In an unusual year, having pets around the home has proven to be very welcome! But did you know, our cat's companionship has been proven to have beneficial effects, including the reduction of anxiety and depression, reduced loneliness and encouraged daily routines - such as spending more time with our feline friends?
In a study by researchers in Colorado State University, almost 60% of people interviewed reported actively engaging with their cat more than before COVID, and more than 60% said it strengthened their relationship.
Ways your cat may help you through lockdown
Having a cat around can help to provide some purrfect socialisation during lockdowns. Being able to have that physical contact with an animal is therapeutic; stroking them, hearing them purr and spending time with them has had amazing benefits. Even if your cat is not a lap cat or is not fond of being handled, just their presence of being around the home has been a welcome distraction.
A UK study of 6000 people showed that 89% of people who owned a cat felt that their pet helped them cope emotionally during the first lockdown, and 98% felt their cat had a positive effect on their whole family.
A work distraction
A lot of people have also had to adjust to working from home and may miss the interaction with work colleagues. This, of course, has been replaced by online meetings and discussions, and although these have helped to keep businesses running, the lack of natural banter that is found around the office has often been replaced by attendees' pets 'taking over the call' and bringing some light relief to the discussions, mainly by cats walking across your keyboard during the call and waving their tail in front of your face!
There are various thoughts about why cats are drawn to our laptops and keyboards:
- Some believe it's to get their human's attention, if you've been on the computer for a while
- Or they are negotiating with you - they may know you will give them a treat to move away!
- Or they may they like the distraction of things moving across the screen (we know cats like to chase things)
- Or perhaps cats like the feel of the soft keys on the pads of their feet!
Whatever their motive, they certainly help to bring a smile to everyone's faces!
Our cats need to be cared for too!
It's important that we look after our pets too. We know that cats are sensitive creatures and in a survey undertaken by FELIWAY, we found that 14% of owners reported that their cats had definitely shown signs of stress, and 6% found that this was mainly during lockdown. 33% reported a change in their cat's behaviour and 52% said their cat was closer to the family.
The enforced changes in our routines have been stressful for owners and cats alike; cats can pick up on a human's stress and having more people around them during the day can add to their anxiety. Don't forget cats like routine, and if this gets changed because you and your family are at home because of lockdown, your cat can begin to show signs of stress.
These can include:
- Hiding more than usual
- Scratching furniture or vertical surfaces
- Urine spraying around the home
- Excessive vocalisation
- Lost interest in playtimes
- Change in eating habits
When you find yourself at home because of lockdown, your daily routine will change, but it's important that you ensure you stick as close to your normal routine as possible, both for you and your cat's sake! Using FELIWAY Optimum will help calm your cat better than ever and adjust to different situations.
Look after your cat and they will repay you with the love, companionship and fun you both need to get through challenging times.