16 August 2019
International Cat Day was recently celebrated all around the world and it was the perfect opportunity to start discussions over the mental and physical health benefits that being around pets can bring to a person’s life. Cats and pets in general can help minimise the effects of loneliness, depression and other mental health issues, as well as reducing the risk of many physical conditions.
Pets can positively impact a person’s mental wellbeing
Being in the company of a pet has proven to create positive emotions, improve mood and increase levels of energy, which can help individuals to better cope with stress, as pets can not only be a positive distraction from poor health but also give seniors a sense of purpose at a stage in life where they may feel the loneliness of an empty home.
Because oxytocin, also known as the “cuddle chemical”, is normally released when pets and humans interact, a strong bond between owner and pet is created in turn, which can have a calming and soothing effect on both.
Having a little kitten to cuddle can be a source of comfort and companionship, particularly important to the elderly who may struggle with feelings of isolation and loneliness. Pets are proved to also improve seniors’ memory recollection, helping them to regain access to past memories from long ago.
Caring for a pet and receiving affection in return can inspire feelings of responsibility and improve the owner’s self-esteem, especially when they may feel lonely, depressed or anxious. Caring for little felines could be particularly suitable to seniors, since cats are popularly known for being low-maintenance beings due to their level of independence and self-sufficiency. Especially for those who struggle with physical mobility, owning a cat could be more beneficial, as it means individuals wouldn’t have to worry about walking or exercising them as much as they normally would with dogs.
Physical benefits of owning a pet
An improvement in mental wellbeing can have an equally positive effect on a person’s physical health. Owning a pet may help lower stress levels, which can massively reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease as a result. By simply stroking your kitten, stress hormone cortisol levels are reduced in our bodies, which consequently impacts blood pressure and cholesterol levels and minimises the risk of many heart diseases, including stroke.
A cat purring is considered to be one of the most comforting sounds existent and not only does purring mean cats are happy, but it is also associated to a therapeutic healing ability on human bones and muscles. Previous studies have shown that frequencies between 18-35 HZ can have a very positive effect on joint mobility after injuries, which demonstrates the physical benefits of owning a cat, since the frequency of purr vibrations is at 20-140 HZ.
Caring for you and your pets at home
To many, receiving care at home with the possibility of remaining in familiar surroundings can be extremely beneficial to their overall wellbeing. This also includes keeping little companions, such as cats and other pets. If your loved one has concerns about parting with a beloved pet, Promedica24 can ensure they continue to stay together at home for longer. For more information, contact our team on 0800 086 8686 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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