What are the psychological benefits of having a cat? Cats are a great responsibility. They need to be cared for, fed, and cleaned. Even though they are pretty independent animals, they still need to receive love and care. But, what do they give in exchange? Well, there are many psychological benefits associated with owning a cat.
The most important psychological benefits of having a cat are reduced stress and anxiety and general increased well-being, resulting in lower risks of heart attacks, a reduced sense of loneliness, reduce mental illness symptoms, improve empathy in people, and cope better in life.
There are way more benefits of having a cat around the house. We are going to examine them all.
INTERESTING STATISTICS ABOUT MENTAL HEALTH AND PETS
Many clues and reports are indicating that pets’ interaction with humans has many benefits. One above all is the increased utilization of therapy dogs, therapy cats, and other pets. For example, here some interesting numbers to consider:
- More than 50,000 therapy dogs are trained in the US
- 62% of Millennials reports improvements in mental health due to owning a pet, compared to 83% of Baby Boomers
- Based on a survey from the University of Manchester, 60% reports that pets are essential factors in their well-being
- 85 million families in the U.S. own a pet
- There are 83 million cats amongst families in the U.S.
- Based on a 2011 survey, 76% of people said they could cope with everyday life much better because of their cats.
The list could go on and on, but it is clear that cats are becoming therapy pets and are seen more and more as great companions for children and adults. In fact, it is estimated that the average number of cats per household is 1.8
THE PSYCHOLOGICAL BENEFITS OF HAVING A CAT
Let’s thinking for a moment about your cat sleeping on you and purring. Just think about it for a moment. It is a paradisiac thought. What effect can it have on you? Calming for sure. Enough to make you forget about bad news. If you never experienced it, you must try. It one of the most lovable and sweet experiences.
Cats purr is one thing. Here are the best psychological benefits of having a cat:
1. HELP FIGHT THE FEELING OF LONELINESS
It is more obvious for people that live alone that having a feline friend, or maybe more than one, helps to have a living being that is always there. One can share daily routines with a cat, and do things togheter, like play, sleep, watch TV. Even the fact of having to feed a cat, clean it, and give them love, can ease the sensation of loneliness.
But, not only people who live alone feel alone. Even people surrounded by family or friends may feel alone. With their funny and fluffy way to act and unconditional love, cats can ease that sensation. Cats do not speak, which makes them a perfect “listener.” People can find comfort in petting and sharing a moment with a cat.
2. BETTER SLEEP LEADING TO HIGHER LIFE QUALITY
Based on a recent study from the Mayo Clinic Center for Sleep Medicine, 40% of people sleep better when they have a pet sleeping with them. People report that sleeping with their cat or dog makes them feel cozy. The warm presence next to them has a comforting and soothing effect.
But even without an actual study, you may have noticed that even looking at your sleeping cat can create a sensation of joy and pleasure. Cat are adorable in their sleep; they have a cute nose and often sleep in funny positions. Their fur is like a nice comforter, and in winter, they provide warmth.
3. CALMING EFFECT OF PURRING
If you heard a cat purring, you know that it is a magnificent sound. It is impossible to have a cat purring on you or near you without feeling a bit of pleasure, a calming sensation, and a feeling of happiness. Typically, purring cats come to you to get some good scratches, attention, and cuddle, and sometimes food.
To support this claim, recent studies in the healing of fractures, bone growth, and pain relief found out that frequencies between 20 Hertz and 150 Hertz are healing frequencies. Guess what? Cats’ purrs are within these frequencies.
It is like having a healing machine around the house. Additionally, cats’ purrs have a calming effect on humans and reduce stress. People with cats have 40% fewer chances to get heart diseases because of their calming effect.
Cats are funny. Besides the calming effect, they are also a source of amusement. Cats are famous for their acrobatic positions while sleeping, for their epic fails when chasing something or playing with each other.
They can be spiteful at times and play tricks to their owners or other pets. There is no limit to what they can get into and what they can do. Cats owners have their free entertainment each day. Owning a cat improves mood in cat owners making daily life easier.
5.INCREASE EMPATHY IN PEOPLE
Children and people who become responsible for a cat become more sensible and sensitive to other people’s needs and emotions and communicate their feelings better.
It is not a mystery that wise parents adopt pets with their kids and educate them on caring for another living being properly. They grow knowing how to respect animals and have a great experience of the unconditional love received by them.
6.LESSEN MENTAL HEALTH SYMPTOMS
A lot of psychological benefits of having a cat are to be found in their ability to lessen mental health problems. The figure of the therapy cat is becoming more and more prominent in hospitals and mental health facilities.
Autistic people and people with ADAH and other mental disabilities benefit from interacting with cats. But not only those. A loving cat can take them off their problems, distract them, and offer an opportunity to interact with a living being that is not so challenging compared to other humans.
Cats give unconditional love. They are affectionate to their owners. Studies on the subject show that cat owners feel more confident because cats help reduce the feeling of rejection. The fact of taking care of another living being makes a person feel meaningful and important.
Many people find it satisfying to volunteer in animal shelters, foster stray cats or dogs, and save lost animals.
8. CREATE A SENSE OF STABILITY
Cats are creatures of habit. They need to be feed and cleaned. A cat owner needs to have some routines, at least for his cat. It helps a person create some stable points even in a very chaotic life. The sense of responsibility and love for one’s pet can help a person develop stable life moments.
9. HELP SOCIAL SKILLS AND CONNECTION
Cats are a great subject of conversation and a common topic to discuss. It is easy to find other cat lovers and make friends over this common topic. Cats help people to feel connected and thus facilitate the development of social skills in cats’ owners.
BENEFITS OF HAVING A CAT FOR A CHILD
Cats can have beneficial effects on a child. Children can learn early how to take care of another living being, learn respect and tolerance, and the first understanding of responsibility. It can be very educational for children to grow up with pets around them.
Cats can help kids develop social skills, empathy, and friendship. They can help a child feel better when difficult moments come. Children can have an understanding friend to play with and to have some fun during the day.
Parents who want to help their kids be more successful in life adopt one or more pets as companions for them.
Here some related questions and answers:
- How are cats beneficial to humans?
Cats are beneficial to humans in so many aspects that it becomes difficult to list everything. Here are some major benefits of cats:
- Mental health benefits
- Overall health benefits
- Cats help humans alerting them to dangers in the environment
- Act as pest control
- Are great companions
- Offer unconditional love
- They are a source of entertainment
- Is a cat or dog better for mental health?
Cats and dogs are likewise good as therapy pets and to aid mental health in people. Perhaps cats require less maintenance and work on the owner’s side and can be suitable for those people who have disabilities that prevent walking out a dog.
- Do cats know when you’re anxious?
Yes, cats can pick up emotions and feelings when you are stressed or anxious. Or even if you are upset with someone. They can pick up if you do not feel good and if there are dangers in the environment.
Cats are rewarding pets. They are non-intrusive but at the same time accommodating and affectionate. Despite their reputation of being self-centered, cats are lovable and able to give a lot of love to their human companion.
I hope this was helpful. If you have questions or want to add something, leave it in the comments below.