With all the stresses of our modern world, animals like therapy cats can provide a lot of support and comfort. Therapy animals of all kinds have become quite popular around the world. In the US alone, there are more than 50,000 therapy dogs and 500,000 service dogs. While more people seem to have emotional support dogs than cats, felines can offer love and affection anyway.
For a man therapy cats It gave him so much more than he could have imagined. They not only offered her company, but also improved her mental health. Many people who have emotional support animals report fewer symptoms of anxiety and depression and greater happiness. Niklas Lundström from Sweden experienced these benefits himself and decided to share his story with us.
He has two therapy cats: one named Cooper, a Sphynx, and Kira, a Cornish Rex. They are both eight years old and get along wonderfully, sometimes playing for hours. They have become quite popular with people online who enjoy watching Niklas’s relationship with his cats.
“Cooper has become a global celebrity online and it is because he loves water. He thinks that water is the best there is and he bathes twice a month, ”says Niklas. “When he does not bathe, he looks everywhere for water.”
This behavior is rare for a cat, as most of them would not touch the water with a ten foot pole! Cooper’s love of water makes him intriguing and fun to watch, and people can’t get enough of him. Kira doesn’t have as much energy as Cooper, but she makes up for it with her loving nature. the therapy cats balance pretty well with your complementary personalities.
Therapy cats Kira and Cooper have transformed Niklas’s life forever.
“People admire Kira’s beauty and how athletic she is. She is the cat that immediately becomes anxious when I am not feeling well, ”says Niklas. “She always wants to take care of Cooper and me, and she can turn a bad day into a good day.”
For Niklas, the two cats have been a great blessing in his life. They make good days great and bad days so much better.
“Cooper and Kira are like two angels to me. I have lived with anxiety and depression for over 5 years, and these two cats bring me so much joy every day. “
They do a lot of activities together and really enjoy each other’s company. He hugs them, takes them for walks, and even takes them to local parks and the beach to play.
“Cooper and Kira love being outside and they walk perfectly in a harness. We usually take walks on the beach and in the woods. Sometimes we meet people, and they always look at Cooper and Kira. Some of them say, ‘Oh, they’re cute dogs.’
Some people are apparently taken by surprise to see cats on a leash, but Niklas wouldn’t do it any other way. Cats love to explore nature with him and seem to be nice to other people. Many people could benefit from having therapy cats, so if you’re interested Niklas offers some tips for newbies.
“My best advice is to find information about cats, or the cat that interests you, and always know it before deciding why each cat is unique in its own way,” says Niklas. “Also, having a kitten requires a lot of patience, but I can promise you that you will get the best friend in the world.”
Niklas suggests that you could even adopt a homeless cat, since unfortunately many cats in the world live on the streets. Then the cats reproduce and the problem seems to multiply, especially in big cities. Choosing a homeless cat gives a defenseless and vulnerable animal a home and takes it out of the harsh environment of the city. However, if you don’t want to adopt a homeless cat, you can always donate to organizations that help homeless animals.
The therapy cats have helped immensely with Niklas’s mental health. Of course, mental illness often requires a combination of treatments to make people feel better.
In addition to therapy cats, here are three other ways to ease depression and anxiety
Here are some other tips that Niklas offers on how to manage anxiety and depression on his website:
1. Exercise regularly
“Perhaps the most boring proposal for some, but also very important. It can be difficult to have the courage to start exercising, especially if you are depressed. I have always trained and continue to do so while having extreme anxiety. An important part is getting away from home, where anxiety can often accelerate. The hour I practiced made me scatter my thoughts and shift my focus again. The advantage after training was that I felt more tired in the afternoon / night and that my sleep improved. Find a workout that works for you. There is no right or wrong.
2. Learn some hobbies
Here you can make the hours go by quickly if you find something that interests you. I also had the feeling that he was really good at something. I didn’t really have a hobby before 2016, but I got a new hobby in the middle of my worst time in life, I totally became attached to photography, and that’s how I started my Instagram.
3. Talk about how you feel
This was the hardest part for me. He hadn’t talked about emotions for over 30 years, and now he needed to to survive. I started talking to “easy” acquaintances, like family and closest friends. When I noticed that people cared about me and listened to me, then I gained the confidence to dare to speak openly about it. In 2018, I took the step into the media and told my story. It was then that I realized that I was not alone with anxiety. It is very important that you understand that you are not alone. I don’t mean at all that you have to take the “extreme” step and tell the whole world how you feel. But for me, it was an important part to be able to tell my story and hopefully help others. “