Me Talking: Cats: A Prescription for Happiness

Prescription of Cats
Prescription for Happiness image Christine LeBlanc on Facebook

As you may have noticed, this week I am concentrating on medications.

Not all medicine comes in a bottle. One of the most therapeutic comes in a basket or a box or a sink, wherever your furry friend decides to perch. My furry friend is a ginger and white long-haired cat named Buddy Foster whom I found at a shelter three years ago. He has added so much to my life.

Buddy at Easter
Buddy Foster

How Do Cats Help with Depression?

Cats and dogs can help with depression in several ways. We know they make us feel better but how?

Physical Contact

Cats can provide us with physical contact, and physical contact is important any time, especially when we are not feeling well. During my last years of teaching, I would come home from school every day and go to my bedroom. As my husband prepared supper, I would lie on my bed, holding Socks, my son’s cat, beside me. She sometimes stayed there for five minutes, sometimes a half hour. I could feel her soft warm fur, the beating of her little heart, and the stresses of the day would slowly leave.

Activity

Having a cat around can make you more active. Even though you may not feel like it, you have to get out of bed to fill water and food bowls, clean the litter pan, and play a little. When Buddy first came into my life he had me out of bed each morning at 7:30, working on his blog. Even now if I sleep too late in the morning he wakes me by patting my face with his paws.

Playing with your cat can relieve anxious feelings, and taking kitty for a walk on a leash provides exercise and fresh air. Buddy loves going for walks, even if he spends most of his time sitting in one spot for five minutes before moving on.

Unconditional love ♥

Cats give you unconditional love. When you are depressed you can be irritable, angry or generally hard to take. People, even loved ones, can become wearied of you. But your cat is always there for you, through thick and thin as long as you remember to fill the food bowl.
You don’t always need someone to respond to you with human words, a soft purr can remind you that you are not alone.

I found this quote on Facebook and it applies to cats as well as dogs.

All dogs (and cats) are therapy dogs (and cats). The majority are just freelancing.

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