5 Mental Health Benefits of Having a Pet | Meet the Foxholes Cats! [Part 1]

If you’ve ever owned a furry friend, you’ll likely be aware of the many benefits of having a pet. They bring us so much peace, joy, and perspective and remain companions for life. Their optimistic, calm and loving natures help to remind us, too, of what’s most important.

Our society has grown increasingly fond of pets, given that they have gained recognition for the mental health benefits pet therapy brings:

Benefits of having a pet: Foxholes resident with cat, Thunder

Pets reduce stress and anxiety

Pets, such as cats and dogs, are very skilled at living in the present moment – and in doing so, they offer a calming and relaxing form of companionship that we struggle to find in other walks of life. Spend 5 minutes with a domesticated animal, and you’ll feel your stress levels drop almost instantly!

Pets give you an instant mood boost:

Whether or not your pet makes you laugh, spending just a short amount of time in their company will, most likely, improve your mood. Their playful, optimistic nature makes it almost impossible to feel anything other than pure serenity!

3. Pets encourage you to move more:

Amongst all the other benefits of having a pet, this is perhaps the most beneficial to your health from a holistic perspective.

Having a pet – in particular, a dog/puppy – will encourage you to exercise more. Knowing that you’re responsible for its health, you’ll feel a new urge to nurture its wellbeing, even if it means heading outside when you don’t feel like it!

4. Pets give you a sense of purpose and security:

When all else fails, you know you can rely on your pet to bring you comfort and hope. Perhaps you’re struggling with your mental health, or you’ve just received some bad news. In the company of your furry friend, nothing seems unachievable – and you know that, no matter what, they’ll always be by your side.

Pets are incredibly healing:

No matter what you’re experiencing in your life or what scars you carry, the unconditional love of your pet will always give you a reason to keep going through the storm.

87% of cat owners said they could cope with life much better with their furry friends by their side, according to mentalhealth.org.

Our resident cats at Foxholes are popular amongst staff and residents alike, providing bundles of joy and entertainment with all those who live with us. 

So, in honour of Love Your Pet Day, we thought we’d introduce you to our furry pals – albeit virtually!


Meet Thunder, our adorable cheeky chappy, who offers up her paw when she’s ready for a bit of affection!

Benefits of having a pet: Foxholes cat, Thunder

A very timid cat, Thunder was always hiding on top of a wardrobe, or in the admin cupboard, in her younger days. Shortly after, she started spending her time curled up on our residents’ beds, having taken a particular liking to some members of our family!

Eventually, Thunder worked her way around the ground floor before finding her favourite place to rest: the reception desk! Here, she likes to offer our visitors a generous greeting – and give them a thorough vetting before they have the chance to sign in!

Stay tuned for part 2 to meet the rest of our furry Foxholes pals…