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Are Cats Good For Anxiety? 4 Ways They Can Help

Nicole Cosgrove Profile Picture

By Nicole Cosgrove

Cat Sleeping on Lap

There is a well-known idea that cats and pets are good for anxiety. They can take away all of our troubles (even just temporarily), keep us happy, and make us feel loved when nobody else seems to do so.

Today, with all of the stuff happening around the world, it is pretty easy to get caught up in the news and feel bad. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, anxiety disorders are mental illnesses that affect about 40 million adults in the United States alone.

Some people with anxiety can turn to therapy and medicines, but getting a pet or a cat is another great option to help them deal with their anxiety. It’s not so hard to believe, as these cuddly creatures can do a lot aside from just being cute.

hepper cat paw divider

4 Reasons cats are good for people with anxiety:

1. Cat Purrs Are Powerful

woman holding cat
Image Credit: veronikapanda, Unsplash

Believe it or not, cat purrs have therapeutic elements and can actually help alleviate stress and anxiety. Their rhythmic purr pattern can even help lower blood pressure and heal your body faster.

Personally, I love hugging my cats whenever I am sad and crying. It automatically keeps me sane and a little bit happier in the moment, as they instantly make me feel needed and loved.

2. Cats Won’t Judge You

annoyed cat

One of the worst things about suffering from anxiety and mental illness is the fear of being judged. There is still this stigma around mental health, which is why most people are still so scared to talk about it. Many people would not admit to having a mental illness and do not get proper treatment. Cats would never judge you. They are just keen on cuddling with you and being cute, which is proof that pets are good for anxiety.

3. Cats Are Great For Cuddling

cat and woman hugging

It’s amazing how someone’s touch can help alleviate a person’s stress and anxiety. Just being held or having someone to hug or hold on to can be a great way to feel less lonely. It makes you feel like you have someone to share your feelings with, and that you are not alone in this world.

Most cats are up for cuddling, which means that you can pick them up and cuddle with them as long as you want (actually, as long as THEY want!). Whenever you are freaking out or you feel like the world is coming to an end, go grab your cat and cuddle with them. You’ll be surprised how much they can keep you calm and steady.

4. Cats are a Good Distraction 

kittens playing on bed

When you have anxiety, your brain can be racing and thinking about too many things. Cats often purr and meow a lot, and most of them are funny and do things that can automatically make you laugh.

Whenever you are feeling overwhelmed with the things on your mind, go ahead and grab your cat’s toy and start playing with them. This can be a good distraction and can help you take your mind off of all those thoughts.

If you have anxiety or you simply just want a cat to play and cuddle with, then please consider adopting a cat. There are lots of stray cats in the world that need a home and a family, and you can help by picking one (or two, or three) from your local shelter.

Featured Image Credit: Africa Studio, Shutterstock

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