Can Cats Improve Mental Health?


Kira Milne, Editor

The fact that pets as companions benefit owners is a commonly known fact . However, specifically our feline friends, cats, can significantly improve their owner’s general well-being. Cats prove to be superior pets through their different anxiety relieving and endorphin inducing actions ranging from cuddling with owners to jumping into the air at the sight of a cucumber. 

While the dog vs cat debate is one as old as time, when it comes to mental health cats can significantly improve the mental health of their owners. They are helpful pets to have if someone wants a companion. According to Healthline,  “Petting or playing with your cat can release all the right chemicals in the brain. There is also evidence that a cat’s purr can help lower blood pressure and relax the nervous system.” The simple act of playing with a cat or petting them to cause them to purr is proven to turn someone’s mood around. This small act can significantly benefit many who are struggling mentally. 

In addition, cats are very low maintenance and do not cause their owners to stir up any excess stress. Hannah Collier, Senior, shared the impact of her new pet kitten,  “I was seriously in the worst depression of my entire life. I had never felt more empty or alone until I got a kitten. She has given me a purpose on a whole different level. It is so fulfilling to love and care for another being. Watching her explore and discover herself has brought me immense joy.” The comfort and companionship a cat provides allows for owners to feel fulfilled and supported, therefore aiding in the improvement of their mental health.

The impact of cats is even tangible online. There are millions of funny cat videos online that people find joy in viewing. According to “Even Internet cats can make us smile. People who watch cat videos online say that they feel less negative emotion afterward (less anxiety, annoyance, and sadness) and more positive feelings (more hope, happiness, and contentment).”  The evidence of cats relieving stress through comical videos is multiplied as people adopt their own. 

Overall, cats are loving and affectionate animals making them the perfect companion for anyone struggling with their mental health or those just looking for a pet in general.