The Benefits of Cat Ownership on our Mental Health

We’re sure we won’t be the first people to tell you that this year has been a STRUGGLE. And that struggle is most definitely real when it comes to our mental health. ‘Feelings of loneliness have made nearly two thirds of people’s mental health worse during the past month’ (mind.org) during the pandemic. Coronavirus has a lot to answer for, but it’s clear to see the impact it’s had on the world’s mental well-being.

Why are we talking about this on the all shiny and new Republic of Cat’s blog I hear you ask? Besides a never ending list of other qualities our little feline friends possess, it is scientifically proven that cats can have a huge impact on their owners mental health and stress levels. How incredible is that?! 

I’ve always been a huge champion of the zen that can be achieved when in the company of an animal, although I’m sure some would disagree depending on their choice of companion… For me, cats have an almost meditative quality about them, kneading their way to optimum chill and snoozing up to 70% of that day. Surely this can only be projected onto whoever is in their hypnotic presence? Well, the science says YES, and you can’t argue with science.

According to studies, cat owners have better psychological health than those without pets, and cats have not only been proven to lower blood pressure but also decrease the likelihood of cardiovascular disease. Their purrs emanate at a frequency range of 20-140 Hz which is known to relieve stress and can even promote bone density and healing. 

 

We are not worthy.

 

With these incredible findings, we can only draw one conclusion, more of us should own cats! Granted, not everyone might feel this way when they’re being woken up at 4am to the sweet sound of zoomies down the hall, or removing the half nibbled corpse of a rodent from their living room BUT we reckon the good outweighs the bad. With stress and anxiety so prevalent today, could cats be an answer to combatting the rising levels of stress and loneliness?

Other than their guru-like levels of chill, cats also have another way of relieving us of our woes – through the magic of laughter. Any cat owner will attest to the joy these small furry souls bring on a daily basis, and we all know laughter is the best medicine. Even if you ignore the science, there’s no question they can provide us all with something to chuckle about. Be it cat memes on the internet, or finding your little friend in your most recent delivery packaging with their tongue out, their peculiar habits and ridiculous behaviour can always lift us out of a sombre mood. Smiling and laughter automatically reduce anxiety, annoyance and sadness, therefore proving our theory that cats = therapy. Contrary to their aloof reputation and superior attitude, cats really do just ‘wanna love ya’ (thanks Bob) in their own way, via the powers of healing.  

In all seriousness though, owning a cat is a huge responsibility, not just for Christmas and definitely not realistic for everyone (as much as the idea of everyone having their own feline therapist in their home brings us all the joy). 

On top of one of the toughest years to date on mental health, and the recent developments of Christmas plans nationwide being cancelled, a lot of us are facing a much lonelier Yuletide. We wanted to let you know that the Republic is ALWAYS here for a chat for anyone that needs it. We have our Citizens Only Facebook Community, guaranteed to bring some light relief, with the members always up for some cat chats. Our ‘digital door’ is always open and don’t forget there is always someone you can reach out to if you’re struggling – CALM (Campaign for Living Miserably) runs a helpline and webchat from 5pm to midnight 365 days a year. The Samaritans also offer a 24/7 helpline, email and letter writing service 365 days a year.

Let’s all learn a lesson from our moggy mates – whack on the Republic of Cats Spotify playlist, chill out, meditate, eat well, hold your tail high, curl up by the fire and nap as much as you deem necessary this festive season!

My personal therapist, Rue

Merry Christmas from the Republic.

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