Wednesday, 10 May 2017

5 Ways Cats Are Great Therapy for Depression & Anxiety #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek

5 Ways Cats Are Great Therapy for Depression & Anxiety

This week (8th to 14th May) is Mental Health Awareness Week 

Many of you will know that Mum has struggled with depression on and off for most of her life. And if you've read her memoir The Cat Years: How My Cat Soulmates Saved Me, you will know that what helped her the most throughout her struggles was having a cat by her side. 

Cats, and indeed any pet, make life so much better, as many animal lovers would agree!

Here are 5 Ways Cats Are Great Therapy for Depression & Anxiety

Purring is healing... 

Purrs soothe and can undoubtedly help to alleviate any stress and anxiety. In our case, I'm there for Mum when she needs me and I will purr extremely loudly because I am quite the purring machine. I love to see the affect I have on her. She feels calmer, happier, and loved. It makes me calmer and happier to see her like that.

Mum not only struggles with depression but also suffers from social anxiety and sometimes a little agoraphobia too so she has to stay at home and is unable to work. That's why she wants to work from home as a writer and blogger. She doesn't mind sharing this info on this blog as mental health problems should be discussed openly and not stigmatised. Raising awareness for mental health issues and animal rights is something she truly believes in and nothing will stop her in helping these causes that are dear to her heart.

Athena and Marie
The love of a great cat

Unconditional love... 

My mum knows that I love her unconditionally. Yes, I rely on her for my food, but that's not the point. I don't judge her. I understand her. I know what she's all about. I know her soul deeply. She's the same with me. There is nothing she will not do for me. 

Animals don't care what you look like, what you wear, what car you drive, what you do for a living, how much you earn or whether you're single or married. We love you for YOU!

Just look into our eyes and you will see true love radiating from our eternal soul. Nothing else. No judgement. Just pure love. 

An animal's eyes have the power to speak a great language
Look into my eyes

Stroking soothes... 

I don't mind Mum stroking me and kissing me if she needs to. I very rarely disapprove. If I don't feel up to it, I'll soon let her know with the thrashing of the tail. 

As she usually wakes up in a bad mood, seeing me on her bed staring up at her with love, her face always lights up and she will begin stroking me and then will be kissing me until it's time to get up. I let her have this precious time for both of us and then it's straight downstairs for breakfast or else!

what greater gift than the love of a cat
The love of a great cat works wonders on the soul

Funny feline antics... 

I have many sides to me. I can be an elegant goddess or cat model posing for my fans one minute and a clown the next. In this playful mood, I do silly things that make Mum laugh. I can be ridiculously hilarious. Sometimes I don't know what comes over me, and this is with no catnip involved! Mum has captured my crazy antics many times and they are available for all my public to see on my YouTube channel. 

Funny cat
I'm a little crazy but so what?


Cats are muses and inspire humans to get creative. My mum is already a creative soul, but with depression comes a creative block and she loses any desire and passion for creating. She doesn't write books anymore, but when we met in 2011 she had been preparing to self-publish her novels. I'm happy that she achieved this in 2012. 

writers and cats
A writer needs a cat

With the novels finally published, I then inspired her to write her memoir. After that, we wrote A Forever Home For Athena together, which is my rescue story, some of it fictional, to help raise funds for the charities we support. Mum also wrote another cat story, The Snowflake Pendant featuring the fur daughter before me, Suzy, who crossed the Rainbow Bridge in 1998. 

Suzy, star of The Snowflake Pendant
Suzy, the star of The Snowflake Pendant

A Forever Home For Athena

Mum is too busy to write other books right now as she has to maintain two blogs (again, it was I who inspired her to start pet blogging) And she's also found a new passion in life - photography. No need to guess who set that passion alight, hey?

With my photogenic looks, she has the purrfect model to keep that passion burning (as long as it's only me she photographs 😸

cat model
I am so photogenic

I also inspired her to take up afternoon napping. We nap together for a couple of hours in the afternoons to recharge our batteries. Before anyone remarks that Mum is lazy, don't forget that she's always up at 4:30 am to feed me!

My Mum's memoir

(available from Amazon in paperback and for Kindle)


  1. Yes, we kitties have so much healing energy - that is why I am happy to be a therapy cat!

  2. Purrfect reasons to appreciate our feline family! Our pets are our lifesavers and they don't even realize it! <3

  3. I also have anxiety and agree that sound of purring is very soothing. These pictures are absolutely stunning!

    1. Thank you. Nothing better than laying my head against Athena's body to hear that purr up close. Works better for me than any anti-depressant (which I have to take anyway).

  4. I'm so glad that your mum has you to comfort her, Athena. Depression and anxiety are very difficult things to deal with. I suffer from bipolar disorder (depression and mania) so I understand. I agree that we should all talk about it as we feel it necessary. It can be hard for non-sufferers to understand what we're going through or how to help us if we aren't open about our suffering. My cats are a blessing to me too. I agree with all of your points about how cats help!

    1. Thanks, Robin. It's hard to get non-sufferers to understand. We can't help the way we are. Glad your kitties help you.

  5. Athena, this is an excellent post! I'm going to turn this around on you, as Chucky has been ill and will never recover from his heart condition. We humans need to purr, pet and comfort him as he travels his path. If I get really sad, I will leave the house for awhile, just to release that negative energy. We are all connected, and love is what grounds us and fulfills us; both cat and human.

    1. So sorry to hear about Chucky. We will send him love and purrs xx

  6. Your Mum and I are so much alike. I have social anxiety and I rarely leave my house. I am thankful that I have my cats to keep me calm and happy just like you do for your Mum ,Athena.XO

    1. Sorry to hear about your anxiety. It's so hard and I totally relate. I hate leaving the house and only manage if I really have to. Cats are amazing little healers.

  7. love how your Mum took that photo of you pointing up with you looking down, fabulous! Love all the points your Mum mentioned, so true! catchatwithcarenandcody

  8. I did not know you wrote books (where have I been) - I'm so glad that your cat has helped you. They are wonderful therapy for sure.

  9. You are quite the muse, Athena. Mommy has to get more of your mum's books.

    1. Yes, not only a beautiful goddess but a muse too. And a healer :)

  10. Five fantastic reasons for anyone, not just people with mental health issues, to have a cat (or any pet). Purring is unique to cats though, so that makes them unique!
    Mom wishes she could take a nap some afternoons, but they really frown at that at work!

    1. I could never nap before, but with Athena by my side, anything is possible!

  11. So true! All great points. And that funny feline antics photo... you're too adorable. I'm glad that your mom has you - and that you have her!

  12. Yes, cats are great for healing, aren't they? Athena, I think it's simply pawsome how you inspire your mom's creativity. For me, being creative is the only thing that really keeps depression away, so I've nearly always got something creative going on in my head.


Thank you for commenting!

Purrs xx
Athena and Marie