How Cats Can Improve Your Mental Health

Image by Kate Stone Matheson on Unsplash

As a cat owner, you have the advantage of your own personal source of comfort and happiness. Believe it or not, according to research by OnePoll.com, cat owners are twice as likely to consider themselves a success, which is definitely something to smile about.

So how exactly do these little fur balls capture our hearts? Check out these 8 ways your cat can improve your mental health.

They instantly elevate our mood

For those who suffer from depression, a cat can be a welcome and positive distraction. The companionship between a cat and its owner is unlike any other. That greeting when you arrive home, as he or she weaves between your legs is an effortless reminder that we are unconditionally loved.

They’re great for our heart health

Research by University of Minnesota’s Stroke Institute revealed that cat owners are 30% less likely to die from heart attacks. Furthermore, a follow up study showed that cat ownership is linked to a decreased risk of death from all cardiovascular diseases, such as stroke. So a happy cat, definitely leads to a healthy heart.

They’re pros at napping

Business woman Arianna Huffington is such a massive proponent of the nap, she has introduced ‘nap pods’ at the SoHo head offices of her wellness site Thrive Gloabal, so there’s clearly benefits to getting a quick few z’s in!

Cats are pros when it comes to sleeping and they look adorable doing it. Plus, research has indicated that napping is practically good for our health, doing wonders for our alertness, memory, creativity, productivity and overall mood. It’s no wonder cats seem happy so much of the time!

Nothing gets in their way

There’s no obstacle out of reach or shelf too high for a cat. No matter how many times they fall, they pick themselves up and get on with it. This charming resilience is definitely something we can take from them.

Take comfort from their purrs

We defy you to find a sweeter sound than a purring cat! The gentle, soothing sound has been found to lower stress levels and blood pressure in owners. Plus, these purr vibrations vary between 20 to 140 hertz, a frequency which is believed to be medically helpful for a range of illnesses. That’s science we like!

They are totally zen

We are in awe at cats’ ability to live in the moment. They have been known to sit in the same spot, or stare out of a window for hours on end. While their lives might technically be a whole lot less stressful than ours, we can definitely learn a lot from our feline friends who frequently practice the art of being zen. And everyone knows that this meditative state offers us a more positive outlook on life.

They make us laugh

Their fear of nothing, ability to squeeze into the smallest of spaces and desire to please us easily brings a smile to our faces. 20 minutes of laughter a day dramatically reduces cortisol levels (aka the ‘stress hormone’), and is linked to a stronger heart and immune system. Given our cats’ frequent fails and playful mishaps, getting in 20 minutes of laughter a day is a breeze.

They’re highly skilled at decision making

“If animals could speak, the dog would be a blundering outspoken fellow; but the cat would have the rare grace of never saying a word too much.” – Mark Twain

Thoughtful, decisive and strategic, cats will never rush into any scenario. They’ll think about it and decide whether it’s worth their time and energy. As humans, we often have the inability to say no. If we took a cue from cats and only did what we truly want, we’d definitely be a whole lot happier.

This Blue Monday, take inspiration from your cat’s behaviour, de-stress and remember that you are loved! 

How does your cat cheer you up? Tell us in the comments below!

Aideen is a fashion, beauty and lifestyle writer, from Northern Ireland. She grew up with a sassy tabby cat, named Lucky, who proved unlucky by nature, creating mischief wherever her paws took her. She currently has a British Shorthair cat called Indy, who has a penchant for the finer things in life. She loves combining her passion for writing, fashion and cats, spending her days blogging with Indy by her side.

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