How cats can help you claw your way out of depression
Depression (major depressive disorder) is a common and serious medical illness that negatively affects how you feel, the way you think and how you act.
It can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems and can decrease a person’s ability to function at work and at home.
1 in 6 people will experience depression in their lifetime, and studies suggest that those numbers will climb. Depression can strike at any time, no matter how young or old you are.
As more of us become self aware in our mental health, it’s important to realize that it’s nothing to be ashamed of.
Depression is treatable, whether it’s through medication, different types of therapy, or various methods of self help.
One thing that we’ve come across a lot here running iizcat, is the magic and healing powers of our beloved feline friends, specifically in regards to depression.
The healing powers of a cat’s purrs.
A cat's purr are scientifically proven to heal us physically.
Cats create purr vibrations within a range of 20-140 Hz, known to be medically therapeutic for many illnesses.
A cats purr reduces stress, decrease symptoms of dysponea, lower blood pressure, improve bone strength (yep, you read that right), and improve the health of muscles, tendons, and ligament injuries.
“If you put a cat and a bunch of broken bones in the same room, the bones will heal.” – old veterinary adage.
Cat owners also have a 40% less risk of a heart attack.
Cats give us purpose
A common sign of depression is the inability to get out of bed. No, not physically, but mentally.
You just want to sink away… but your fur baby won’t let that happen.
Have you ever tried to sleep in when you have a cat? It’s impossible. Your cat has a schedule, and your cat will hold you to that.
You have to get up and feed your cat, to clean their poop box, and to simply pay attention to them when they demand it.
These sound like just small tasks, but their life is in your hands, and that alone gives you purpose. That alone helps you to keep going.
Cats keep us distracted
Cats are just little awesome beings in a furry vessel. They make us laugh, they make us say awwww, and sometimes they make us worry when their curiosity gets the best of them, but their weird little habits are a welcome distraction to watch.
Have you ever just sat down and watched your cat? Watched them get hyper, get the zoomies, or curiously stalk the bag you placed on the floor?
When the dark thoughts invade your brain, sometimes only your cat can bat them away.
Cats help us feel loved and important
Nobody really understands the bond one can share with a cat unless you have one. You know your cat and your cat knows you.
And there is nothing like knowing that your cat loves you. Cats are unfairly labeled as cold and heartless, but that’s just simply not true. Cats love us, but they show it in different ways than say compared to a dog. Cats are more independent than dogs, true. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing. If anything, the fact that cats are more independent, and they still decide to love you, it just means that much more.
So when your cat follows you into a room, that cat is choosing to do so. That cat is choosing to be near you when you’re sitting on the couch and they curl up in your lap or by your feet.
You don’t have to have a lap cat to know your cat loves you. There’s one cat of ours here at iizcat that doesn’t like to be touched. He’s not a big fan of being pet, and definitely not being picked up. But you’ll always find him near his human dad, following him from room to room, just to hang out. And he loves to give soft kisses from across the room.
Cats show us love in so many ways, but a few include soft kisses (slow blinking), rubbing, purrs, belly showing, grooming, gifting, and sleeping near and beside us.
Knowing that after a long day of work, that you are coming home to somebody waiting for you, that loves you, is sometimes all that we need to get through the dark times.
“Wheter you are clinically depressed or struggling through a tough time, the gentle purr of a loving cat can be the best salve if you feel no one understands you, or when you need a loving relationship that is uncomplicated by words and expectations and preconceptions,” ShoKo shared.
The best part is that millions of cats need homes, so when you open yours, both of you benefit, and two lives are saved.
If you are struggling with depression, consider adopting a cat.
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