If you deal with anxiety, stress, depression, or any other mental health issue, then you may benefit from an emotional support cat. These furry companions can be instrumental in helping you to get back on your feet so you can live your life to its fullest. Although many support animals tend to be dogs, cats offer many unique wellness benefits that can make your life much easier. Let’s talk about emotional support cats and important factors to consider if you own one.
Many people look for an emotional support cat to assist with their mental health. Whether you have been through a traumatic experience, have bouts of depression, or are uneasy when going out in public, a support animal can help you to deal with your anxiety.
Pet ownership benefits your health and happiness. Thus, owning a cat can increase the level of oxytocin in your body, which is the same hormone that you feel when you have a close bond with a child. If you don’t want or can’t have kids, then a cat is a great choice. When you are less stressed, your blood pressure often drops, as well. This helps you avoid the potential for physical ailments, like heart attacks, strokes, and dementia.
Cats also provide a benefit that other animals cannot in the way that they purr. Typically, a cat’s purr resonates in the range of 20-140 Hz, which has been found to reduce stress and the occurrence of labored breathing. Therefore, purring is therapeutic, making you feel better overall. The mere existence of a happy cat vibrating on your lap can improve your mood and well-being.
Even if they aren’t purring, cats still make great emotional support animals and companions. Sometimes, all we need is another presence in the room to help us to feel better, and cats can do that for us. Your cat wants to spend time with you, and that is why they will not hesitate to come up and lay or rub against you. Just the act of sitting there and stroking your cat can help to calm your nerves.
Cats and addiction recovery don’t appear to go hand in hand, but these animals can also be great companions when you are dealing with such a deep issue. Sometimes, when someone is struggling with addiction, the simplest trigger or stressful moment like receiving a bill can lead people to go back to their vice. If you have similar issues, then instead of giving in, you can pet your furry companion and mitigate that response trigger.
You also have the added responsibility of caring for your cat. Luckily, cats are quite resilient and self-sufficient. Still, though, the act of caring for another being can give you peace and purpose in lieu of addiction.
In addition to being great companions, cats can also help you to make more friends and acquaintances, even if you are more introverted. You never know who you will come across when you take your cat for a walk or bring them to the pet store. It is also possible to meet other cat owners since it is easier to talk to people when you have something in common.
If you do decide to get an emotional support cat, then there are a couple of things that you should know that can make things easier depending on where life takes you. For instance, if you typically live in an apartment, it is important to know that your cat is protected under the Fair Housing Act. This means that a landlord has to let your emotional support animal live with you, even if they have a no-pets policy.
Many people also travel with their support cat when they go on vacation or business trips. If you do, then make sure that you choose a quality cat-travel carrier so your pet can stay comfortable and safe. Before you travel with your pet, make it a point to schedule a vet visit to get all necessary vaccinations and copies of your cat’s medical records in case they are needed on the trip. You may also need to show proof that they are, indeed, an emotional support animal.
As you can see, there are many great benefits to getting a support cat if you deal with stress, anxiety, or depression. Consider the perks and tips discussed here, and you and your feline friend can have a happy life.
About the Author: Katie Brenneman
Katie Brenneman is a passionate writer specializing in lifestyle, mental health, and animal-related content. When she isn’t writing, you can find her with her nose buried in a book or snuggling with her cat, Clementine. To connect with Katie, you can follow her on Twitter.
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