Have you only ever had cats as pets? If so, that probably puts you definitely in the - I'm a cat person camp.
I think it is fair to say that most people would say that a having a pet would be good for mental health even if they are unable or not in a position to have a pet themselves.
Are you thinking of getting cat?
Before you know it you will be at the shelter picking up a kitty and your life will be changed forever.
As humans we are programmed to nurture, form bonds and show love and affection. Looking after and caring for a cat is good for our mental health and cats as well as being companions become part of the family.
We love our cats and looking after them is a job that we undertake with no strings attached. Unlike their canine counterparts, cats don’t always show us the affection we think we deserve. Cats are independent creatures.
When kitty first comes home, we really do not know what sort of personality he or she will have. In the ensuing years we bend over backwards to make sure everything is fine for kitty and that he has everything he needs, love, food, shelter, stimulation and good health.
We love our kitty and we show that love by taking care of him and that includes his foibles.
Helping to care of a cat is a good way to teach children responsibility. Children can take an active part in caring for the cat.
When you come home from work, who is there waiting to greet you and perhaps waiting to be fed? Cats show their appreciation by purring, walking between your legs and generally looking pleased to see you.
Sometimes their company is over the top. Cats seem to take delight in stalking the keyboard when you are using the computer or sitting on your lap successfully preventing you from undertaking any other activity.
For people who live alone, a cat provides comcompanionship and company.
Some cats will only jump onto a lap when the temperature drops and they might reconsider their normal aloofness, for the sake of warmth.
Cats can be hilarious and although this does slow down a little with age they do provide us with many entertaining hours. When they are climbing into impossibly small places or hopping into a an empty box, we can laugh at their antics.
These exploits of Maru, in the video below, make me laugh every time I see them.
Even when cats are sleeping they still elicit the ‘so cute’ response that has you taking yet another cat photo.
If your cat does the cat night crazies you might not be so keen on the entertainment this can provide in the middle of the night.
Yes cats do stimulate conversation. Here are some familiar phrases and the list could go on and on.
Where is the cat?
Have you seen the cat?
Look at the cat?
What is the cat doing?
The cat is so cute
The cat is purring - awhh
The cat is snoring
The cat is on the kitchen bench
The cat has caught a goldfish from the pond
The cat has caught a rat
Is it time for the cat's flea treatment?
What has happened to the cat's collar? He’s not wearing it anymore.
We need to get a new collar. Will we get a collar with a bell?
Where is the cat’s name tag?
What time does the vet open?
The cat needs a new bed? What about a heated bed?
The cat doesn’t look well
The cat hasn't eaten his dinner. Do you think he's okay?
Who will feed the cat when we are away?
Do you think the cat has put on weight?
It is well accepted that pets are good for mental health and now increasingly pets are making their way into nursing homes as a way for senior citizens, even those who may have a significant medical condition, to show love and affection and take some responsibility for caring for a cat.
For many residents caring for or having a pet as part of their everyday surroundings may help to stimulate memories of times past when caring for other animals.
It is not just senior citizens in nursing homes who benefit.
This article examines the effect pet ownership has on the mental and emotional health of adults living alone.
It is exciting bringing a kitten or cat into the family and adopting a new family member, a furry one. This new family member is going to give you years of joy, love and companionship.
Over that time you (and your family) will form strong attachments to your kitty. You will recognize his quirks and funny habits and in turn he will be able to predict some of your behaviors. We all know how persistent (feel free to substitute -manipulative, annoying, feral, cute?) kitties can be around food time, especially first thing in the morning.
Because we love our cats we look after them, we give them love and attention, we play with them and make sure that all their physical needs are met.
We anticipate what kitty is not able to tell us because we have spent so much time together and we take him to the vet if we have any concerns about his health.
Some cats will jump onto a lap and hunker down for the night while others like their own space.
Dogs perhaps have the upper-hand in this category as taking the dog on a daily walk is pretty mandatory for dog owners.
Cat owners do not tend to take their cats for a walk although, the other day I did see a very cute white cat, in a fashionable pink harness, going for a walk with her owner and they were doing okay plus getting plenty of attention.
This article examines the positive effects that pet ownership can have on reduction of stress and blood pressure which may lead to a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease.
Even if we are not physically taking cats for a walk there is still a certain amount of physicality required to look after and care for a cat.
Playful kittens need entertaining and some cats are high maintenance and require daily grooming.
Although many studies has been done regarding the value of pets for in a typical family and for adults and children with special needs there was little known about the behavior of cats around children with autism.
In the first part of the trial, data was gathered in a web based survey from families who had a cat and a child with ASD. The behavioral questions were specific to the the behavior of the cat in relation to the child with ASD.
The second part of the trial was conducted by a telephone interview. The emphasis was to determine the cat’s behavior and interaction with children who have ASD, less severe ASD or typical development.
Although there were noted limitations with this study which are explained clearly in the abstract, it is encouraging that the findings report as follows
Cats in households with an ASD child appeared to be affectionate and minimally aggressive with the ASD child.
Create your own piece of history and add to your family. If a kitten is not going to be suitable consider adopting an older cat.
Now that you have that adorable piece of fluff ensconced in the household and he is running the show or maybe you are in the still 'thinking about it' phase, read how to keep your kitty happy.
If kitty is happy everyone is happy!