With an ever-growing awareness of the importance of mental wellbeing, research shows that simply having a cat around can help people cope better with everyday life.
In support of World Mental Health Day (10 Oct) a survey by Cats Protection shows that over nine out of ten cat owners (93.7%) state that owning a cat helps their mental health.
The activities that people said helped them the most were:
When asked whether owning a cat has a positive effect on their mental wellbeing 26.1% said ‘very much’, 21.6% said ‘quite a lot’, 23.5% said ‘a fair amount’ and 22.5% said ‘a little’.
The research was conducted as part of Cats Protection’s More Than Just a Cat campaign, which highlights the many ways cats enhance and enrich people’s lives.
One cat owner who credits her cat with helping to dramatically improve her mental health is Eve Hawker from Romford in Essex.
The survey also uncovered some slightly more light-hearted findings, including:
“We often hear about how cats have had a positive impact on their owners’ wellbeing and it’s heart-warming to see how cats really can make such a difference to people’s lives,” explained Kate Bunting from Cats Protection.
“We believe anyone can benefit from owning a cat. From sharing a secret to being by our side during lonely times, cats lift our spirits and make us more able to cope with the stresses of modern living so having a cat in the home is a win-win for everyone.”
To get involved with the campaign, visit www.cats.org.uk/my-cat-is or Cat Protection’s social media pages (Cats Protection on Facebook and @CatsProtection on Twitter and Instagram) and use the hashtag #MoreThanJustACat.