ᴛʜᴇ ᴍᴀɪɴᴇ ᴄᴏᴏɴ ᴋɪᴛᴛʏ ᴡᴇɪɢʜs ᴀs ᴍᴜᴄʜ ᴀs ᴀ sᴍᴀʟʟ ᴄʜɪʟᴅ ᴀɴᴅ ɪsɴ’ᴛ ᴇᴠᴇɴ ᴅᴏɴᴇ ɢʀᴏᴡɪɴɢ ʏᴇᴛ.
ᴀ ᴍᴀɪɴᴇ ᴄᴏᴏɴ ᴋɪᴛᴛᴇɴ ɴᴀᴍᴇᴅ ᴋᴇғɪʀ ɪs ʙʀᴇᴀᴋɪɴɢ ᴀʟʟ ᴛʜᴇ ʀᴜʟᴇs ᴡʜᴇɴ ɪᴛ ᴄᴏᴍᴇs ᴛᴏ ᴘʀᴇᴄᴏɴᴄᴇɪᴠᴇᴅ ɴᴏᴛɪᴏɴs ᴀʙᴏᴜᴛ ᴄᴀᴛs.
ᴡʜᴇɴ ᴍᴏsᴛ ᴘᴇᴏᴘʟᴇ ᴛʜɪɴᴋ ᴀʙᴏᴜᴛ ᴄᴀᴛs ᴛʜᴇʏ ᴛʜɪɴᴋ ᴀʙᴏᴜᴛ ᴀɴɪᴍᴀʟs sᴍᴀʟʟᴇʀ ᴛʜᴀɴ ᴅᴏɢs.
ʜᴏᴡᴇᴠᴇʀ ᴋᴇғɪʀ ɪs sᴏ ʜᴜɢᴇ ᴛʜᴀᴛ ᴘᴇᴏᴘʟᴇ ᴏғᴛᴇɴ ᴍɪsᴛᴀᴋᴇ ʜɪᴍ ғᴏʀ ᴀ ᴄᴀɴɪɴᴇ. ᴛʜɪs ʙɪɢ ʙᴏʏ ɪs ᴄᴜʀʀᴇɴᴛʟʏ ʟʙs. ᴀɴᴅ sᴛɪʟʟ ɢʀᴏᴡɪɴɢ.
ᴍᴀɪɴᴇ ᴄᴏᴏɴ ᴄᴀᴛs ᴀʀᴇ ᴀ ɴᴏʀᴍᴀʟʟʏ ʜᴜɢᴇ ᴛʏᴘᴇ ᴀɴᴅ ᴋᴇғɪʀ, ᴀɴ ɴᴇᴀʀʟʏ -ʏᴇᴀʀ-ᴏʟᴅ, ɪs ᴄᴜʀʀᴇɴᴛʟʏ ʟᴀʀɢᴇʀ ᴛʜᴀɴ ᴛʜᴇ ɴᴏʀᴍᴀʟ ᴀᴅᴜʟᴛ ᴍᴀɪɴᴇ ᴄᴏᴏɴ ᴄᴀᴛ.
ʏᴜʟɪᴀ ᴍɪɴɪɴᴀ, ᴏғ sᴛᴀʀʏ ᴏsᴋᴏʟ, ʀᴜssɪᴀ, ғᴇʟʟ ɪɴ ʟᴏᴠᴇ ᴡɪᴛʜ ᴋᴇғɪʀ’s sɴᴏᴡ-ᴡʜɪᴛᴇ ғᴜʀ ᴡʜᴇɴ sʜᴇ ғᴏᴜɴᴅ ʜɪᴍ ᴀᴛ ᴀ ᴄᴀᴛᴛᴇʀʏ ᴀs ᴀ ᴋɪᴛᴛᴇɴ.
ᴋᴇғɪʀ, ᴄᴀʟʟᴇᴅ ᴀғᴛᴇʀ ᴛʜᴇ ʏᴏɢᴜʀᴛ ᴅʀɪɴᴋ, ᴡᴀs ᴀ ғᴀɴᴄʏ ᴄᴀᴛ ғʀᴏᴍ ᴛʜᴇ sᴛᴀʀᴛ.
