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20 February 2020

How Having A Pet Can Help Mental Health

I do say quite a lot that I will eventually end up with nine cats rather than a husband. To be honest, that hypothetical scenario is getting more and more likely to happen by the day.




I've had pets all of my life. Well, I say pets like I've had the entirety of the RSPCA and Pets At Home live in my house. 95% of my pets have been cats. The other 5% being goldfish named after trains from Thomas the Tank Engine. Yep, Thomas, Percy, Gordon and I think a Henry also.



How Having A Pet Can Help Mental Health


Anyway, cats. I've grown up with them. Well, I say them, I only had one growing up with me through my childhood. One which greeted me when I came home from school, from hospital appointments and family parties. Her name was Daisy. Daisy Dinglepots as we called her. She was black and white, not the most sociable cat, but loved rubbing herself up against people's bags. As you do.





Then Daisy sadly passed away when I was 21 (2014) . I had for 17 years of my life, my first pet. It broke my heart. Before she died, I never fully understood the pain of losing a pet, how heartbreaking it can be. When people say "Oh it's only a cat" - that really grinds my buttons. It's not to some people. A lot of people do consider pets as part of the family, which I wholeheartedly agree with. They give you so much love and you do the same in return. Ok, they don't eat at the dining table and they don't piss in the toilet like humans do, but they're still family all the same.




Charlie came along in 2008. My little boy. Also a black and white pussycat. A very shy, loving and handsome cat. He loved to climb onto my chest for a cwtch when he was a kitten. When he was fully grown, it wasn't as cute as he did carry a bit of timber. Don't get me wrong, he wasn't fat, just had a bit of muscle. Surely you can have a muscly cat? Oh I adored Charlie. He was such a beautiful, kind natured cat. When he passed away last year, it honestly broke me. I stayed with him when the vet put him to sleep. I couldn't bare for him to be on his own when he died, even though it killed me watching him slip away.



How Having A Pet Can Help Mental Health



During 2014, a little stray arrived at our door by the name of Lily. Well, she didn't have a tag saying her name was Lily, but you know what I mean. As we found out afterwards, she was a PREGNANT stray. She ended up having two stillborn kittens in our kitchen. A sad day all round. We ended up keeping her and she was a part of our lives for 4 years. She went missing back in August 2018 and hasn't been seen since. She was a proper wanderer. Loved having a nose in people's gardens and winding up the dogs next door. She does cross my mind from time to time. I wonder whatever happened to her. I can imagine what did actually happen, but let's not go down that road.





Last but not least, a little kitten which we named Nessa entered our lives. A shiny, pretty black kitten which had a playful side. Since July 2019, Nessa has been driving me nuts by playing with Biros and losing them, cwtching up on my lap and being very explorative. She loves to find little hiding places to sleep, to the point where I can never bloody find her in the house! But she's beautiful and I loves her to bits!



How Having A Pet Can Help Mental Health



Yes, pets can cause a lot of heartache and a lot of empty Kleenex tissue boxes when they go to heaven. However, I do truly believe that pets do have a real, positive impact on our mental health. Pets, whether it's a cat, dog, hamster, rabbit, guinea pig or micro pig (do people still have them as pets?) , it's nice to come home to something that is always so happy to see you. I think it can help if you're feeling lonely and want a little bit of company. For me personally, Nessa is a great form of company. She doesn't give me too much grief, she doesn't talk tell me how many number 2's are in her litter tray or she doesn't fill me in on how much Whiskers she's eaten out of her bowl. She just looks up at me, purring away with content and falls asleep. A very blissful and relaxing time for her.




I would honestly recommend getting a pet if you're in two minds about it. Obviously don't get one if you're allergic to cat hair or don't like dogs like Chandler Bing doesn't. There are a lot of things to consider when it comes to making a decision about getting a pet, but the benefits do outweigh the drawbacks. It really can improve your mental health.



How Having A Pet Can Help Mental Health


I'm a firm believer in doing anything to have good mental health. Mental health has become just as important as CF. Really, honestly. It's no secret that I have had suffered mental health issues over the years and I will do anything to keep the demons locked behind closed doors.



So yes guys, get a pet. Obviously don't if you have allergies. Can't be dealing with lawsuits right now. I go to pieces when Gregg's don't have my favourite baguette in stock.

