Embrace the Benefits of Owning a Feline for Hug Your Cat Day

Dogs might be called man’s best friend, but cats are no slouches in the companion department. So, in honor of National Hug Your Cat Day, here’s some appreciation for our feline friends. Besides being soft, fuzzy, and incapable of resisting an open box, cats provide many benefits. For a person going through recovery, a cat can make a fine ally. Besides the companionship they offer:
  • Owning a cat is a good way to foster responsibility (for oneself and for the pet). Having something or someone to care for can make a person more likely to take better care of themselves.
  • Pets help reduce anxiety. Plus, it feels good to care for another living thing. (Love is a great investment.)
  • Cats are judgment-free, which helps with confidence. (Well, some would argue cats are never completely judgment-free, but just remind them how goofy they look the next time they freak out at the sight of a pair of flip-flops or a paper clip.)
In general, cats offer a number of other benefits:
  • They can provide social support if a person is facing a major struggle or loss. Cats can help people better cope with physical and mental anguish.
  • They can be good for health. Since cats can provide calming effects, their owners are less likely to die from a heart attack or stroke. (Or cat owners may be naturally calmer. Either way, it’s a win.)
  • They make good companions. Some cats can be just as fun and cuddly as dogs. A lot of it hinges on the breed. If you’re seeking a pet, a little research can help match you with the best kind of cat for you. (Chatty vs. quiet. Sociable vs. solitary. High-maintenance vs. basic, and so on.) Pet adoption agencies can often help match the perfect pet for a person. Many volunteers know the animals under their care, so if someone is seeking a lap cat, for example, they can offer guidance.
  • They help a person sleep better. Many women, in fact, have reported they sleep better with their cats than their partners.
  • They can help with preventing allergies. Children under the age of one who live in a home with a cat are less prone to develop allergies later in life. That’s not just pet allergies, either, but also allergies to dust, ragweed, and grass. (Just be sure to keep the cat box clean; the benefits of that chore are both immediate and long-term.)
Sources – Benefits of Pets During Recovery – The Best Pets for Living in Recovery – 10 Scientific Benefits of Being a Cat Owner – Cat Breed Directory – Multiple Pets May Decrease Children’s Allergy Risk – Cat Parasite Linked to Mental Illness, Schizophrenia

Medical disclaimer:

Sunshine Behavioral Health strives to help people who are facing substance abuse, addiction, mental health disorders, or a combination of these conditions. It does this by providing compassionate care and evidence-based content that addresses health, treatment, and recovery.

Licensed medical professionals review material we publish on our site. The material is not a substitute for qualified medical diagnoses, treatment, or advice. It should not be used to replace the suggestions of your personal physician or other health care professionals.

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