Research* commissioned by Cats Protection shows that sharing a home with a cat can help people of all ages cope with the demands of everyday life, with findings such as:
• During the months of January and February, cat owners suffer 60% less headaches than non-cat owners, are 21% less likely to catch a cold or flu, and feel significantly less miserable, impatient and tense.
• 81% of children aged 13 and under sometimes share their feelings with their cats rather than a family member or friend when they are upset.
• 50% of people aged over 55 said their cat had helped them in times of a crisis, whilst 46 per cent felt their cat had helped them cope better with bereavement.
Cats Protection’s Emma Osborne said, “Our research shows that cats can have a hugely positive impact in the lives of people they live with, whether they are young children, busy couples or pensioners.
“We know cats can provide endless entertainment with their antics, but it is also the companionship and the comfort they bring that has such a beneficial impact on their owner’s physical, mental and emotional wellbeing.”
Cats Protection is the UK’s leading feline welfare charity and helps over 194,000 cats each year through its national network of over 250 volunteer-run branches and 31 adoption centres.
Find out more about adopting a cat from the charity or becoming a volunteer at cats.org.uk or call 03000 12 12 12.
Read more about the therapeutic benefits of animal interaction for adults and children in our article, ‘Pets as therapy’ (International Therapist, Issue 108).
* Research carried out for Cats Protection in 2001, and 2003 – 2008, by leading health psychologist Dr June McNicholas BSc, PhD.
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