Cats help owners beat the winter blues

Cats help owners beat the winter blues

Whiskers' benefits extend beyond keeping you company while you watch TV at night.
Feb 03, 2009
By staff
If you’ve got common symptoms of the winter blues—heachaches, colds, sleep problems, difficulty concentrating and relaxing, and generally feeling miserable—the solution may be simple: get a cat. Your feline friend can help you power through the dreary winter months and perk up with thoughts of spring showers, according to a new study.

British psychologist Dr. June McNicholas found that during January and February, cat owners suffer 60 percent fewer headaches than non-cat owners, are 21 percent less likely to catch a cold or flu, and feel significantly less miserable, impatient, and tense. Cat owners also suffer fewer sleep problems, are less likely to be tearful and are more able to relax than those who don’t own a cat, according to the study. Dr. McNicholas carried out the five-year study for the U.K. nonprofit organization Cats Protection.

Maggie Roberts, director of veterinary services for Cats Protection, says cats’ playfulness and companionship can do wonders for cheering up their owners. This is especially true in the winter months, when owners are more likely to spend time indoors with their cats. “There’s nothing quite like having a purring cat on your lap on a cold winter evening to lift your spirits, as this research shows,” says Roberts.

According to Dr. McNicholas, the positive effects of owning a cat during winter benefited owners of both genders and across all age groups. But these effects seemed significantly strong in men under 40.

Click here to learn more about Cats Protection.

Hot topics on dvm360

Dog of Dallas Ebola patient will not be euthanized, authorities say

Health officials have quarantined and will monitor dog and amid concerns surrounding deadly virus.

Video: How to perform a belt-loop gastropexy

Prevent GDV in your at-risk patients with this simple technique.

Stretch your skills to earn more in veterinary practice

Finding new tasks could be the key to generating more income for your practice—and boosting your pay.

Veterinary community stunned by Sophia Yin's unexpected death

Prominent veterinary behaviorist died of suicide Sept. 28.

Study shows sustained salary slump for veterinary support staff

Since 2009, technicians paid by the hour have experienced a bump in pay, but pay for other team members has stayed stagnant, according to data from the 2014 Firstline Career Path Study. Here’s a look at changes in team pay from 2009 to 2013.