People all over the United States suffer from mental health issues. Depression and anxiety pose problems for millions of people. By some estimates, as many as 40 million Americans suffer from anxiety disorders. Many sufferers are turning to animals to help. Americans took about 24,000 support animals on flights in 2015, according to a major airline. Getting a therapy cat for depression and anxiety can be one way you can deal with these problems.
Pet therapy has been around for a long time. Many people do not automatically think about cats as being good for sufferers of anxiety or depression but they can really do a lot of good. They can make some of the best certified emotional support animals. Here are some reasons to consider getting a therapy cat for depression or anxiety:
- You get nothing but love and friendship from a pet. Both dogs and cats just love their companions. Cats can be demanding when they need attention but what they are demanding is just love and compassion from us. Cats offer friendship without complications. They can be great for kids who have trouble meeting new people or making new friends. They can similarly help adults who have a social anxiety disorder. Cats offer their love and support without any conditions for it.
- They can make people more responsive. When people who suffer from depression enter a bad phase of it, it can be hard to do anything, including getting out of bed. When there is a therapy cat for depression, the person has a responsibility to the cat to get up and feed them. They have to make sure the cat’s litter box is cleaned and taken care of. In this way, these cats can enforce a routine and require their companions to be responsible. This alone can make people feel better. Just knowing that someone depends on them can make a difference. They can give a person a sense of purpose.
- They offer some distraction. When a person is having an anxiety attack, it can be easy to get into a cycle where you just think about what scares or upsets you. When the squirrels start running around in a person’s brain it can be hard to get them to calm down and just turn the worry machine off. This is where pets come in. It has been found that petting a cat can help with anxiety. Also playing with a cat can be very distracting. It is hard to be anxious or depressed when you are laughing at your cat’s antics.
- They provide some social comfort. When people are suffering from anxiety or depression, it can sometimes be hard to reach out to another person for help. That is where the therapy cat for depression and anxiety comes in. They can bridge the gap and be the social support the person needs. For kids, the cat can be the reason to invite a friend over. Cats can help people bond with each other.
- There is a comfort that comes from petting a cat. Medical research shows that petting an animal can cause the release of serotonin. That is a feel-good hormone. Other research shows that petting a dog or cat can lower a person’s blood pressure. When a person suffers from mental illnesses, they may need a little extra comfort in the form of hugs. While petting a dog or cat is not exactly the same as getting a hug, making another creature so happy can produce similar results.
People who have never been around cats may not be able to understand how they can help people who suffer from anxiety and/or depression. The main reason for this misunderstanding is that they do not really understand cats at all.
Anyone who has spent a decent amount of time with cats knows they are not aloof, distant, and mean animals. They can be loving and sweet. They also can pick up on the tension in a room or stay attuned to the mood of the people around them. It is not unusual for cats to reach out to people who are sad or stressed to help.