Cats are an acquired taste for many people, and people are an acquired taste for many cats. These independent creatures give and receive love in their own way, but they are happy to be the pet that a person needs. For someone in recovery who is considering the benefits of a non-human companion, a cat gets the job done.
Here are just some of the reasons cats are great for people in recovery.
It’s easy to feel lonely, isolated, or at loose ends when you’re in recovery. Always having a cat to play with and snuggle with is a gift that can fill your time when you’re not feeling especially motivated to connect with anyone else in your life. Sometimes, your cat won’t want anything to do with you, and vice versa, but it can be nice to simply share your space with a creature who doesn’t demand too much of you.
Having responsibility, a schedule, and structure is good for people in recovery. Regular tasks keep you occupied and feeling accomplished, even on the tough days. When you have a cat to take care of, they must be fed consistently. Their litter box, fur, and nails need attention. These are all tasks they can’t manage themselves, so you become their person and they help you develop a routine and stay accountable.
Enjoy Emotional Support
Emotional support animals are a real thing, and while your cat may not be formally trained in that department, that doesn’t mean they don’t do good things for your mental health. It is proven that cats help reduce stress and anxiety, decrease negative feelings, and let you experience the feel-good feelings you need. The energy of your cat can help ward off the dangers of relapse and a brief petting session is sometimes all you and your cat need to feel happy.
When you go to holistic rehab, life on the outside changes. You may not have the same people in your world anymore when you start to live a sober life. This may mean that the love you used to get is no longer as plentiful. A cat is happy to fill in the gap and deliver unconditional love, even when you’re feeling your worst. No matter what you’ve done, no matter how you feel, your cat will accept you just as you are.
Boost Your Health
It’s common for people in recovery to feel drained. Drugs and alcohol are toxic to the body and even though you have gone through detox and weeks of holistic rehab, it can still take time to feel as good as it’s possible to feel. With a cat in your midst, you can enjoy physical health benefits, like a lower blood pressure, improved mood, and reduced risk of heart disease. A cat’s purring can even be healing.
You want to learn how to focus in recovery—focus on wellness, meditation, your job, all the good things in your life. Sometimes, though, being distracted is a good thing, like when you have a craving or negative thoughts creep in. Being obliged to take care of your cat is a great distraction from a mind that is overrun with unhelpful thoughts. Your cat can help you stay focused on your sobriety goals by its presence alone.
The Power of Cats for Recovery
All pets have the power to do amazing things for a person in recovery. Cats are not demanding. They offer adorable distractions that bring fullness to a person’s life. They are a great reminder of the benefits of napping (and a great napping buddy). Their fur and purr are soothing, their antics laughter-inducing, and their presence calming.
If you’re anxious about adding a pet to your life or taking on the job of caring for an animal as you relearn how to care for yourself, don’t be afraid to take the plunge with a cat. Felines ask little of their owners and give plenty in return.
Get support for your loved one and yourself from Beachside Rehab, a holistic rehab in West Palm Beach, Florida. Our facility offers inpatient and outpatient detox, rehab, and holistic recovery. Call today at 866-349-1770 to speak with a trained admissions counselor.
Photo by Daria Shatova on Unsplash