30 comments:

  1. I truly can imagine that having a pet is the best from of a 'pick me up' when you are in need. I would absolutely love to have a dog, but work commitments wouldn't make it fair to have one. Maybe one day!
    Amber | www.amberatlanta.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. Oh yes, work commitments would make it difficult to justify getting a dog. You're right though, having a pet is the perfect pick me up!

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  2. I've never had a pet but I absolutely love cats! It sounds like you've had some really lovely cats over the years and I'm loving that you called one Nessa! X

    https://www.femaleoriginal.com

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    1. Haha it was my Mam's idea to name her Nessa! x

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  3. Omg I relate so hard to your point about when people say 'it's just a cat' 😡 I've grown up with cats too and it's just the most heartbreaking thing when they pass away. Even though it's a dog movie, whenever I watch THAT scene in Marley and Me, I have to go and give Tilly a big cuddle. I totally agree that pets are amazing for your mental health, Tilly genuinely puts a smile on my face even when I'm in my worst moods, as does my Mum's dog! Fur babies are just the best! ❤️

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    1. It drives me mad when people say that Amy! They're still pets at the end of the day, just because they're not as loved as dogs are! Oh I can't watch Marley & Me, it makes me cry too much! Fur babies really are the best!

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  4. All of my pets helped me with my mental health, the one I found helped the most was my bird who a month ago sadly flew away. She was my whole life.

    Pet's are bloody fantastic furry therapists. Recommend to anyone.

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    1. Aww Shannon I'm so sorry to hear that, I hope you are coping well with what's happened to your bird. They are the best furry therapists! x

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  5. Animals have such an amazing effect on mental health! Who doesn't love a pet cuddle!x

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  6. I've had pets all my life from cats, dogs, rabbits, gunina pigs to the cows that stuck their heads through our gardens fence, I couldn't imagine what my life would've been like without them

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    1. I'd love to have cows sticking their heads through my garden fence! x

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  7. Pets really do help mental health! Jewel was the perfect furry therapist when I was struggling and needed a cry. It seems like we had the same bad naming skills! Haha! My goldfish were Flipper and Tony! xD Btw: sorry you lost Daisy but you have this Daisy!

    Daisy xoxo | TheDeeWhoLived

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    1. They're fab names for goldfish! Haha thank you Daisy! x

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  8. I've had pets all of my life too, lots of hamsters as a small child then dogs and guinea pigs entered my life in my teens. They really are family too! It's definitely not just a dog/ cat. I couldn't imagine my life without my furry friends. Especially as I work from home, sometimes my dog is the only person I speak to until the evenings so I often wonder if he's keeping me sane during the day. They're such great company and comforters. Therapy dogs are a thing for a reason, I wish we had those when I was at uni...x

    Sophie
    www.glowsteady.co.uk

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    1. I feel the same Sophie, I don't know what my life would be like without my furry friends! They really are great company and it's lovely to have someone greet you when you go home! I think therapy dogs are incredible and such a great idea! x

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  9. Life with a pet is much better than without one. Except when said pet has to go out for a wee in the middle of the night then it isn't so much fun.

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  10. I really like the set up of your blog. I thought I ended up on an online department store. Now on to the actual post... I don't even want to think about losing my precious Baby. She's 6 and I can't imagine life without her. She's my only roommate.

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  11. Such a lovely post! I have had dogs and cats still do! They are so calming and precious

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    1. Thank you Lauren! You're right, they are so calming and loving!

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  12. When my mental health was its worst I had a kitten and he honestly helped me so much, I honestly felt like I had a purpose to get up and feed him and look after him etc! Pets can honestly help so much x

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    1. Aww I'm so glad to hear that adopting a kitten really helped with your mental health Kayleigh! x

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  13. Such a lovely post. I don't currently have any pets, but my mum has two dogs and growing up with them was amazing. I've always experienced such terrible anxiety but being able to take them on a walk, give them a big cuddle and just have them to keep me company felt incredible. I'd recommend getting a pet to anyone who feels particularly lonely and is struggling.

    Kate | thelittlecrunch.co.uk

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    1. Aww that's so nice to hear! I would definitely recommend getting a pet if you feel lonely too!

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  14. BB-8 is always an amazing source of comfort to me, she always makes me smile!

    Love, Amie ❤
    The Curvaceous Vegan

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  15. I totally agree with you here, I adopted my cat Evie for a little company as Jamie worked much longer hours than I did, but honestly it's one of the best things I've ever done. They have their own little presence so you never really feel alone and it's so comforting when they jump onto your lap for a cuddle!
    Soph - https://sophhearts.com x

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