Lonely Brits Should Be Prescribed A Cat To Keep Them Company, MPs Say
British MPs say lonely people should be prescribed a cat – something which could be the purrrfect resolution.
While many would argue dogs are the most affectionate pet, not everyone can commit to taking care of them. Meanwhile (most) cats are extremely low maintenance so are easier to take care of.
Bringing the idea to the table was The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Cats, a group of MPs who discuss felines. The group have completed a huge report into how moggies can benefit society.
In the report, it states they believe that health bodies and local authorities should start a pilot scheme to bring this in.
OK, I know cats aren’t for everyone but their furry presence can really make a difference, and I’m not alone in thinking this.
According to The All-Party Parliamentary Group’s survey, 80% of people who own a cat says it makes them less lonely. In particular, more than 90% of those aged between 18 and 34 said cats helped their loneliness.
Sheryll Murray MP, the group’s chair and cat owner herself, said:
As a cat owner I have always found great pleasure and happiness from having cats in my life and can testify to how they can be great companions and provide love, support and enjoyment.
I am delighted to present this report to Government and professional organisations working in this field. Tackling loneliness is a priority health issue facing many across the UK.
The role cats and other pets can play to help tackle the problem is under-researched and merits further attention.
The charity Cats Protection has backed up the group’s findings and has urged the Government to look into the report.
The Campaign to End Loneliness has also backed it stating that it’s evident people owning cats can be ‘beneficial’.
Rob Hewings, director of campaigns, said:
It is clear that the role of cats in combating loneliness is under-explored and this report goes a long way to highlighting the many ways they can help.
There is no simple cure for loneliness, but there is clearly real potential for cats to have a more beneficial role in people’s lives.
With the country being forced to work from home in recent months, loneliness will be on the rise – especially for those who live alone.
Charlotte Mills, an accounts manager for a construction firm, lives alone with her pet cat Chester in Newbury, Berkshire and said she would have really struggled without him.
When I’m working at home, without colleagues to chat to, it’s easy to get absorbed in what I’m doing, but Chester often pops on my lap and that ensures I take a screen break.
He’s made the change to a slower pace of life much easier for me, I think I would have struggled without him.
I’ll be working at home for the foreseeable future, but I won’t be alone as Chester will be keeping me on my toes.
Not everyone wants the responsibility of walking a dog or cleaning out a Guinea Pig’s hutch, so cats could be just what the doctor ordered.
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