Inspired and inspiring, the French veterinary surgeon Anne-Claire Gagnon offers an astonishing overview of the impact of cats on the mental health of humans in a captivating work, Cats, how they take care of our health!. These purring pets have the art, by their presence, of soothing and stimulating. They are little “teachers of happiness”!
Calming, stimulating, soothing effect: the positive effects of cats on humans are so important that many scientists are researching them, to better understand the strength of the bond that has united us with them for thousands of years.
There are many benefits, can we learn from the veterinarian’s work: balancing blood pressure, improving the functioning of the heart, reducing stress and anxiety, help for autistic and depressed people, support against isolation social.
Based on the most recent scientific research, its own experience and several testimonies, the Dre Anne-Claire Gagnon shows you all that cats have to offer. And what she shares does good!
“It is clear that cats, and this has been shown in scientific studies, has a very good impact on depressed women,” she said in a telephone interview with her office in Lille, France. “They know how to detect states and above all know how to solicit them at the right time, without doing too much, by disarming them and putting them back on the right track.”
“On autistic children, a study by a psychologist from Davis University has shown that cats are particularly affectionate with moderately autistic children, and the parents found that the cat was really the therapist of the child.”
With each of us, the Dre Gagnon says cats have helped a lot of people in confinement. “There is this form of mutual accountability and especially love between the cat and the human which makes it good for us.”
What happens for such a connection to be established? “From a neurobiological and hormonal point of view, we know things,” she says.
A study in Japan, where people pampered either a cat or a stuffed animal, found that petting cats in women activates the area of the brain related to empathy.
“The more anxious a young woman was, the more positive the effects of petting the cat were, and after a few minutes, she felt better and more relaxed. Something is happening at the level of neuromediators. ”
Happiness and appeasement
The veterinarian adds that other studies have shown that cats have a positive effect on our blood pressure.
“The explanation is that it is not only petting the cat, but also being attached to it, and that it is a reciprocal attachment. It increases the production of oxytocin, our level of happiness and soothing. ”
This is what we miss terribly, in a period of confinement, she adds. “We can’t cuddle anymore … but luckily we can still do it for cats!” When you live with a cat, you’re never alone, and having the cat sleeping on the bed brings extraordinary comfort. For the elderly, it is also true that social isolation is less important when they are lucky enough to be able to keep a cat. “
► The Dre Anne-Claire Gagnon is a veterinary surgeon and specializes in feline behavior.
► She has written several books on cats: My cat on the couch, This cat that changed my life, Be a cat!.
Dr. Anne-Claire Gagnon, Ed. Robert Laffont, 236 pages “/>
Photo courtesy, Éditions Robert-Laffont
Cats, how they take care of our health!
Dr. Anne-Claire Gagnon, Ed. Robert Laffont, 236 pages
“One thing is certain about the purring of the cat: it cradles both the cat and its entourage. Should we therefore completely forbid ourselves, for lack of scientific demonstration, any pleasure in resonating with the purr of his cat? Certainly not! Especially since advances in quantum physics and quantum medicine in the knowledge of scalar waves as well as the existence of so many other elements which still exceed us provide interesting lines of research.“