Research shows the most serious disease for older persons is not cancer or heart disease — it’s loneliness. Social isolation and loneliness significantly increase a person’s risk of premature death from all causes and are associated with a slew of health risks including dementia, heart disease, stroke, and more.
In addition, the older one gets, the more likely they are to be lonely and socially isolated. Over 33% of adults over 45 feel lonely. And 1 in 4 persons 65 and older are classified as socially isolated.
Research shows that time spent with cats can help improve humans’ mental AND physical health. In the case of senior citizens, just 15 minutes bonding with an animal sets off a chemical chain reaction in the brain and can lower the human’s heart rate, blood pressure, and stress levels. Over the long term, the benefits are even more substantial — with cat interactions helping to fight depression, lower cholesterol levels, protect against heart disease and stroke, and more.
At Cat Chow, we want to help older adults who are struggling with loneliness by making therapy cats more accessible. But we need your help.
For every purchase of Cat Chow Complete made during the month of May, Cat Chow will donate $.02 (up to $25,000) to Pet Partners to help more individuals in need experience the companionship and therapeutic benefits of cats.
In partnership with the Institute on Aging, Cat Chow is offering a free virtual therapy cat visit for eligible seniors during the month of May — in honor of Mental Health Awareness month.
Aging In Place. Seniors and Pets. https://aginginplace.org/seniors-and-pets/
Cacioppo JT, Hawkley LC. Perceived Social Isolation and Cognition. Trends Cogn Sci. 2009;13(10):447-54.
Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Loneliness and Social Isolation Linked to Serious Health Conditions. April 29, 2021. https://www.cdc.gov/aging/publications/features/lonely-older-adults.html
Cleveland Clinic. Why Having a Pet Can Boost Your Mood and Keep Your Brain Healthy: Understanding How Animals Contribute to Good Health. April 29, 2020 https://health.clevelandclinic.org/why-having-a-pet-of-any-kind-may-boost-your-mood-and-keep-your-brain-healthy/
National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Social Isolation and Loneliness in Older Adults: Opportunities for the Health Care System. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. https://doi.org/10.17226/25663
Nicholson, Nicholas R., A Review of Social Isolation: An Important But Underassessed Condition in Older Adults. J Prim Prev. June 2012. 33(2-3):137-52. doi: 10.1007/s10935-012-0271-2. PMID: 22766606.
Pets for the Elderly. https://petsfortheelderly.org/our-work/mission.php