Tuesday 9 April 2024

Touch your cat and let them touch you for health benefits both ways

A study is out on the Internet at the moment which probably states the obvious but it's always useful to restate the obvious and it might not be so obvious to some people. ๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ˜Ž

The conclusion of the study is that people benefit from touch. Yes, a simple act. Touching is part and parcel of the way of life of animals and people. People are animals. The human animal. Let's not kid ourselves that we are any different at a fundamental level which includes experiencing the benefits of touch.

Touch on the face and head is more beneficial than touch on the arm. We can be touched by a professional medical person or a non-medical person but someone we know and the benefits are going to be similar both mental and physical.

People who are ill benefit more than those who are not. Hugging people is touching people. The same benefits. Cuddling your cat is like hugging a person. The same benefits. It cuts both ways by which I mean the cat benefits from your touching and you benefit from touching your cat. Note: hug cats respectfully.

To stress the point, the study states that, "It is widely known that many animal species benefit from touch interactions and that engaging in touch promotes their well-being as well."

You can't really touch your cat enough. You can't overdo it but caregivers should respect the feelings of their cat. Petting your cat is good for both person and cat but different cats have different wishes and people shouldn't overdo petting. Sometimes cats have a limit to the amount of petting they wish to receive.

Notwithstanding that observation, cats enjoy petting and of course people enjoy petting their cats. This is a form of touching obviously and therefore both benefit from it.

Touching can help reduce pain, depression and anxiety in adults and children. In terms of newborn babies, touching helps them gain weight. This is a reflection of the general well-being incurred by the baby when being touched.

The study is titled: A systematic review and multivariate meta-analysis of the physical and mental health benefits of touch interventions. It is published on the Nature Human Behaviour website and the citation at the base of the article provides a link to it.
Overall, touch interventions were beneficial for both physical and mental health, with a medium effect size. Our work illustrates that touch interventions are best suited for reducing pain, depression and anxiety in adults and children as well as for increasing weight gain in newborns. 
The lesson to be learned from the study (if we need to learn a lesson on this topic) is that we should enjoy touching our cat. And our cat will enjoy it. It just needs to be done in a respectful way which means gently and up to the limits allowed by our cat companions. 

You will learn those limits as your cat will complain if you overdo it. Gentleness is a key. Sometimes people can handle their cats too roughly and forgetting that we are bigger and generally stronger. It's a two-way process at all times and interacting with our cat.

And don't treat your cat as a human baby but as a feline, a fine domesticated predator.


Packheiser, J., Hartmann, H., Fredriksen, K. et al. A systematic review and multivariate meta-analysis of the physical and mental health benefits of touch interventions. Nat Hum Behav (2024). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41562-024-01841-8

P.S. please forgive the occasional typo. These articles are written at breakneck speed using Dragon Dictate. I have to prepare them in around 20 mins.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Your comments are always welcome.

Featured Post

i hate cats

i hate cats, no i hate f**k**g cats is what some people say when they dislike cats. But they nearly always don't explain why. It appe...

Popular posts