Pets and Mental Health - Personal Experience
On October 10th, we celebrate World Mental Health Day. It is a day to raise awareness around mental health globally. Pets, in general help immensely with our mental health, especially in light of recent events such as COVID.
When we are down, they lift up our spirits. When we are stressed, they make us question why. They let us into their world which is wholesome, wonderous and loving.
In a survey by Cats Protection, more than 90% of cat owners state that owning a cat helps their mental health.
As the founder of Empower Paw and the owner of five beautiful cats, I definitely want to reaffirm that pets help incredibly with our mental health.
I adopted a pregnant cat during the COVID lockdown period. I didn't actively find her but rather, she found me. She followed me one day back to my ground floor apartment and every day since that day, she visited me. Over time, she spent more and more time at mine. It's actually fairer to say, we found each other.
I found out who her owner was and discovered that she was not treated properly. They never got her nor any of their cats spayed and following an intense discussion, agreed I'd take her in. As I was working from home during the COVID lockdown period, I had the capacity to look after her. She subsequently gave birth to 4 incredible kitties, I've kept them all and got her spayed.
Before having the cats in my life, I definitely struggled with mental health, even before the COVID times. I live alone and many times during the night, I would cry myself to sleep. I'm not sure why given that on paper, everything seems to be just fine in my life. I have an incredible family, a supportive partner, wonderful friends, a good career, food and shelter. However, anxiety sometimes take over me and I begin worrying.
Since having the cats, I have completely stopped with the uncontrollable crying. Why? I think it is because of the positivity that my cats bring me. I love them to the end of the world. I love everything about them - their cute faces, quirks, purrs, the way they interact with each other, the way they roll on their backs and so on and so forth. I love it when they sleep on top of me, when they wake me up at 4am in the morning for food and when they 'miaow' at me when they come home after an outdoors visit. The positivity that the cats have brought me has taken over all of the negative thoughts that I used to think about in life, particularly at night when I am all alone.
Empower Paw is an offshoot from having the cats.
We should be ever so thankful and grateful for our pets. Remember, if you ever feel like your mental health is being compromised, please do not be afraid to be open about it! Be kind to yourself!