With the increase in mental health issues throughout the United Kingdom in recent years, methods such as medication and counselling are frequently used to help people. But what if there was another way? Cat and dog cafes are opening all over the country, providing a new and improved form of therapy.
Manchester’s Cat Cafe is a pay per five minutes lounge which allows visitors the chance to interact first hand with the loveable cats who roam around the site 24 hours a day. The calm atmosphere speaks for itself and suggests how much it could make a difference to those suffering from mental health illnesses.
Katie Burton, a regular visitor of the cafe and sufferer of depression and anxiety said: “it’s something that gets me out and about.
“It’s really therapeutic to be surrounded by such calm animals.”
The free drinks and time to bond with the cats in comfort is a guaranteed stress reliever for cat lovers.
Lauren, a Team Member at Manchester’s Cat Cafe said: “I’ve had lots of people come in and look like they don’t even want to be here when they are walking in but they leave so happy.”
She added: “some of the cats are rescues, some are from breeders, alot of them are the owners cats.” With the cats all being from different backgrounds, the clear bond they have developed between them made the felines more comfortable together with guests.
It is easy to see how those with anxiety are made to feel at home.
Scientifically speaking, it has been proven that cats can help with loss. According to a study taken in 2003, people in mourning reported talking to their pet to work out their feelings. With a cats lack of ability to speak and judge their companion, it is easier to vent feelings and emotions to cats whilst they still love you eternally.
A common problem with mental health illnesses is the fear of opening up to a professional. The cat cafe allows visitors the opportunity to communicate with cats without the commitment of buying your own.
The Cat Cafe is open seven days a week from 10am-7pm Monday-Friday, and 9am-7pm Saturday and Sunday.
If you have been affected by mental health illnesses or are worried about a friend, here are some useful links.
http://www.samaritans.org/ or call: 116 123 – all information is confidential.
http://www.mind.org.uk/ – or call: 0300 123 3393
Or for more information regarding the Cat Cafe, visit: http://catcafe.co.uk/