4 Mental Health Benefits of Having a Cat

There’s a special kind of bond between a cat and their guardian. It’s hard to explain, but if you’ve ever had a cat in your family, you know. 

My cats have been my very best friends, and I’m betting the same is true for you, too. A big part of this bond—and the reason why so many people love cats so much—is because of the way they make us feel mentally. 

I’m never happier than when I’m with a cat. It’s true. In fact, cats can help all of us to feel better thanks to the ways they improve the mental health of humans. 

4 Ways Cats Improve Our Mental Health 

  • Cats provide friendship.
  • Cats can be a welcome distraction.
  • Cats relieve stress.
  • Cats remind us to live in the moment.
List of mental health benefits of having a cat

Cats provide friendship. 

Like I said before, my cats are my very best friends. I spend more time with them than I do with anyone else, and I wouldn’t have it any other way! Cats form deep bonds with the people they love, creating real, lasting friendships. 

Unlike with dogs, humans have to earn the trust of their cat. Hours spent doing this help solidify the relationship between the person and cat, creating a true friendship. This friendship keeps the human—and cat—from getting lonely, which can improve the mental health of both individuals. 

Cats can be a welcome distraction. 

Every single person can admit to watching funny cat videos online. We’ve all done it. Cats—whether your own or ones on the internet—are known for helping distract humans from their worries. 

When something is bothering you, chances are, a cat can help you forget about it thanks to either their antics or snuggles. This break can help reset you mentally and put you in a better headspace. 

Cats relieve stress. 

I haven’t read any research on it, but I’m willing to bet it’s next to impawsible to stay upset when a cat is purring on your lap. If I’m stressed out about something, all I have to do is spend time with my cats, and I instantly feel better. 

Cats have this calming effect on many people. They remind us that there are better, more important things in life than our stressors, and help us to center ourselves. 

Note: Just like us, cats can experience stress. And just like how they help us, we can help our cats calm down, too.

Cats remind us to live in the moment. 

Cats are one-of-a-kind in the way they approach life. They live in the moment, and do what feels best to them. Is there a sunny spot on the couch? They’re probably laying in it. Are they hungry? They’re probably eating a snack. 

Our cats can remind us to stay present and enjoy the little things that really are the big things. Have you ever spent an afternoon curled up with a cat under a warm blanket? There’s a certain kind of magic to it. 

Therapy Cats

With all of this talk about how cats help us have better mental health, you may be wondering about therapy cats and where they fit into the equation. 

What is a therapy cat?

A therapy cat is a cat who is specifically trained to provide support to a human. This can be emotional support, physical support, or medical support. Therapy cats are most popularly trained to support people emotionally who have different needs. 

Even though it may feel like your kitty is an emotional support animal, these official therapy cats are highly trained and certified by experienced handlers. Reach out to a professional in the area to learn more!

Mental Health and Your Pet

When it comes to mental health and your pet, it’s a two-way street. You have to take care of your cat’s mental health if you want to experience the benefits yourself. 

Some ways you can make sure you’re supporting your cat’s mental health is by playing with them daily, feeding them high-quality food, and showing them affection. The better your kitty feels, the better you should feel!

I know a lot about cats, but I’m not a veterinarian. Please don’t take any of the statements I give as medical advice and do always consult your trusted vet, especially if your cat is experiencing behavioral challenges. The same goes for humans. If you’re experiencing mental or physical challenges, please consult a trusted healthcare professional.

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