11 Reasons Why You Should Celebrate Hug Your Cat Day Every Day
7 minute read
They say a dog is a man’s best friend, but what about cats? June 4th is National Hug Your Cat Day, but you really should be hugging your cat every day.
Too many people see cats as aloof, whereas dogs are the friendly pets. The reality is that cats are affectionate and can provide the same creature comforts. There are proven benefits to giving your pet love on a daily basis, not just for them, but for your well-being too.
The Power of a Hug
Hugging brings us comfort, whether we embrace a person or a pet. Whether you’re sick, tired, lonely, or a little blue, a hug can make you feel better.
There is something about a warm embrace that heals the mind and body, and as long as your cat doesn’t mind the attention, there is no reason not to hug them a few times a day. Studies have shown the benefits of hugging your cat, so it’s a good idea to start showing the extra love right away.
The closeness and touching involved in hugging create a sense of safety. Cats are already naturally secure animals, but this will further deepen your bond and make them feel like the most secure cat in the kingdom. The closeness and bond that develops will generate a sense of trust in you as well, and this trust will foster open and honest communication in your life.
2. Boost of Happiness
It’s been shown that hugging boosts happiness. The longer you hold a hug or embrace, the more serotonin is released in your brain. This is the hormone responsible for happy thoughts and feelings as well as relaxation. Hold your kitty for long hugs, and both of you will be happier for it.
3. Stress Relief
Hugging releases tension from your muscles and increases circulation. After a long day at work, or if you are having a particularly stressful time, hugging your cat could be the best form of relief.
The soothing purr of a happy cat can bring much-needed relief to your aching and tired muscles just as well as massage can. This could help lower your cortisol levels, which will have so many benefits down the road.
4. Lessons Learned
The act of hugging teaches us the value of giving and receiving. Hugs educate us as to how love can flow both ways, which is healthy for the mind and body.
There is equal value in giving warmth and love as there is in being receptive to it. This is a valuable lesson for children and adults alike, and your kitty is the perfect partner for helping you learn.
5. Medical Benefits
Hugging your cat stimulates your thymus gland, which is responsible for balancing the production of your white blood cells. This is essential for your immunity and health. Hugging also increases the production of endorphins, which work to reduce feelings of pain and discomfort. Endorphins are also known for producing a feel-good feeling.
6. Beat the Blues
Hugging stimulates your brain to release dopamine, another happy hormone that induces feelings of pleasure. Elevated dopamine levels have been linked to reduced feelings of depression and depressive symptoms.
Having a pet to hug is especially beneficial for those that live alone. It may not be a person, but your pet serves as a companion that can comfort you when needed. They also sit and watch TV with you too. Living alone can increase your risk for depression, but having a cat and hugging it daily will keep those blues away.
Health Benefits of Having a Pet
Beyond having that cuddly feline to give you those much-needed hugs, there are proven benefits to owning a pet. Studies have found that pet owners have better mental and physical health as a result of the companionship a pet brings.
1. Reduced Stress
Pets are used in rehabilitation facilities to help patients relieve stress. If they can benefit patients, they can certainly benefit you at home. Having a pet to comfort you and even talk to at the end of the day can help you release stress.
It also relieves stress to play with your pet on a regular basis.
2. Healthier Heart
Playing with your pet or just hanging out with them has been shown to reduce cholesterol levels and lower blood pressure. Hypertension and high cholesterol are two major risk factors for heart disease and stroke, but having your furry friend around can help prevent this.
3. Eases Pain
Laughter may be quoted as being the best medicine, but in reality, pets are. Pet therapy is especially beneficial for those with chronic pain because their presence helps to ease anxiety. Less anxiety means less pain.
Studies have found that patients recovering from their surgeries or those with chronic pain conditions, report far less pain when spending time with their pet.
| Related: Pets Help People Manage the Pain of Mental Illness |
4. Diabetes Management
It may not seem likely, but your pets can help you keep track of your blood sugar levels. Studies have found that animals that live with diabetic patients act differently when their blood sugar levels drop.
The chemical changes in the person are believed to trigger the changes, so paying attention to their behavior can serve as a reminder to check your blood sugar.
5. Improved Immunity
Studies with children found that those who live with pets attend more school than those who do not. It’s believed that living with pets helps you with allergies as a natural form of immunotherapy.
As for adults, having a pet will not treat your allergies, but it reduces stress levels, which reduces inflammation, and that can protect you from serious diseases.
The Bottom Line
National Hug Your Cat Day might be one day a year, but when it comes to loving your cat, there’s no reason to limit it to one day. Pets need affection and security too, even the most independent feline.
The truth is that you need affection too. Be sure to embrace your cat on June 4th and make it a habit to keep this going every day. Your health and well-being will benefit, and you will foster a loving and purr-fect relationship with your pet.