Cats are dubbed as unsung heroes for those with anxiety. As much as the emotional support field is dominated by dogs, cats also provide a great deal of help. So if you’re dealing with anxiety and you’re more of a cat person, you’re at the right place. For this post, we listed 7 of the best cat breeds for anxiety together with a simple guide on how to choose one.
How cats help a person with anxiety
Cats are second of the most preferred household pet. They have interesting personalities, which will vary per breed. And for those who can’t deal with the barking and demands of owning a dog, cats are indispensable options.
For those with anxiety, cats can also be a great companion. Here are some of the reasons why felines are great choices:
-They provide company
Many cat breeds love being with their humans. This is what makes them a great company when anxiety attacks set in. Their size rarely becomes as intimidating as dogs. Also, they have gentle ways of expressing their love for their owners.
-They are great stress relievers
Studies have found out that owning a cat relieves stress. Their adorable meows, charming purrs, and mellow disposition make them a fun buddy.
Also, research has found that owning a cat can reduce the risk of stroke by almost a third. This is due to their stress-relieving effect on the person who owns them.
-They are excellent therapy animals
According to experts, the purr of cats ranges between 20 and 140 Hz. Such a level of sound is known to be therapeutic for humans as it helps in relaxation and lowering blood pressure.
Moreover, cats are a great alternative to dogs as therapy animals. Due to their smaller size and indoor nature, they can thrive in apartment living.
-They give you better sleep
According to a Mayo Clinic Center for Sleep Medicine, about 41% of pet owners enjoy better sleep. It alleviates the feeling of fear, loneliness, and insecurity, which makes a person fall asleep faster.
Characteristics of a cat for anxiety
So what makes the best cat breeds for anxiety? Here, we listed some of the notable characteristics of cats who make a great companion for people with anxiety.
Cats who will provide emotional support should exhibit a calm and even demeanor. This is to guarantee that they will provide comfort and not bites or scratches. They should endure a sudden change in the behavior of their owners and adapt to it right away.
-The right level of playfulness
It’s also ideal for an emotional support cat to have the right level of playfulness. This way, they can distract their owners from succumbing to a panic attack.
A playful cat also serves as a great stress reliever. This will help a person with anxiety deal with any looming attacks.
Cats who love to cuddle are the perfect pets for those with anxiety. They provide physical assurance to their owners, which helps in fighting a panic attack. Also, cuddly felines make a person feel loved and belonged.
-Follows people around
The best cat breeds for anxiety will follow their owners around. This is a great habit for companionship as they give a sense of security. Also, it’s a guarantee that the kitty will be around if an anxiety attack kicks in.
Last but not the least, an affectionate cat makes an emotional support animal. They provide love to their owners through cuddles and their own sweet ways.
If you’re allergic to dander, you may need to look for a hypoallergenic cat. Also, you may want to consider the size of the cat that will suit your lifestyle and home.
Usually, cat owners will consider the maintenance level as a general consideration when picking a cat to own. Also, some cats don’t thrive in a very hot or very cold climate. So aside from the characteristics above, you should also take these things into account.
7 best cat breeds for anxiety
If you’re looking for the best cat breeds for anxiety, we’ll cut the chase with these 7 amazing felines:
1. Russian Blue
Topping our list of the best cat breeds for anxiety is the Russian Blue. This adorable kitty gives puzzling stares that will surely give its owners a big laugh. They are gentle and loving cats, which suits almost all home settings.
They are called as Russian Blue due to their believed origin in the Archangel Isles in Russia as well as their bluish fur color.
Even though this cat breed is strong and muscular, they are sweet-tempered and loyal to their owners. Aside from that, they are less allergenic, which is ideal for owners with sensitivities.
However, this cat tends to have a favorite parent (make sure that it’s you!), though they are generally loving to all members of the family.
Also, the Russian Blue cat is very social, though they prefer small crowds. In fact, they hide during large gatherings. Nevertheless, they are great playtime buddies and they aren’t whiners even if you leave them for work for long hours.
Just take note that this cat is on the large spectrum as it can grow for up to 12 pounds.
2. Scottish Fold
Next, we have the Scottish Fold. This is an insanely cute cat that you can spot easily with its folded ears. They look like an owl and a teddy bear in one. Nevertheless, they can also come with straight ears.
This is a charming and sweet feline that can easily adapt to any household. They tend to bond with every member of the family.
However, there’s one rule: be careful with their tails. You should always handle a Scottish Fold’s tail gently as they can develop stiffness that will cause unbearable pain to the cat.
If you are to get this breed, you have to know that Scottish Fold kittens will be born with straight ears. Only in their four weeks of age that the ears will start to fold.
