From bouts of cabin fever and social isolation to financial concerns, work stress and relationship struggles, we can all agree that life in quarantine is not easy. But, with a little perspective, now is as good a time as ever to find the silver lining in this tough situation, and for many of us, that’s our pets.
The benefits of pets are widely known and are proving to be especially important during this stressful time. Whiskas, SA’s favourite cat food brand, agrees that our pets, especially our feline companions, can keep us sane during times of crises. As cat lovers, it’s time to raise a paw to our furry friends.
But what is it about owning and spending time with our cats that help us better navigate these strange times and how can we make sure we keep them happy and healthy in return?
Sensitive social support
For many of us, cats provide social support. On bad days, they lend their inquisitive ears and offer intuitive support. People talking to their pets to work out their feelings, while gaining a feeling of companionship is a common theme among proud cat owners. Pets also add routine, responsibility and social activity to otherwise dreary days.
The power of cuddles
Beyond the emotional support, the power of a good cat cuddle has also been proven. Cuddling your cat releases oxytocin in your body, the hormone known for inducing feelings of love and trust. Similar to humans, cats are social creatures and like us, crave love and attention. This feeling of connection and love is especially important at this time of social distancing and could very well help see us through the darker moments.
There are some physical health benefits as well. Close physical interactions with cats is said to boost our immune systems, while several studies have found that people reported sleeping better with their pet cat. Petting and cuddling with a cat also has a positive and calming effect on our bodies – it can contribute towards stress relief, act as a mood booster and provides a positive distraction.
Cats are generally low-maintenance, which must also go a little way towards easing our stresses at this time. This shows that while they are lending us their full emotional support, physical benefits can be counted too.
Finally, let them entertain you!
Felines are certainly one of the mavericks of the pet kingdom and masters of making us smile, and the Whiskas team agrees. Whether it’s finding wacky hideouts, sleeping in weird positions or getting up to general mischief, all these cat quirks can go a long way to lighten the overall mood during lockdown.
What can we do in return?
There are mutual benefits to having a close relationship with your pet cat. Giving love and affection is as good for them as it is for us. Talk to your cats, hug them tight, play with them, pet them from head to toe and let them snuggle and purr to their heart’s delight. This can work wonders for the health and well-being of pets and owners alike.
We can also return their companionship by simply looking after their physical and mental health in whatever way we can. Regular vet check-ups, not to mention daily cuddles, can go a long way to maintaining the health and wellbeing of your feline friend. Good dental health is also important and has been shown to have a big effect on the overall health of your feline for now and into the long term.
Treat your kitties to Whiskas Dentabites in Salmon or Chicken flavour. The tiny grooves on Whiskas® DentaBites gently clean the tooth surface as the cat’s teeth contact the crunchy treats. They’re a compliance-friendly way to provide daily proactive oral care for even the most independent, strong-willed cats.
We can all be grateful that our felines provide us with the love and distraction needed to keep us going during this time and Whiskas are happy to help you return some of the love.
For more information on Whiskas care and treats, visit – http://whiskas.co.za/cat-care-and-treats/