- Some colleges and universities offer students the opportunity to relax by spending time with animals (usually dogs).
- A new study surveyed college students and found high interest in having similar opportunities with cats.
- Cat support is particularly appealing to students with the emotional “Big Five” personality trait.
- Some experts worry about how cats will respond to this role.
Higher education can be stressful for students, and some educational institutions offer relief in the form of activities where students can interact with animals. About 86% of these activities provided the opportunity to communicate with the dog. Students are also interested in reducing stress by spending time with cats, a new survey-based study shows.
The study found that students who displayed Big Five emotional traits were particularly interested in cat visits.
As part of the study, the researchers asked 1,438 respondents from 19 Flemish schools to complete a survey, five of them universities and the rest polytechnics. Of these respondents, 905 were students and 533 were faculty or school employees.
In many studies by Dr. Janet Hoy-Gerach, professor at the University of Toledo College of Social Justice in Ohio, said both dog and cat owners experienced significant reductions in depression after living with them. However, the doctor also noted that cat owners have a greater reduction in depression than dog owners.
The warmth of the cat’s body, the vibration of the purr, and the texture of the cat’s fur are all things that can help cat owners have higher emotions and a more sensitive nervous system.
Besides, dogs can also support this style, but the size of cats and their simpler grooming needs may attract some people living with them.
Choosing the right cat is crucial to establishing an emotionally supportive connection.