Research commissioned by Cats Protection, the UK’s biggest cat charity, has produced some interesting findings.
The organisation learnt that 50 percent of people aged over 55 said their cat had helped them in times of a crisis and 46 percent felt their cat had let them cope better with bereavement. Even more surprisingly, during the months of January and February, cat owners were discovered to suffer 60 percent fewer headaches than non-cat owners, are 21 percent less likely to catch a cold or flu.
The charity also reported that pet cats can be a support for children. 81 percent of people aged 13 and under were found to sometimes share their feelings with their cats, rather than a family member or friend, when they are upset.
Cats Protection will be promoting the health benefits of owning a cat when it attends the London Wellbeing Festival at Olympia, on May 1-4. The charity’s events manager 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.’
2015’s National Pet Month (April 1 to May 4) will be also be looking at pets’ positive impact. This year’s theme – pets and the elderly – will shine a light on the benefits companion animals can bring to older people. It will also look at the importance of providing forever-homes to ageing pets.
Industry members interested in working with National Pet Month can go to www.nationalpetmonth.org.uk.