Many lying down with cat on his chest.

Are there any benefits of owning a cat?

Having companionship whether it be human or animal can help cure loneliness and depression.

Many studies have shown that by having a pet, you can lower stress, anxiety, and become happier. Although, when you think of companionship, your general instinct might be to think of man's best friend - a dog.

But what if we told you that you could also have a cat as a companion? Cats are independent, loving, but don’t tolerate bad behaviors. They’re ideal for those looking for companionship, but not to the level of needing to dedicate most of their day to take care of them. In this article, we will show you the multiple benefits of how to cure loneliness and depression—some real benefits of owning a cat!

How Does Pet Therapy Work?

The National Center for Biotechnology Information study has found that animal companionship increases oxytocin, serotonin, and dopamine. These are chemicals that are typically low when someone goes through mood disorders or major depressive disorder. They have also been tied to several mental health disabilities and they decrease with old age. 

When these chemicals become more abundant, a person will feel less negative symptoms of depression and start to develop a more positive outlook on life. One of the most popular methods to achieve this is prescription depression medication. Medications also have a massive list of side effects that the individual may not want. An excellent alternative is to find activities and options that naturally boost these chemicals. 

Owning a pet can help naturally boost these chemicals in the brain. Many people tend to lean towards a dog as an emotional support animal but in fact, all sorts of animals can be used to help alleviate negative emotions. 

Cats are easily as desirable companions as dogs. Cats don't put up with bad behavior, which can be a significant plus—if you've ever tried to mess with a cat, they will teach you right from wrong pretty quickly. The benefits of owning a cat are huge!

They are social animals, too. If you’re wondering why does my cat sleep on me? It’s because they are intuitive and crave both physical and emotional connections with their owners. 

This nuanced relationship can be huge for those looking to improve other than just depression or loneliness. Both loneliness and depression tend to play a role in several different mental disabilities, which is why a cat may be better than a dog for some. If you're wondering how to make your pet a therapy animal, you may want to check out spiele gratis for more information.

Benefits of Owning a Cat?

There has been a considerable number of studies done over the last few decades that try to document the numerous benefits of owning pets. Some of the other benefits of pet therapy that they can provide are as follows.

Increased Physical Activity

Physical activity is one of the most important aspects of staying happy and healthy. Not only does physical activity play a huge role in our physical fitness, but also our mental health.

Individuals who own pets tend to be more active than those who don’t. But why is this? How many times have you looked at your pet and thought that you should play with them or take a walk? If you’re like most of us, then the answer is at least once a day or a few times a week. 

Cats can be fun to play with, especially if you’re using toys. While you can’t easily take a cat on a walk, you can still bring them outdoors or run around the house with them. Although, you’ll quickly find that cats tend to prefer to be active on their own terms rather than yours.

Benefits of Owning a Cat Include Social Time

Loneliness is common among those suffering from mental disabilities or those who are aging. To help reduce the feeling of isolation, one can invest in a pet. Not only do cats require minimal effort to care for, they also provide a good balance of work and play.

Unlike dogs, cats will usually hang around you while you complete daily tasks. You’ll feel as if you have some company as you go throughout your day. Many times, this little companionship can help decrease loneliness and teach you to be more social.

Additionally, pet owners tend to be more talkative with other pet owners. This includes sharing photos, videos, or scheduling play dates for your pet. Plus, who can resist talking about silly little things their animal has done?

Lowers Loneliness

Those who feel like they are alone or don't have many friends can also benefit from the companionship of a feline. Just by having another living being in the vicinity of your home can significantly increase your feelings of camaraderie.

This is beneficial for seniors or those whose families have already moved out. Additionally, those who suffer from mental disabilities that can keep them from social interactions can also feel better with a cat companion. 

Cats specifically provide necessary physical and mental interactions that help provide security. Just the thought of knowing that there’s another living creature while you do tasks throughout the day can help. Plus, over time, an emotional bond will form, and they will eventually be considered part of the family.

Helps Soothe Anxiety

Anxiety can be tied in with both loneliness and depression. It’s common for a lot of people, and while medications can help, it’s usually optimal to try to address it through other methods. A cat can help lower anxiety by giving you companionship when a panic or anxiety attack occurs.

A cat's independence is also a benefit if taking on responsibilities gives you stress and anxiety. As long as you provide them with water, food, and a few toys, they will be satisfied. 

Reduces Symptoms of Mental Disorders

We’re not saying that a cat can be used in place of treatment or medications, however, they can be used to help alleviate some of the symptoms associated with specific mental illnesses. Children who have ADHD can benefit from having a cat as a pet. This can help teach them valuable life skills, including pet care, feeding, and walking, to help build responsibility. 

Other research has also hinted that children with autism or additional learning disabilities benefit from sensory integration. This works by feeling the fur, smelling the animal, and interacting with another living creature. The presence of a cat can lessen symptoms of autism, including over activeness, undirected energy, and boost responsibility.

Conclusion

As you can see, pet therapy for depression plays a huge role in keeping us happy and healthy. While cats aren't the traditional first assumption of a pet as an emotional support animal, they will help prevent you from feeling depressed or lonely. They don't require as much responsibility or effort as other pets and are generally useful and deeply, profoundly bonded companions.


Chele Hudson 

 

Psychologist. Animal activist. Writer. Chele is currently working on her first book, titled "How Animals Impact Humans." Her hobbies include reading the newspaper in the morning with a good coffee and running on Saturdays. 

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