, cats of any age offer a variety of amazing benefits, particularly when it comes to their healing powers.
From helping us heal following physical injuries to assisting us in working our way out of emotional and mental darkness, our kitties are indeed special creatures who possess many hidden talents. If all this sounds intriguing, here are some additional ways in which cats help heal humans.
A Cat Named Gus
If you have any doubt as to the amazing healing powers cats possess, my personal experience with this issue may convince you otherwise.
With life throwing me one curveball after another, my life changed the day a kitten I named Gus entered my life.
Rather than staying alone in my apartment day after day extremely depressed (as I had been doing for literally months), I had a living, breathing, furry little bundle of joy that required me to feed him, clean up after him, ensure he was healthy, and entertain him.
Because of Gus, I started getting out more, meeting fellow cat lovers, and realizing life still held amazing possibilities.
Out of this came my desire to show others that cats can not only lead them out of the depths of depression, but help them heal in other ways as well.
Just note that you should do what I did before I committed to Gus, and spend some time around other cats first, to make sure you’re not going to see the cat you adopt as a burden on you. Sometimes we just aren’t ready emotionally to care for another creature, so it’s a fantastic idea to volunteer at a shelter or go to your local rescue or cat cafe to visit with them for a bit first.
Happy Cat, Healthy Heart
If you’ve got a happy kitty in your home, chances are you’re going to have a healthy heart.
Based on current research findings, cat owners are thirty percent less likely to have heart attacks or strokes, and are also likely to have much lower blood pressure.
In fact, some studies suggest letting a cat sit in your lap for periods of time may actually do more to lower blood pressure than taking certain medications.
So if you’d rather kiss the pharmacy goodbye and instead find a comfy chair in which to recline with your feline, you’re on the right track to good health.
Who Needs a Significant Other?
If you’re feeling the doldrums because you don’t have a significant other in your life, your cat says don’t sweat the small stuff.
According to a study conducted by Swiss researchers, cats are just as effective at cheering you up and improving your mood as are spouses or boyfriends or girlfriends.
And when you think about it, there are other benefits to this as well. After all, buying your kitty dinner consists of simply opening a can of food, and you’re bound to win every single argument the two of you might have, which is bound to make you feel better!
Tiptoe Through the Litter
Like most people today, you’re probably burning the candle at both ends when it comes to personal and professional responsibilities. However, in case you haven’t noticed, that’s probably not working very well for you.
Because of the constant strain and nonstop pace, you’re tired all the time and failing to enjoy what’s around you. Instead of continuing on this path, look to your favorite feline for guidance.
If cats know how to do one thing very well, it’s relax. On average, cats “nap” 12-20 hours per day, showing they can take relaxation to a whole new level.
While I don’t expect you to sleep that much, learning how to slow down and tiptoe through the litter (clean litter, that is) will undoubtedly give you more energy by teaching you to grab a catnap now and then. Even if it’s only fifteen or twenty minutes, napping with kitty will help you feel like a new person.
Helping Hospitalized Children
While being hospitalized as an adult can be very stressful, children who are hospitalized are often extremely scared. This is especially true for kids awaiting surgery, since they have little idea what to expect. Again, this is where cats can help.
In study after study, cats used as part of animal-assisted therapy programs allowed kids to become more aware, vigilant, and active upon coming out from anesthesia after surgical procedures.
Hospital patients of all ages were found to have less pain, respiratory distress, and depression when cats were allowed to visit in the hospital, showing kitties do truly have a unique bedside manner.
Learn About Yourself
If you truly want to be happy, you need to start by knowing thyself. However, that can be easier said than done, especially in today’s hectic world. But if you own a cat, I have no doubt they know themselves quite well.
If you spend some time watching your cat, you’ll notice they usually know and accept their limitations, live only in the moment, and are able to accept whatever comes their way with grace and style.
By acting as does your cat, slowing down and becoming more mindful, you’ll get to know yourself much better, and be able to live each day to its fullest. In essence, if you want to realize the potential that lies within you, take a lesson from your favorite feline and know thyself.
Whether you need help breaking out of a deep depression, are in the hospital recovering from surgery, or are needing help reducing your stress and anxiety levels, working in conjunction with cats can be a great way to start feeling more amazing than ever. From kittens to senior kitties and all in between, trusting in your kitty’s healing powers will undoubtedly change your life for the better.
Emily Parker lives with her fiancee and two black cats in Eastern Canada. Gus, her first kitty, only has one eye, but she loves him all the more for it, and the fact that he’s been such a healer for her. When she’s not finding the newest places for a cappuccino in town, she’s researching and writing about cats for her website, Catological.com.