Jan 17, 2024
As cat lovers, we all know the joy our cats bring us. But could our feline friends actually be benefitting our mental health?
From my own experience, I know this to be true. After losing my husband last year, my cat, Nancy, became a constant source of comfort and companionship. Her deafening meow, her pelting over to drink every glass of water I pour myself (when she has her own luxury water bowl), and sleeping in the most awkward places and positions were all things to laugh at in the darkest of days. After putting my daughter to bed at night she would curl up on my lap, and feeling her warm body and hearing her purr made me feel calm and comforted at a time when not much else did.
As Caitlin Moran said:
Beyond the emotional support that cats offer us, the low-frequency vibrations of a cat's purr have been shown to have a calming effect on people. The peaceful sound can help reduce stress and anxiety, lower blood pressure and relax the nervous system. Stroking our cats and knowing that they are content and happy makes us feel relaxed and happy too.
Even more interestingly, some studies show that the frequency of a cat’s purr could actually promote healing. It falls between 25 and 140 Hz, which is the same frequency that has been shown to aid in the healing of bones, joints and tendon repair. Cats not only purr when they’re happy or content, but also when they are sick or injured to help heal their bodies.
In humans, vibrational therapy has also been used in the aid of bone repair and to strengthen tendons and joints, so in theory some scientists predict that a cat’s purr could have the same effect on us.
Of course, us cat owners know all about their magical healing powers, but how else can having them in our lives have a positive impact on our mental health?
- Cats can help alleviate loneliness by providing companionship
- They can contribute to the reduction of stress and anxiety
- Pet ownership can give us a sense of routine and fulfilment
- Animal bonding can have a positive impact on our human relationships
Sonja and Penelope
This is backed up by numerous reports and research. In a 2021 survey conducted by The University of York, 95% of people reported that their animal provided them with companionship, a source of consistency in their life, and made them feel loved.
Above all, they never fail to make us laugh with their funny personalities and quirky behaviours, meaning that they are a constant source of joy. Even watching some funny cat videos on the internet can boost our mood and release endorphins!
All of this contributes to improved mental wellbeing, with one study showing that cat owners have better psychological health than those without pets because they feel happier, more confident and less stressed.
But that is not to say cats aren’t hard work. Please always consider your time and responsibilities before thinking about bringing a furry friend into your family. 🐾
So this January, snuggle up on these cold dark days with your kitty and let their magical purr lull you into a relaxed and peaceful state. What could be better?
To make sure your kitty is extra content (and extra purr-y), try one of our super-soft Cat Cloud Throws for your furniture and cuddle up together.
If you still need a little boost to beat those January Blues, how about some calming OIMU sandalwood incense?
Or brighten your home with some of our Cat Art Prints.