Today, Sunday 8th August 2021, is International Cats Day! You probably know that I have two cats: Monty and Percy. They have definitely helped my mental health. For this post, I wanted to include the ways that they have helped. Maybe it’s the same with other pets too? But, this post is specific to ways my cats help my mental health & how yours could help yours too.

I’m 100% a cat person. I have been around cats my entire life. When I was born my family already had 2 cats: Nosy and Cosy. They were so sweet and cute. Later on, we got Monty and Percy. I think there were only like 2 months between the two pairs of cats that we were without any. Part of the reason I wanted to study at Bournemouth Uni was because of the cat cafe nearby, I’m hoping to volunteer there this year too 😎

Introducing Monty and Percy

Before I get started on the ways they help my mental health, I thought it was only fair that I introduce them properly to my blog!

Monty and Percy are British shorthair tabby cats, 10 at the end of August 😱. There are about 6 cats on my street so often we see other cats in our garden ‘playing’ with Monty & Percy. Monty will just sit and stare at the cat, but Percy will hiss at them so they’ll run away.

Monty mainly sleeps on my bed, stretched out and snoring very loudly – he is often my alarm clock in the morning. But he does like sleeping outside too, under bushes, especially in the summer. Whereas Percy has lots of sleep spots with 4 in the kitchen, about 6 in our living room and then he loves sleeping on empty beds. Monty sometimes acts like a dog – he drinks very loudly and often follows me or leads me to my room!

Percy is the most unique cat I have ever met! He gets scared very easily and jumps at sudden movements, which is a lot like me. He also stares a lot, loves licking people, sometimes he bats people on the head with his paw and he absolutely LOVES my dad. His favourite food is fish soup and he loves to have a tiny bit of Edam cheese at lunch. Percy even knows that 2 tiny pieces are his maximum because he goes to sleep or jumps down once I’ve given them to him.

6 ways my cats help my mental health

They are therapeutic

Therapy dogs are a thing so I don’t see why a therapy cat can’t be a thing. I guess it must be because you can take dogs pretty much anywhere! This is why I love cat cafes so much 😻 When I’m stressed out, one of my favourite things to do is hold Monty’s paw. It just makes me feel a bit more relaxed.

Sleep is one of my coping mechanisms, something which I suspect I got from Monty and Percy.

They are loving

Monty seems to know when I’m feeling depressed or anxious because he comes over and curls up next to me. Sometimes he sits on me which is particularly nice because he’s so close to me – maybe this is a similar feeling to a weighted blanket? When Monty or Percy blinks at me, I know that they feel safe which makes me feel safe, in turn.

When Monty snores or purrs in the morning it sends me straight to sleep. Especially when he is cuddled up close to me with his head under my chin! Sometimes I wish he would come up earlier so that I would sleep in longer.

Related post: 4 benefits why you should get your children a pet

Cats are great companions

Another way that my cats help my mental health is by just being there. It’s knowing that Monty is at home waiting for me that makes me feel less lonely. I don’t have a lot of friends and the ones that I do have are often busy. I like that he will curl up next to me and stretch his paws out because he feels safe with me.

If I have a bad day or I am feeling particularly depressed, I just talk to him. It seems silly because he’s a cat and he can’t reply. But I often talk to myself, so it’s nice to talk to someone who smiles back at me! Or if I start crying, he will always crawl over to me and let me stroke him and hold his paw.

As I said earlier, Percy is a very worried cat, but because I’m a very anxious person and scare easily, we jump at the same noises. There is something comforting in that and I like giving him a good cuddle, especially when I can tell he is anxious too. He’s on stress medication and I’m on antidepressants, so there’s another thing in common too 🐱

Cats are stress relievers

Cats definitely reduce my stress, like I said earlier, holding Monty’s paw makes me feel calmer. I love to have Monty sit on my lap whilst I’m revising or watching a lecture at my desk. He’s all warm and cuddly which helps me to feel less anxious. Did you know that stroking or petting your cat (or dog) can release stress-reducing hormones? It also slows your heart rate and blood pressure level.

