Here Kitty Kitty

The Health Benefits of Owning a Cat

October 25, 2017

This is a guest post by Raven Flanigan

The love and support a cat provides their owner can be a calming experience; a heartwarming head nudge or a soft purr on the lap are simple affections with a lot of impact! Cats are often looked upon as being unaffectionate and selfish, but that is far from the truth. Of course, they may act selfish and sometimes only rub up against your legs when they’re hungry, but they can provide a lot of comfort when you’re feeling stressed or even so much as having an anxiety attack or depression. The love provided from a cat is a rewarding experience regardless!

Cats can offer emotional support and science can prove this statement! When a cat purrs, the vibrations given off fall into the range of offering therapeutic effects for various illnesses; the frequencies fall between 20 to 140 Hz, which is medically known to be therapeutic. For this same reason, purring can promote bone strength, as the best frequencies are 25 and 50 Hz and the second best are 100 and 200 Hz. Purring also aids in the healing of numerous injuries, swelling, and infection! Their purrs alone can provide even more medically, such as lowering blood pressure, general stress levels, and even decrease the symptoms of dyspnea. Calming cat purrs are the most effective with people suffering from PTSD and anxiety who struggle with calming themselves down. Petting the cat and feeling its reaction change teaches emotional regulation in a way that’s easy to focus on due to petting the cat in a rhythmic motion. Cats also don’t purr at every stroke, so creating a goal to strive for (petting in a way the cat likes to produce a purr) can also aid in regulating emotions.

Of course, spending time with most animals can give positive affects regardless, not just cats; however, cats play a significant role in aiding mental health, as their attitudes are quite unique! What happens when you pet an animal? Your body produces the oxytocin hormone, and can increase serotonin and dopamine levels, which all provide positive feelings and lower stress. What cats help their owner’s most with are mental illnesses like anxiety, social interaction issues, and depression. Therapists have agreed that dogs are perfect to begin therapy with, however they won’t produce the same changes that a cat can. The reason is thought to be that dogs will put up with bad behaviors whereas cats will not; this means that bad behaviors and thoughts can change, as a cat provides a more life-like human interaction than a dog due to their human-like independency. Cats serve as a guide to healthy relationships in a way that no other animal can!

Cats provide a different kind of companionship to people than other animals do. Because of their independency like previously stated, interactions with them are more human-like, and this is what makes a huge impact to people who struggle socially, have had bad home experiences, or are even suffering from a loss. When struggling with any issue, you can feel lost or even like you have no purpose, but coming home every day to a cat that you must feed a few times a day and keep an eye on their litter box often creates a routine and sense of purpose that can help ease the symptoms of emotional distress. They also offer a quality distraction, as stated before that petting them appropriately will reward you with purrs, as well as focusing on playing with them correctly (they are hunters by blood, so to see them be as active as possible, there are some techniques to the feather wand!) can offer a distraction that not many other things can.

Cats can be registered as emotional support animals! An emotional support animal is a pet that helps ease emotional distress and is a vital part of treatment to help a person’s well-being. You can consider the support cat info here to find out how you can get your cat registered as an emotional support animal for mental health! Cats can’t be registered as service animals, but fortunately if your cat can become an emotional support animal, they’ll possess more rights than an unregistered pet. This means your cat can accompany you where they usually wouldn’t be able to and prevents you from being turned away from housing that prevents pets from living there. Of course, public areas and businesses aren’t required by law to allow your emotional support animal to accompany you since they’re not service animals. In fact, may places are looking down upon those with service animals and emotional support animals both due to an influx of irresponsible owners registering their pets just to take them around; a group of reporters were able to register a stuffed dog as an emotional support animal for a plane ride. This kind of irresponsibility makes getting your pet registered even more difficult and looked down upon in public for those who truly need them. Because of this, it’s advised that you take care in registering your cat as an emotional support animal and only doing so if you truly need them for support, as this can aid in making it less difficult for those who are currently struggling with mental and emotional stress who need their cat (or any pet) registered as an emotional support animal.

Cats are very helpful and comforting; they possess traits that can aid those with mental and emotional distress on the path to recovery. Cats have so much to offer with their healing purrs, charming independency, and unique companionship to help those struggling with stress, anxiety, depression, PTSD, social issues, and various other emotional and mental illnesses. And don’t forget, cats can be registered as emotional support animals, so if you or someone you know depends on their cat for support, it’s recommended to take the steps needed for the cat to gain rights and be able to accompany their owner more places. Cats are truly an unrecognized blessing to those struggling and in need of help; the comfort they provide can be overwhelmingly helpful and heal the deepest wounds.

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