Cats Heal People

Cats are great for people. This according to Betty White who was a regular actress on both the Mary Tyler Moore show and The Golden Girls.   It is true that cats are becoming more of a regular sight in prisons, mental institution, nursing homes and hospitals. This is because researchers are finding out that the folklore about cats being healing is true.     Researchers in the field of pet-assisted therapy have found that physically being around a cat can help lower high blood pressure and stress levels, motivate the patient to interact with others, alleviate depression, reinforce self-esteem and reestablish motivation.  Cats are wandering loose as pets in old age homes as it is known that they can relieve that loneliness of those who lose a husband or a wife. Cats connect very easily to most people and they offer the elderly a chance for relaxation as well as a way for them to   express love and receive unconditional love.   Stroking a cat has also been known to soothe the human mind as well as revive memory   and sensory skills that are stimulated by tactile activity.  Cats also take people’s minds off their woes. Studies have shown that patients in hospitals and nursing homes who have regular visits from pets are more positive in attitude and take the human mind of off pain, boredom and other sorrows. Pet therapy has been especially valuable as an aid in helping the elderly, the infirm, the addicted and the abused to reach out and connect emotionally with again.   Pet therapy is especially successful with children who feel abandoned lonely or ill.  These types of cats, called therapy animals, travel to convalescent homes, hospitals, day care centers, juvenile halls and prisons along with their owners. The sole intention of taking these cats into these places of healing  is to use them to cheer people up.  Of course not all cats make good therapy pets. The best ones are naturally friendly and have a gentle personality. The cat also must be quite calm and not disturbed by a lot of attention or frightened of things like gurneys and wheel chairs.   The kind of cat that hisses or bunches up in a corner when it encounters new experiences does not make a great therapy cat for obvious reasons!  Types of disorders that could benefit from a visit by a cat include children with deficit disorder, people with Alzheimer’s disease, people with depression and abused children.  Even the simple act of grooming a cat is a huge step for an individual who is physically handicapped. However if it means bonding with an animal some people are more motivated to get better.  Allen Schoen, the author of Love, Miracles and Animal Healing, says that this is because bonding with animals offers the person suffering a chance to step outside him or herself and communicate in loving way. It may seem that the main benefit of pet therapy is that the pet allows patients to focus, even for a short period of time, on something other than their own pain.