ʜᴇ ᴡᴏᴜʟᴅɴ’ᴛ ɢᴏ ɴᴇᴀʀ ᴄᴏᴍᴘʟᴇᴛᴇʟʏ ᴅʀʏ ғᴏᴏᴅ ᴀɴᴅ ɪɴsᴛᴇᴀᴅ ʜᴀᴅ ᴛᴏ ʙᴇ ғᴇᴅ ᴍᴇᴀᴛ ᴀɴᴅ ɴᴀᴛᴜʀᴀʟ ғᴇᴇᴅ.
ᴡʜɪʟᴇ ʜᴇ ᴍᴀʏ ʟᴏᴏᴋ ᴀ ʟɪᴛᴛʟᴇ ɪɴᴛɪᴍɪᴅᴀᴛɪɴɢ ʙᴇᴄᴀᴜsᴇ ᴏғ ʜɪs ᴅɪᴍᴇɴsɪᴏɴ, ᴍɪɴɪɴᴀ sᴀʏs ʜᴇ’s ᴀ ʜᴜɢᴇ ᴛᴇᴅᴅʏ ʙᴇᴀʀ ᴀᴛ ʜᴇᴀʀᴛ. ʜᴇ ᴀʟsᴏ ʜᴀs ᴀʙᴏᴜᴛ ᴛᴡᴏ ᴍᴏʀᴇ ʏᴇᴀʀs ᴏғ ɢʀᴏᴡᴛʜ.
” ɪ ᴄᴀɴ ɴᴏᴛ ᴇᴠᴇɴ ʙᴇʟɪᴇᴠᴇ ᴛʜᴀᴛ ᴀɴ ᴏʀᴅɪɴᴀʀʏ ʙᴀʙʏ ᴄᴀɴ ʙᴇᴄᴏᴍᴇ sᴏ ʙɪɢ. ʜᴇ ɴᴏᴛ ᴏɴʟʏ ɢʀᴇᴡ ᴜᴘ ʙɪɢ ɪɴ ʟᴏᴏᴋ, ʜᴇ ɪs ʟɪᴋᴇᴡɪsᴇ ᴇxᴛʀᴇᴍᴇʟʏ sᴍᴀʀᴛ ᴀɴᴅ ᴀʟᴡᴀʏs ᴀᴄᴛs ᴄᴀʟᴍʟʏ,” ᴍɪɴɪɴᴀ ᴄʟᴀɪᴍᴇᴅ, ᴀᴄᴄᴏʀᴅɪɴɢ ᴛᴏ ᴍᴇᴛʀᴏ. “ᴛʜᴇ ᴀᴘᴘᴇᴀʀᴀɴᴄᴇ ɪs ᴜsᴜᴀʟʟʏ ʟɪᴋᴇ ᴛʜᴀᴛ ᴏғ ᴀ ᴘᴇʀsᴏɴ, ᴀɴᴅ ᴋᴇғɪʀ ʜᴀs ᴀ ғᴏʀᴍɪᴅᴀʙʟᴇ ᴀᴘᴘᴇᴀʀᴀɴᴄᴇ, ʙᴜᴛ ʜᴇ ɪs ᴀ ᴇxᴛʀᴇᴍᴇʟʏ ᴄᴀʀɪɴɢ ᴀɴᴅ ᴍᴏᴅᴇsᴛ ᴄʜɪʟᴅ.”
ᴋᴇғɪʀ’s ʟᴏɴɢ ʀᴇᴍᴀʀᴋᴀʙʟᴇ ғᴜʀ ᴀʟsᴏ ɪɴᴄʟᴜᴅᴇs ɪɴ ᴛʜᴇ ʙᴜʟᴋɪɴᴇss ᴏғ ʜɪs sʜᴀᴘᴇ. sᴏ, ᴍᴇɴɪɴᴀ ᴍᴀᴋᴇs sᴜʀᴇ ᴛᴏ ɢʀᴏᴏᴍ ʜɪᴍ ᴜsᴜᴀʟʟʏ ᴛᴏ ᴋᴇᴇᴘ ʜɪᴍ ғᴇᴇʟɪɴɢ ʟɪɢʜᴛᴇʀ ᴀɴᴅ ᴛᴏ ᴘʀᴇᴠᴇɴᴛ sʜᴇᴅᴅɪɴɢ. sʜᴇ sᴀʏs ᴛʜᴀᴛ ᴋᴇғɪʀ ɪs ᴛʜᴇ sᴛᴀʀ ᴏғ ᴛʜᴇ ᴘʀᴏɢʀᴀᴍ ᴡʜᴇɴ ʜᴇʀ ғʀɪᴇɴᴅs sᴛᴏᴘ ʙʏ ᴀɴᴅ ǫᴜɪᴛᴇ ᴛʜᴇ ᴘʜᴇɴᴏᴍᴇɴᴏɴ ᴡʜᴇɴ ɪᴛ ᴄᴏᴍᴇs ᴛᴏ sᴇᴇɪɴɢ sᴛʀᴀɴɢᴇʀs.
