“Time spent with cats is never wasted” – Sigmund Freud

Sigmund Freud was the founder of psychopathology, he is world famous and his theories are still studied by academics and students today, he created theories like ‘The Ego and the ID’ and ‘The Interpretation of Dreams’ which have changed the world of psychology today, perhaps his theory about time and cats is actually deeper than we imagined.

His quote is heartfelt and relatable by all cat owners, any time spent with your beloved cat is time definitely well spent. Freud has absolutely got this cat lover behaviour accurate. Freud’s quote is not only cute but it is also backed by science with new studies proving that spending just a little bit of time everyday with a cat can help both humans and the felines to feel more positive and healthier.

Photo: Public Domain Pictures / George Hodan
Photo: Public Domain Pictures / George Hodan

Why you should spend more time with your cats

I’m sure not one of us needs any more excuse to spend time with our cats, but when Freud said that time spent with cats is never time wasted he was definitely telling the truth.

Cat’s purrs are very therapeutic for humans and so spending time with them and petting them can actually improve our health by lowering our blood pressure and lowering stress levels which all helps decrease our chances of heart attacks. A scientific study has also discovered that spending time with cats can actually help keep cats healthy and can often speed up recovery for ill cats, unfortunately, shelter cats do not have this kind of attention to help them.

By Alarob - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,
By Alarob – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

The study was published in the journal ‘Preventive Veterinary Medicine’. 250 cats who were in a Canadian animal shelter for various different reasons were labelled either ‘content’, ‘anxious’ or ‘frustrated.’ Just 96 cats were considered content and it was these cats that were the subject of the study. The cats got a positive interaction with the same person for ten minutes, four times a day for ten days, they would be petted, played with and brushed, after this, the study showed that these cats were more positive and therefore less likely to develop illnesses as previous research had found that emotional stress in a cat can actually negatively affect their health. The cats which did not receive any of this loving treatment continued to be hostile and some even picked up illnesses.

These findings prove that spending time with your cat just by playing with them or stroking them can be a no-cost way to enhance your cat’s well-being and more significantly for shelter cats, this can be their better chance at survival and a potential adoption. Some of the cats in the study who may have previously been hostile or aggressive, continued to do well after the treatment and were adopted in just one week, so if you ever find a bit of spare time make sure you use it cuddling your cat or even volunteering to spend a bit of time in an animal shelter (if you can bare it) just to cuddle with the cats who really need it the most – remember it benefits humans too.

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