Cats are fluffy, affectionate and independent creatures that make for great emotional support pets. Since they require little attention and effort, owning a cat can be extremely beneficial especially for someone with an emotional disability. Here we will look at 10 reasons why cats are great for offering emotional support to their handlers:
1. Reduced Anxiety and Stress
Owning a cat can be calming and trigger soothing chemicals in the body, reducing anxiety and stress levels. Since cats are known to be low-maintenance, a mere petting session is often sufficient to relax owners and act as a diversion.
2. A Reduced Risk of Stroke
Research suggests that people who own cats are less likely to experience a stroke as compared to their non-cat owning counterparts. Researchers associate this with the animal’s low-maintenance ownership.
3. Provides Companionship and Affection
Most people with emotional needs require a constant companion that they can vent to or spend time with without being judged or criticized. Owning a registered therapeutic support cat offers you just that. Cats can ease the feelings of loneliness and keep you distracted from your worries.
4. Medical Benefits
Research suggests that having a cat might lower your risk of heart disease more than going on a low-salt diet. A study carried out by the University of Minnesota’s Stroke Institute has shown that individuals who do not own a cat are 30% to 40% likely to experience heart attacks than people who do own cats.
5. Increase Physical Contact
The ability to have a pet to touch and be close to is extremely important for emotional stability. Stroking and snuggling up against a cat can greatly improve your mental health by releasing feel-good chemicals in the brain.
6. Lifts Your Mood
After a rough day, you can always come to a fluffy, goofy cat that will instantly alleviate the feelings of isolation and loneliness by providing companionship and affection.
7. Gives You a Purpose
Emotionally disabled people may be prey to negative thoughts and even suicidal tendencies if their mind is left idle for long. Emotional support cats distract them from their worries by keeping them active. Feeding the cat, changing the litterbox and playtime are all activities that give cat owners a routine and a purpose. They hardly get time to pay attention to the negativities and instead focus on their fluffy friend. Additionally, caring for a cat gives individuals something to look forward to everyday and thus offers more consistency to their lives.
8. Promotes Social Interaction
Pets are natural icebreakers and gently push their owners towards increased social interaction. Cat owners can easily befriend other people while at the vet or when visiting someone. You will also feel more at ease when you are near other cat owners.
9. Helps You Feel Less Anxious and More Safe
People with paranoia or other types of phobias can feel quite at ease with a cat present by their side and will therefore be less anxious and happier.
10.Easier To Take Care Of and Look After
Since cats are independent and low-maintenance, they don’t soak up all their handlers’ energy by running around too much and being always hyper. They are poised creatures that don’t require much handling and are therefore a great choice as an emotional support pet, especially for those individuals who are moody due to bipolar disorder, stress or anxiety. Since they are not too needy, cats are a great option if you don’t have the time or energy to be running around your pet.
All these reasons make cats a perfect emotional support animal.