Related post: How to give your cat their best Christmas

They make me laugh

They always make me smile, whether it’s watching Percy sniff everything in the room or Monty sleeping under a bush thinking he is hidden. If you want a laugh, throw a ping pong ball on the ground and watch a cat chase it – it’s comedy gold. Last year in lockdown, I tried to play noughts & crosses with Monty and Percy – treats edition. I filmed it and uploaded it to my Insta account for them (yes, I’m that kind of cat owner). Check out the account here, if you keep scrolling, quite a long way, you’ll find a video or two of us playing!

Monty & Percy are part of the family

I’m sure anyone with a pet agrees that they are a huge part of the family. In lockdown when I couldn’t see friends or family, they really helped my parents and me out. Part of our days was still a routine, it was one of the only things that were consistent throughout the last year. Lots of people adopted pets within the last year or two. I know some pet owners don’t, but I love to buy Monty & Percy Christmas and birthday presents – sometimes I’ll even write a card.

Long story short, pets are magical!

Has your cat (or any other pet) helped your mental health?

Best wishes, Cx

You may also like...

Popular Articles...

63 Comments

  1. Absolutely! Pets are wonderful for our mental health. Pets can give us companionship and most importantly their loyalty and love. They are always there for us, no matter what. People come and ago but pets are here to stay (just wish pets lived longer).

    1. Me too x

  2. I grew up with cats (and a variety of other pets through the years) and always enjoyed having them around. I know that my husband and I would really like a dog as it would definitely help with our mental health and overall happiness. I love your cats Monty and Percy (great names) — they look like good pet companions!

    1. Haha thanks! x

  3. I had a tabby cat called Percy too, and he was great! We have cats at my dads now, and they honestly make me laugh so much. But I love how cuddly they are, even though people say they’re not loving at all.

    1. Awwww! Me too x

  4. Can’t agree more! I have never had a cat before Tj and it completely changed me! I love that he comes around when I don’t feel well and is always there to keep me company! I get him presents too x

  5. I had 2 dogs which I adored and who definitely helped my mental health. Unfortunately when they passed within a few years of each other, it was devastating. I think for me, my mental health suffers too much when animals are sick or dying and therefore I don’t think I will be getting any more pets. I do love my parents dog though!

    1. Aw no :/ I get you, it’s the worst feeling in the world when they get sick x

  6. I couldn’t imagine not having a pet! Monty and Percy and lovely and I am so pleased that they help with your mental health. Cats are so gorgeous and affectionate and a part of the family aren’t they. I’ve just followed you on Instagram what a lovely feed x

    1. Thank you! So true 🙂 x

  7. This is such a great post! We feel the same way about our respective dogs!

    1. Thank you 🙂

  8. I know how you feel. I don’t have a cat, but my dog has helped my mental health. Sadly, I am allergy to cats. I wish I could have a cat. Your cats look cute. Thank you for sharing this post.

    1. Thank you! I’m allergic to cats too 😬

  9. JamieAdStories says:

    Definitely. I grew up with a cat and have always loved pets. Lovely blog post.

    1. Thank you!

  10. Monty and Percy are gorgeous!

    Lovely post, I’d love a cat, they’re great companions and agree pets are wonderful for mental well-being

    1. So true x

  11. Such beatiful cats. I really wish I could talk my wife into getting a cat. But she is not a fan. We have a dog and I think he may be our last pet. Once the children grow up we may go petless.

    1. Thank you, awww :/

  12. I love cats so much even though I’m allergic haha. They’re incredibly sweet yet independent creatures. Monty and Percy are adorable! Thank you for sharing!

    1. I’m allergic too 🤣 Thank you x

  13. Aw, this is such a great post! I don’t have any pets but I’m sure they are the best! My family has pets that I like to visit. Thanks for sharing x

    Lynn | https://www.lynnmumbingmejia.com

    1. Thank you Lynn xx

  14. Definitely agree with this! Cats (and pets in general) do WONDERS for mental health. My little black cat Nora always knows when I’m feeling a bit rubbish and always acts her cutest to cheer me up 🥰
    Jemma | https://www.ohhjemma.com/

    1. Awww, Nora sounds so cute! x

  15. My goodness, Monty ad Percy are so cute! I couldn’t agree with you more on all of these points, Caroline. We adopted a cat (Boris) about a year ago and she’s honestly improved our life (and mental health) so much. Just the unconditional love (and cuddles – she loves to sleep tucked under my chin) is so heartwarming, pets really help a house feel like a home! x

    mia // https://beautiful-inspiring-creative-life.com/

    1. Awww, so cute! I love it when they sleep so close to you <3

  16. Hello Caroline! I love this post as I am SUCH a cat person. I personally have 2 cats back home and one just had babies… and they are my life!! My cat Lola really helped me through a hard time in my anxiety and I totally agree with you! Thanks for sharing a great post! Alicia

