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Let a cat chase away your Winter Blues!

03 January 2016

‘Banish the Winter Blues with a little help from a feline friend’ is the message today from the UK’s leading cat charity, Cats Protection.

For most people, January can be a pretty miserable month but for many senior citizens it can be an extremely depressing time of year, especially if they are suffering from isolation and loneliness made worse by this year’s bad weather.

However, Cats Protection believes there are many benefits to cat ownership and wants to encourage senior citizens to get some feline friendship into their lives.

Research amongst nearly 1000 over-55s conducted by Cats Protection found that cats helped their owners to feel younger and healthier. The survey also revealed that:

  • The older the person, the more significant the cat’s role in helping their owner keep active.
  • Over 70% of respondents reported that their cat made them laugh at least once a day.
  • A cat’s ability to attract “passing trade” could lead to subsequent social interaction. Trips to the vet and the supermarket were also useful in providing opportunities for social interaction.

These findings are backed up by the Mental Health Foundation which says that caring for a pet can improve a person’s wellbeing. “The bond between you and your pet can be as strong as between people,” said Chief Executive Andrew McCulloch. “Looking after a pet can bring structure to your day and act as a link to others.”
Peter Hepburn, Cats Protection’s Chief Executive said: “Owning a cat can be very beneficial, especially for senior citizens if they cannot go out very often or do not get many visitors. Cats love to cuddle up and can make you feel very loved and wanted, so a bit of feline friendship could help ease the problems the older generation can experience at this time of year.”

Cats Protection has around 7,000 felines in its care at any one time and will help you find your perfect companion and friend. To find out how to adopt a cat in your area, please call the charity’s helpline on 03000 12 12 12 or visit www.cats.org.uk

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For more information, please contact Cats Protection’s Media Office on media.office@cats.org.uk or 01825 741 911

Notes to Editors:

1. For a copy of the study findings, please contact Cats Protection’s Media Office on 01825 741 911 or email media.office@cats.org.uk
2. 920 cat owners aged 55 – 80+ from across the UK took part in this survey which was conducted between May and July 2005 by leading health psychologist Dr June McNicholas B.Sc.,Ph.D. The majority lived with just their partner or spouse.
3. Cats Protection is the UK’s leading cat welfare charity and helps 193,000 cats and kittens each year through a national network of 253 volunteer-run branches and 29 adoption centres.
4. Cats Protection’s vision is a world where every cat is treated with kindness and an understanding of its needs.
5. Cats Protection’s registered charity number is 203644 (England and Wales) and SCO37711 (Scotland). Founded as the Cats Protection League in 1927, the charity adopted the name Cats Protection in 1998. We ask that you use the name Cats Protection when referring to the charity in all published material.
6. More information about the work of Cats Protection can be found at www.cats.org.uk