How Cats Can Help With Mental Health

Girl smiling while playing with a black cat at home

For people who have cats, you will know that the mere purr, the whiskers, the meows, the cute fuzzy faces, and the insistent head nudges can make you smile despite what you’re going through.

To those folks going through some rough patches especially during lockdowns due to the pandemic, consider sheltering and adopting a cat. This may come as a surprise, but they are the best antidepressants you can have for healthier mental health.

The Woolliest and Sometimes Spoiled Stress Relievers

Cats have a unique appeal. The way they purr, crave cuddles, and want to be spoiled can be a real stress reliever. When you are feeling down, they can offer you companionship and distraction.

Surprisingly, cats don't even try to be nicer to you when you are feeling down. They are just themselves – walking like there's no care in the world, being sassy and craving for some TLC. Spending time petting these feline fur-balls and hearing their satisfying purr can cause your body to release stress-reducing hormones. This in turn promotes a lower blood pressure and heart rate, and your apprehension levels go back to the acceptable normal levels.

Cats Make Perfect Housemates

Having a cat gives you that feeling of companionship, and that close and constant relationship can help in coping with dysthymic disorder. Your cat can help ease the loneliness you are feeling. Plus your responsibilities towards it as a pet parent can give you that sense of direction. Your cat being 100% reliant on you, responding to you, and showing you affection can be all the encouragement and positivity you need to better deal with your depressive state. 

Knowing that a feline baby is waiting for you to get home can give you a renewed purpose, and as long as you spoil your cat with loving pets and delicious treats, your cat will also keep showering you with those satisfied purrs, head bops, and lap naps.

Cats Mirror Human Interactions

This may be a surprise because most would have the notion that dogs are the best in replicating human interactions.

But it's actually cats. Like most humans, cats do not tolerate all sorts of behavior. Cats may show some interest in people when they’re inclined to but they can also be assertive, holding that quiet dignity if they want to. This is the reason why they are branded as mean, anti-social, aloof, and independent.

Unlike dogs that are just naturally accepting and trusting, cats are harder to please, and they decide on their own whether they like you or not. They go about their business independently, whereas dogs put up with everything. Cats don't and won't.

Living with a cat can help you identify the misses and factors contributing to your mental health. They’re also the best examples of living life how you please without worrying about what others think or say about you.

Your cat acts how it wants to. Of course, your feline would love your affirmation and attention, but it will just be its own self whether you like it or not.

Cats, in general, are very helpful in dealing with depression. Playing with your cat can help your body release more dopamine and serotonin, chemicals that can regulate mood disorders and postpartum negativity - basically to make your happier 😄

Besides, who can resist those sweet little purrs and head nudges interspersed with companionship and affection? As someone said...

“A meow massages the heart ❤”

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