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How Cats Help Us Adapt to Life at Home During COVID-19

Posted by Andrea on 19th Apr 2020

I know that recent blogs have focused on how we can help our felines to better cope with the stress of having us at home full-time during the pandemic. Today’s post takes the opposite tack. It focuses on what we can learn from our furry friends in order to better cope with our stress from being locked down at home for weeks and weeks.

For most of us, it’s not easy to be confined indoors away from friends, family, and even our offices for extended periods of time. An unlikely hero, our kitty has risen to the occasion and is here to help with the following guidelines on how to best cope with the strange times we humans are enduring:

Wash paws constantly, vigorously, and often.

Cats would get the blue ribbon if the CDC was awarding prizes for cleanliness. If you haven’t already noticed, your cat spends about half her waking hours cleaning and scrubbing her paws. Though licking is not recommended for humans, an antibacterial soap and 20 seconds of hand washing will work. Just do it frequently throughout your day.

Make the best of long stretches indoors.

Notice how you cat will make the most of the smallest of spaces. Rays of sun are perfect to bask in for hours. Houseplants are jungles to explore. You don’t need to curl up on the floor like she does, but take note of your environment and surroundings. Now is the perfect time to get drawers organized and the house cleaned for Spring.

Spend quality time listening to others and being supportive.

Helping others feel better isn’t always about finding the right words. Sometimes just listening, or even pretending to listen, is enough. Cats are pros at calming us down naturally just by being there and being themselves. We can be a calming influence wordlessly as well. Remember the old standby, the phone call? Try dialing up someone and intentionally spend most of your time listening.

Keep yourself entertained for hours on end.

Have you noticed how long Kitty can be perfectly happy to sit atop his Armarkat cat tree? He can climb to the topmost perch, jump from tier to tier, bat at fuzzy balls. He can hide out in the condo and hope no one can find him. He can survey the entire room for hours from his tree’s precipice. Finally, after an exhausting play session and an invigorating rest period, he can come down for a little nip… catnip that is! You can certainly do the same by planning hours of activity followed by some energizing relax time. You can even end your day with a little nip--of the human kind!

Catnaps and lots of them.

We learn from cats that the best way to stave off boredom is to get busy napping! Cats have mastered this by creating the cat nap, and they can do it up to 16 hours a day, every day. Even though you may have work to do, kids to home school and meals to prepare, don’t forget to take some down time for yourself each day. You will be more relaxed for it and more able to deal with the stressors caused by these uncertain times.

So, this is how cats can become our heroes while we are at home waiting for life to return to normal. By changing our outlook to be a bit more like that of our fur family, we can make the most of our hours at home while enjoying life with our precious felines. Stay in. Stay safe. Stay healthy.

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