Mind & Body Benefits of Cat Therapy
Comfort can come in all shapes and sizes, including in the form of whiskers and a tail. Many know firsthand of the unconditional love offered by pets during times of hardship, but did you know there are proven therapeutic benefits to all those purrs and nuzzles? Cats provide their own unique type of relief to help us cope with stressors in life, and are always there to offer a cuddle when we’re feeling blue. We’re sharing the ease of mind and body that can come from therapeutic time spent in the company of a cat.
Animal companionship is known to reduce loneliness, depression and anxiety. Despite the fact they cannot respond to us with words, the company and support of a cat can ease our hearts as we work to process our feelings. Those suffering from grief may feel their minds lightened when expressing their emotions aloud to their pets. It’s often easier to talk to a fur-covered face who won’t pass judgment than opening up to a loved one when we’re not ready. The emotional interaction between human and cat can prove to be both therapeutic and healing.
Research has linked a multitude of health benefits to feline companionship. In a study published in the Journal of Vascular and Interventional Neurology, researchers found a connection between cat ownership and a decreased risk of heart attack or stroke. Since factors like stress and anxiety are thought to contribute to cardiovascular strain, the calming effect cats provide can lessen the contributors to heart disease. Strengthened immune systems and a decrease in the development of cancer and chronic pain have also been linked to the company of cats.
A Healing Purr
While the comforting melody of purrs indicates a content and cozy cat, the sound has also been associated with a therapeutic healing ability on human bones and muscle. Purring creates vibrations at a frequency of 20-140 HZ, a range which studies show provides a positive effect on joint mobility and bone fracture healing. Low vibrations also help to relieve pain and achy muscles. For those living with Alzheimer’s, a cat’s purr can even stimulate certain fundamental nerve endings and help their ability to recall memories from the past.
Every cat owner has a story to tell. We want to hear how cats have positively impacted your recovery and personal journey. Share your story with us by tagging @drelseys and using #shareyourstory on Instagram, or DM us your anecdote. We’ll be sharing your heartwarming submissions to our feed!