” ᴡʜᴇɴ ʙᴜᴅᴅɪᴇs ᴀɴᴅ ᴀᴄǫᴜᴀɪɴᴛᴀɴᴄᴇs ᴄᴏᴍᴇ ᴛᴏ ᴛʜᴇ ʜᴏᴜsᴇ, ᴀʟʟ ᴛʜᴇ ɪɴᴛᴇʀᴇsᴛ ɪs ᴏɴ ʜɪᴍ ᴀɴᴅ ʜᴇ ᴡɪʟʟɪɴɢʟʏ ᴀʟʟᴏᴡs ʜɪᴍsᴇʟғ ᴛᴏ ʙᴇ sᴛʀᴏᴋᴇᴅ,” sʜᴇ sᴀʏs. “ʙᴜᴛ ᴡʜᴇɴ sᴛʀᴀɴɢᴇʀs ᴄᴏᴍᴇ ᴛᴏ ᴛʜᴇ ʜᴏᴜsᴇ, ᴇᴠᴇʀʏʙᴏᴅʏ ғɪʀsᴛ ᴄᴏɴғᴜsᴇs ʜɪᴍ ᴡɪᴛʜ ᴀ ᴅᴏɢ.”
ʜᴏᴡᴇᴠᴇʀ ᴛʜᴀᴛ’s ǫᴜɪᴛᴇ ᴛʏᴘɪᴄᴀʟ ғᴏʀ ᴛʜᴇ ʙʀᴇᴇᴅ ᴀᴄᴄᴏʀᴅɪɴɢ ᴛᴏ ᴋᴇʏ ᴄᴏᴏɴ ᴄᴇɴᴛʀᴀʟ.
” ᴍᴀɪɴᴇ ᴄᴏᴏɴ ᴄᴀᴛs ᴀʀᴇ ʀᴇᴄᴏɢɴɪᴢᴇᴅ ғᴏʀ ʙᴇɪɴɢ ᴀ ᴠᴇʀʏ ғʀɪᴇɴᴅʟʏ, ʟᴀɪᴅ-ʙᴀᴄᴋ, ᴀɴᴅ ɢᴇɴᴛʟᴇ ᴄᴀᴛ ᴛʏᴘᴇ. ᴛʜᴇʏ ᴀʀᴇ ɴᴏᴛ ʜᴏsᴛɪʟᴇ, ɴᴏʀ ʜɪɢʜʟʏ ᴛᴇʀʀɪᴛᴏʀɪᴀʟ ɪɴ ᴛʜᴇɪʀ ɴᴀᴛᴜʀᴇ, sᴏ ᴀᴅᴀᴘᴛ ᴡᴇʟʟ ᴛᴏ ᴏᴛʜᴇʀ ᴀɴɪᴍᴀʟs ʟɪᴠɪɴɢ ɪɴ ᴛʜᴇ sᴀᴍᴇ ʜᴏᴍᴇ. ᴛʜᴇɪʀ ᴍɪʟᴅ ɴᴀᴛᴜʀᴇ, ʏᴇᴛ ᴘʟᴀʏғᴜʟ ʙᴇʜᴀᴠɪᴏʀ ᴍᴇᴀɴs ᴛʜᴀᴛ ᴍᴀɪɴᴇ ᴄᴏᴏɴs ᴀʀᴇ ɢᴏᴏᴅ ᴡɪᴛʜ ʙᴏᴛʜ ᴋɪᴅs ᴀɴᴅ ᴅᴏɢs,” ᴛʜᴇ ᴡᴇʙsɪᴛᴇ sᴛᴀᴛᴇs.