Also, this breed requires more grooming than the Russian Blue due to their long fur. Anyway, this feline loves brushing as part of playtime, though they aren’t as vivacious as Russian Blues.
3. Siamese Cat
Siamese Cats are probably one of the most popular breeds for households. And for people with anxiety, this popularity still holds true.
This breed originated in Thailand, a country that was formerly called Siam. Siamese Cats have a striking appearance with their chiseled heads, almond eyes, silky coats, and a fading chocolate color from their snouts.
Siamese Cats are known as the quintessential people cat as they love sitting on the laps of their owners or cuddling with them.
This is an elegant breed, which is always the pride of their owners. Aside from their even temperament, they are also intelligent kitties and can be trained to perform tasks.
Take note that this breed gets attached to its owner too much and will demand attention. Still, they will be affectionate and playful cats that also make as good companions. They also associate brushing with petting and affection, so make sure that you do it every day.
In addition, you should never over-feed a Siamese. They have thin legs that can’t hold excess weight.
4. Ragdoll Cat
Ragdolls are laidback and chill kitties that don’t need a lot of playtimes. Also, they suit people with anxiety who are living in apartments. Although they aren’t as lively as other cat breeds, they express their affection in many ways.
Ragdoll cats have a large build and striking blue eyes that make them easy to spot among other kitties.
They will greet you at the door, flop on your chest, and sleep beside you. Ragdolls don’t mind being petted too and they love following their owners around.
Also, this breed doesn’t mind a change in routine as they tend to adapt really fast. However, you have to give it enough exercise to prevent their fatty pad on the abdomen area become too big. You have to dedicate a specific amount of time per day to play with a Ragdoll cat.
You have to wash the coat of a Ragdoll daily to prevent tangles and knots. Also, you have to prepare since this breed sheds a lot and they tend to grow up to 12 pounds.
5. Persian Cat
Persian cats are the second most popular cat breed in the United States. They are fluffy and cuddly, making them perfect companions for people with anxiety.
Persian cats have a short gait, though they have thick legs and bodies. Another striking feature of this feline is its flat face and seemingly frowning appearance.
Overall, this cat is a joy to have. Even as adult felines, they still exhibit kitten-like behavior like running around the house and sleeping in the sun. They also love stretching next to their owners, sitting on their laps, and sleeping on their chests. Take note that this breed gravitates toward a specific person in the house.
Like Ragdolls, they don’t mind changes in their owners’ routines and they are friendly to almost anyone. Also, owners love their pleasant meows and gentleness. Also, this cat prefers their owners to do the talking.
Also, since they have a flowy coat, this kitty should be kept indoors and given occasional baths. In addition, they hate being left alone for hours so a sitter is needed if you’re going out of town.
6. Sphynx Cat
Known as the hairless cat – Sphynx cats may not be the most aesthetic choice for many, but their personality makes them stand out. This breed is a clown with a high dose of energy for the day. They always love getting their owners’ attention by showing off their goofy ways.
Also, they are loyal kitties that will follow their owners around the house. They always want to be involved in the activities of their owners whenever they get the chance.
Also, expect a Sphynx cat to curl on your lap or even perch on your shoulder. They also love being with kids.
If you want a truly hypoallergenic cat, you’ll never go wrong with the Sphynx. You still have to deal with their oily skin through regular bathing. Also, you have to wipe their ears to prevent wax from accumulating.
However, they are also a curious bunch but they get along with other pets. This is why they suit people with anxiety who wants to stay active. For the safety of this feline, they are best kept indoors. Due to lack of fur, this breed doesn’t do well in very cold climates.
7. Manx Cat
If you’re looking for the best cat breeds for anxiety to accompany you, a Manx will be a great choice. This cat has a stocky body but with large and thick bones. Although they appear to have a short coat, it’s a double coat that will require extra care.
Most of these cats are tailless, though you can chance upon short-tailed ones. Also, this breed gained the nickname ‘Rumpy Risers’ as their small tails will rise when your hand goes down their rump area.
Personality-wise, this cat is sweet and laidback. It’s the perfect companion for people with anxiety and looking for a cuddly pet. Manx cats rarely get too upset and are always welcoming of other people.
Although Manx kitties are placid, they still love a nice playtime. They also look funny when running around due to their round appearance.
Take note that this breed is also intelligent. You can teach it to play fetch and open doors using its paws. Just remember that when getting a Manx, look for a responsible breeder who handles the kittens at an early age and raises it with the litter.
The best cat breeds for anxiety will give company and assurance for its owners. They are excellent pets that will provide endless cuddles and goofy ways to keep you away from your thoughts. But aside from being your buddy, you should also ensure that you can raise them right. What do you think of our list? Let us know!