    1. Thank you, I’m so glad to hear 🙂

  17. Awww what a great post! Where I live at the moment I can’t have any cats, but I’ll be getting two in a couple of years when we move. I just love them so much. We used to have two family cats who live with me at my Mum’s before I moved. Now I speak to her on Whattsapp my Mum holds the phone up to them, they come over to say hi, and nudge the phone with their heads. They are such beautiful companions. You’re so lucky to have two little beauties. I totally agree with you, they are so good for your mental health 🙂

    1. Aw, that’s so cute! I do that too when I’m at uni x

  18. Love this! I have a cat too and I definitely agree that they can help with mental health – she never fails to put a smile on my face, and I love sitting with her in the garden. Thanks for sharing x

    1. Me too 🙂 x

  19. Pets are amazing for mental health! Growing up we had all sorts of pets to love us when we were down.

  20. What a lovely post to read. When I was a kid, my cat was my best friend. He was someone I could tell everything to!
    Rosie

    1. So cute, I totally relate x

  21. I get your feeling here! In my case, my dogs are the therapeutic ones. They’ve always been there for me when I’m at my lowest.

    1. Awww, that’s so sweet x

  22. I couldn’t agree with you more if I tried. My two are my rocks. Honestly, I’d be lost without them. Even though I complain about their antics, the hair they leave everywhere etc. I still wouldn’t be without them.

    1. I totally agree! x

  23. Such a lovely post! Couldn’t agree more that pets can do wonders for our mental health. They can be our best companions! And your cats are adorable xx

    1. Thank you xx

  24. Great post! Cats are wonderful for our mental health and can be very grounding. My cats are definitely part of the family and I can’t imagine my life without them! Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thank you x

  25. I don’t have cats (or any pets) as my mum is allergic but I agree that they can be so useful for mental health. I would love to have either a cat or dog one day!

    Tash – A Girl with a View

    1. I’m allergic too 😬🤣 x

  26. Pets are a great source of comfort, companionship and motivation! Monty and Percy are adorable!
    xoxo
    Lovely
    http://www.mynameislovely.com

    1. Thank you x

  27. Such a lovely post Caroline. Pets are so precious and can help with mental and physical health in so many ways. I love the affection I get from my two dogs and two cats. Thank you for sharing this post.

    Lauren
    Bournemouthgirl

    1. Me too, thank you x

  28. Gavin says:

    This was a great article. I have had both dogs and cats, and the stereotype that dogs are social and cats are antisocial is simply not true. My cats won’t leave me alone! Their companionship is vastly underappreciated.

  29. What gorgeous cats! I’ve never been a huge cat person but one of my closest friends got a kitten earlier this year and I’m obsessed with it! It makes me so happy to hang out around her house and just play with the cat for hours; they really do improve your mood and help your mental health!

    1. Thank you! They are so cute 🙂

  30. I looove this! And can 100% agree! I always thought I was a dog person but then my mum got a kitty 2 years back and our Topi is the most cuddly cat I’ve ever met <3 He definitely reduces stress levels left, right and center, and is a fundamental part of the family.

    1. Awwww, so cute!x

  31. Very cute post! I currently have 3 cats who are all very different- the snuggle bug, the feisty one, and the must-be-close-always cat- but they are all amazing for my mental health. Thanks for sharing!

    Alexis| http://cafe-beauty.com

    1. Awww, so cute!

  32. […] self-care. It’s important that you don’t let this happen as it can really derail your mental health. I love Autumn and this time of year, but this isn’t the same for everyone. I have decided to […]

  33. […] I have been using this hand sanitiser for a few days now and I love it. At first, I wondered why it was foam, but it’s so that you don’t get dry skin. My skin gets dry very easily so this product is very useful for me. Whilst it doesn’t contain alcohol, this hand sanitiser actually has a higher bacteria and virus kill rate than alcoholic sanitisers. It’s a natural plant-based product, made in Britain, is never tested on animals and is pet-safe -> something very important with us who have pets! […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.