” ᴍᴀɪɴᴇ ᴄᴏᴏɴs ᴀᴄᴛ ʟɪᴋᴇ ᴅᴏɢs, ᴀɴᴅ ᴀʀᴇ ᴋɴᴏᴡɴ ᴀs ᴛʜᴇ ‘ᴅᴏɢ ᴏғ ᴛʜᴇ ᴄᴀᴛ ᴡᴏʀʟᴅ’. ᴛʜᴇʏ ʜᴀᴠᴇ ᴀ ғʀɪᴇɴᴅʟʏ ᴄᴀɴɪɴᴇ-ʟɪᴋᴇ ᴘᴇʀsᴏɴᴀʟɪᴛʏ, ᴀʟʟᴏᴡɪɴɢ ᴛʜᴇᴍ ᴛᴏ ᴄᴏɴsᴛʀᴜᴄᴛ sᴛʀᴏɴɢ ʙᴏɴᴅs ᴡɪᴛʜ ʀᴇʟᴀᴛɪᴠᴇ, ᴀɴᴅ ɢᴇᴛ ᴏɴ ᴡᴇʟʟ ᴡɪᴛʜ ᴏᴛʜᴇʀ ʜᴏᴜsᴇʜᴏʟᴅ ᴘᴇᴛs. ᴍᴀɪɴᴇ ᴄᴏᴏɴ ᴄᴀᴛs ᴀʀᴇ sɪᴍɪʟᴀʀ ᴛᴏ ᴅᴏɢs, sɪɴᴄᴇ ʙᴏᴛʜ ᴀʀᴇ ɪɴᴛᴇʟʟɪɢᴇɴᴛ, ғᴀɪᴛʜғᴜʟ, ᴀɴᴅ ᴡɪʟʟ ᴄᴇʀᴛᴀɪɴʟʏ ɢʀᴇᴇᴛ ʏᴏᴜ ᴀᴛ ᴛʜᴇ ᴅᴏᴏʀ.”
ᴀɴᴏᴛʜᴇʀ ᴅᴏɢ-ʟɪᴋᴇ ᴀᴛᴛʀɪʙᴜᴛᴇ ᴛʜᴀᴛ ᴋᴇғɪʀ ʜᴀs ɪs ᴛʜᴀᴛ ʜᴇ ᴄᴏɴsᴛᴀɴᴛʟʏ ᴡɪsʜᴇs ᴛᴏ ᴏᴠᴇʀsʟᴇᴇᴘ ᴛʜᴇ ʙᴇᴅ ᴡɪᴛʜ ᴍᴏᴛʜᴇʀ.
ᴇᴠᴇɴ ɪғ ʜᴇ’s ᴛᴏᴏ ʙɪɢ ғᴏʀ ɪᴛ!
“ʜᴇ ʜᴀs ᴀɴᴏᴛʜᴇʀ ʜᴀʙɪᴛ: ᴀᴛ ɴɪɢʜᴛ ʜᴇ sᴜᴄʜᴇs ᴀs ᴛᴏ ᴄʟɪᴍʙ ᴏɴ ᴍᴇ ᴀɴᴅ sʟᴇᴇᴘ. ᴡʜᴇɴ ʜᴇ ᴡᴀs ᴀ ᴋɪᴛᴛᴇɴ, ɪᴛ ᴅɪᴅɴ’ᴛ ᴄᴀᴜsᴇ ᴍᴇ ᴀɴʏ ᴛʏᴘᴇ ᴏғ ɪɴᴄᴏɴᴠᴇɴɪᴇɴᴄᴇ. ɴᴏᴡ ʜᴇ ʜᴀs ᴀᴄᴛᴜᴀʟʟʏ ᴄᴏᴍᴇ ᴛᴏ ʙᴇ ʙɪɢ ᴀɴᴅ ʜᴇᴀᴠʏ, ᴀɴᴅ, ᴏʙᴠɪᴏᴜsʟʏ, ɪᴛ ɪs ᴅɪғғɪᴄᴜʟᴛ ᴛᴏ sʟᴇᴇᴘ ʟɪᴋᴇ ᴛʜᴀᴛ,” ᴍɪɴɪɴᴀ sᴀʏs.
