Cat ownership can help lift mood, research shows

Friday, 18th November 2011

When you get in stressed after a hard day at work, putting some cat food out for your pet could actually help cheer your mood, with new research suggesting that owning a cat can help mental wellbeing.

The Mental Health Foundation has found that 87 per cent of people who own a cat say their pet has a positive impact on their mental wellbeing.

It also showed that 76 per cent said they cope with everyday life better because of their cat.

The research involved more than 600 cat and non-cat owning people, half of whom described themselves as having a mental health problem.

Peter Hepburn, Cats Protection chief executive, said: "These findings tell us what cat lovers have known for years - cats are not just great company, low maintenance and independent but they are actually very good for you."

Dr Eva Cyhlarova, head of research at the Mental Health Foundation, added: "Looking after a pet can bring structure to your day, reduce feelings of isolation and loneliness and act as a link to other people."