Cats are the lockdown companion of choice – especially for Millennials and Gen Z

The past few months have been a trying time for us all and one that has negatively impacted our ability to socialise properly.

But for anyone stuck at home with a cat, you will know the surprising amount of comfort and serenity our feline friends have brought to an otherwise isolating and chaotic moment of our lives.

Figures from this year’s CATS (Cats and Their Stats) Report – a study by Cats Protection – has revealed that 59 per cent of owners believe their cat offers companionship that relieves stress and curbs loneliness. For Millennial and Gen Z owners (18 to 34 years of age) the number increases to 62 per cent.

In celebration of the fun and friendship our cats provide – especially in times like these – Cats Protection recently hosted the Alternative Cat Awards, sponsored by pet nutrition experts Purina. The awards celebrated the UK's feline lockdown legends, after the annual National Cat Awards had to be postponed due to the pandemic.

During the campaign, the charity asked for members of the public to send in clips of their marvelous moggy. Categories included #SeniorKitizen – shining a spotlight on elderly cats – and #PurinaPurrfectTeamwork – praising the bond between pet and owner.

The overall title was eventually won by lovable OAP cat, Cookie, who despite being 21 years old still plays like a kitten.

Cats Protection’s head of advocacy and government relations, Jacqui Cuff, said: “Even during normal times, people of all ages can be affected by loneliness. But that has been brought into sharp focus during the lockdown, with millions of people suddenly spending much more time at home. It’s made people realise that loneliness can affect those from all walks of life.

“Cats can be fantastic pets to help combat feelings of loneliness. During lockdown, we’ve heard countless stories about how worrying times have been eased by the companionship of having a cat at home.

“Cats can help prevent feelings of loneliness in all sorts of ways, whether it’s providing entertainment with their playful antics, or being there for a soothing cuddle. Often, people tell us that it’s a great source of comfort to simply have another living being in the home to care for and talk to.”

If you are looking to welcome a cat into your home, Cats Protection has launched its ‘hands-free homing’ initiative, meaning potential owners can still adopt during this time. To find out more visit the website.

With a strong belief that pets and people are better together, Purina has a wealth of information and advice on its website to help you make the most of your time at home with your feline friend. All articles can be found here.

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