10 Mental & Physical Health Benefits of Having Pets
Pets are family members. Like humans, they need love, health care, and attention. But pet parents’ relationships with their pets are not one sided. Pets give so much back in return, improving the health of our minds, bodies, and hearts.
The benefits of having pets are plentiful — and scientifically proven. Pets help their humans live longer, happier, and healthier lives mentally and physically. The Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI) gathers the latest information on the positive health effects of companion animals. These researchers help make the case for adding a pet to a household.
From reducing the risk of heart attacks to alleviating loneliness, these furry family members are contributing to healthy communities.
Let’s talk about those benefits.
Better Mental Health
Pets can contribute to positive mental health through emotional work and practical work. The emotional work can be described as alleviating worries, stress, and depression. You may have noticed that your pet wastes no time noticing and springing into action when you are upset or sad. Their intuition is what makes them great support and therapy animals, and animal-assisted therapy is effective in treating PTSD, anxiety, and depression.
Then there’s the practical work that comes with caring for a pet. This means making sure their individual needs are met. Developing a daily routine of walks and feeding times can help pet parents with mental health conditions feel a sense of purpose that affects other areas of their lives.
The Data: Pets and Mental Health
A 2016 HABRI study explored the role of pets in the social networks of people managing a long‑term mental health problem.
- Pets were found to contribute to a stronger sense of identity in pet owners with mental health conditions, including reducing negative perceptions of a mental health condition or diagnosis.
- Pets provide a sense of security and routine in the relationship, which reinforces stable cognition.
- Pets provide a distraction and disruption from distressing symptoms, such as hearing voices, suicidal thoughts, rumination, and facilitating routine and exercise for those who care for them.
Better Physical Health
Every little bit counts when it comes to physical health benefits, and those daily walks really add up for dog owners. Since they are more likely to meet the criteria for regular moderate exercise, dog parents have lower instances of obesity.
Your heart is one of the biggest spots to see the full benefits of pet ownership. Just the presence of animals has significant impacts on blood pressure, with pet owners having a lower resting blood pressure than people without pet babies.
Cat parents aren’t left out of the healthy heart race. A feline friend in your home reduces your risk of death due to cardiovascular diseases, including stroke and heart attacks. According to the Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI), people without cats have a 40% higher relative risk of heart attack than non‑cat owners.
The Data: Pets and Physical Health
- Approximately 60% of dog walkers met the criteria for regular moderate and/or vigorous leisure‑time physical activity compared with about 45% for non‑dog owners and dog owners who did not walk their dog in a 2005 Michigan Behavioral Risk Factor Survey.
- In a study of adults over the age of 50 with mildly elevated blood pressure, the presence of a pet dog or cat had a significant impact on blood pressure, with dog ownership being associated with lower diastolic and systolic blood pressure compared to people who did not own pets.
- A study of over 2,400 cat owners concluded there was a significantly lower relative risk for death due to cardiovascular diseases, including stroke and heart attack, compared to non‑owners during a 20‑year follow‑up.
Healthier Aging Process
Research has shown that older adults get social and emotional support from their pets that combats loneliness and depression. Aside from promoting exercise and reducing stress, pets also assist in the treatment of long‑term diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Pet companionship is also key for hospital and cancer patients. When coupled with animal-assisted activities, pets help patients with pain management and in interactions with doctors and nurses. Those patients also responded better to treatments and reported improvements in their quality of life.
The Data: Pets and Aging
- Results of a study of older adults who live alone suggest that pet ownership may act as a buffer against loneliness.
- Results of a one-year study that examined the impact of animal‑assisted therapy (AAT) on patients with chronic pain demonstrated that, following AAT, patients reported reduced pain, discomfort, and stress. Additionally, stress among nursing staff was found to decrease significantly following AAT.
- A study of older adults with mental illness living in long‑term care facilities concluded that AAT reduced depressive symptoms and improved cognitive function.
When we look at the data on mental health, physical health, and aging, it’s clear that pets contribute much to people’s lives in these areas, as well as being the loving companions we’ve always known they are.