top of page

Pets in the Pandemic: Cats

Discover how cats are helping us cope during the Covid-19 pandemic and how they contribute to our mental health and well-being.

Many studies and research have shown that watching cat videos on the internet can boost a person's energy and create positive emotions. Therefore, it is no surprise that cat ownership has a number of benefits and positive effects on people’s mental health.

Behind the fluffy ears, paws, whiskers and cute belly, there is way more to cats. Behind all of the warm cuddles, meows and purring, cats are animals that improve mental health by giving cat parents happy moments, decreasing stress and anxiety, offering companionship, purring the pain away, and serving as the ideal therapy animal.

Reasons why cats improve our mental health, especially during these challenging times:

1. Pawesome Companionships

That purrfect feeling of companionship and friendship with a cat positively affects anyone’s mental health. Specially now during Corona when people have limited social contact and spend more time alone and isolated. Having a cat can help take the loneliness away and give people a life with more purrpose.

The state of feeling needed by a cat, having the cat rely on you and love you in such a pure way can elevate positive mental health. The fact that you have a reason to get up everyday to feed them and give them all your love and attention, makes your daily routine already better and more fulfilling.

Having a relationship with an animal is rewarding. Cats give purpose to your life and help you combat the loneliness people are feeling now during Covid-19 lockdowns and social distancing.

The stereotype that dogs are more affectionate than cats is just that: a stereotype. In fact, it turns out that cats can be just as good of companions as dogs, especially for women.

After thousands of years of domestication, cats have learned how to make a half purr/half howl noise that sounds remarkably like a human baby’s cry. Since our brains are programmed to respond to our children’s distress, it is almost impossible to ignore what a cat wants when it demands it like that. Studies have shown cats will remember kindness shown to them and return the favour later.

2. Healers of Loss

Losing a loved one is incredibly painful, but one of the best ways of coping with loss is to own a cat. Cats have been shown to help people get over their loss more quickly, and show less physical symptoms of pain and distress, like crying.

Cats serve as a social support during difficult times. People in mourning often like talking to their pet to work out their feelings, since it is often easier to talk to something that won’t respond back and can’t judge you. Therefore having a pet, and particularly a cat is great for mourning. Cats can be the best listeners.

Cats help regulate feelings by releasing stress and deep emotions from humans. Cats causes people to relax and have more positive feelings around their presence instead of focusing their energy on anger or sadness.

“ What greater gift than the love of a cat?”

- Charles Dickens

3. Purrfect Therapists

Many animals are used in today’s treatment as therapists in many different ways. Some animals are better than others depending on the person’s emotional and physical needs.

. Horses are popular in addiction settings as a therapy animal due to their need for trust and creating a bond.