Recently an Australian school has been using feline friends to help students to cope with stress. A high school in South Australia has been allowing cats into the classroom! Proving that it helps to manage high levels of stress and depression amongst teenagers.
Sadly the leading cause of death in teens is depression and metal illness. It has been a long growing problem, further aggravated by social media and growing financial and social pressures of young people. Interestingly, one of the best treatments for depression is; time with cats! Yep, actual research has confirmed what us cat owners already know “cats help combat mental illness”.
Bagheera and her cat-mother Louise Davy have been working together at Louise’s school where she works as a teacher. Bagheera was recently the part of a GPS study where his nocturnal wanderings of 20 hectares per night were recorded. However, aside from his long walks he also gathered attention for being a part of the classroom. Bagheera has been famous in his school, relaxing in the classroom receiving affection has to be a pretty fabulous way for him to spend his day. Additionally, students report strongly enjoying his presence too!
A high school in another Australian school in Canberra A.C.T has been having some very special visitors come from a local cat shelter too. In their highly stressful end of secondary college exams, a local rescue shelter brought in their kittens for the students to enjoy. The councilor of St Francis Xavier College, Donna Lambert let the kittens loose in a study room used by the senior students. Aside from adorable mayhem, the students reported feeling much more at ease and feeling “in the moment” with the kittens jumping all over their books. Additionally, year 11 students had the kitten “crew” with them post-exam and most completely forgot about their prior exam stress.
Within the U.S, cat’s can now be a legally accepted therapy-pet in most states. Meaning that in a (cat-allergy free) workplace, you may be eligible for a work-place cat.
I myself, have a workplace cat. A rescued cat from under my medical clinic, has received exemplary medical care has now been a part of my team for the past 2 years. Sharon sits on a back porch through workplace hours and later sleeps in the adjacent general store. Aside from getting fed from a variety of people, Sharon has been a superb member of my team. Additionally, her back porch (where she has a heated blanket) has its own waiting room area where most patients will sit with her whilst waiting for their doctor.
Cats give us more than just affection they have been proven to actually make us more mindful. Try focusing on anything while playing with a kitten. Additionally, cats are also being trialed in a range of other schools, nursing homes and workplaces to help combat mental illness and create a happier healthier environment.