Like many animals, cats are incredible creatures. They are elegant, independent, loving, and curious companions. Beyond that, they also hold some unexpected life and well-being lessons for us humans.
Here are some to check out:
Listen to Your Body – Cats sometimes get a bad rap for being too standoff-ish. Truth is, cats know what they want and listen to their bodies. For instance, they know when they want affection AND when they need alone time. They also only eat to fill their hunger needs. We can learn a lot from cats by listening to our emotional and body cues to fill our needs.
Learn to Trust, Even When it is Hard – As humans, once something strong happens to us, we tend to carry this experience around for years, developing unhealthy habits and pushing others away. Animals, and cats in particular, are very different. Yes, they do have the same memory, but they are really good at overwriting negative experiences and giving life another chance to be truly beautiful.
Give and Receive Love Naturally – While you might want your cat to lay on your lap every moment of the day, you know that is not always a reality. But when those moments do happen, we cherish them. Cats give and receive love in a natural way. When they feel like sharing a moment, they will. During others, they will do something else. Trusting this intuition and loving in a natural, authentic way can serve us as humans who might seek validation frequently or in the wrong places.
Take Care of Yourself – Cats love good hygiene more than a Purell executive. Cats are known for being independent creatures that love to spend time cleaning themselves after eating, after you cuddle them too much, or just because. This focus on taking care of ourselves is something we can all learn from.
Play More – Cats love to play. Have you ever left out a piece of string or ball to then be surprised by some cat zoomies? In our hectic lives, it is so crucial that we take the time to just have fun. Research is also pointing to this as a critical capacity to nurture happiness and well-being. So break out that board game, enjoy a team sport, lose ourselves in the fantasy world of a book or movie, or whatever fosters that sense of playfulness.
Enjoy the Little Things – While cats do not practice gratitude (that we know of), they do enjoy the simpler things in life – food, water, and a “toilet.” There is a psychological term called the hedonic treadmill that often holds us in a pattern of wanting and pursuing the next thing. We want more and more. We can learn a lot by savoring what we have and garnering some gratitude.
Live in the Moment – Animals, and cats especially, have an impressive skill — once something happens to them that causes either joy, anger, or fear, they feel the emotion in a moment, and then they let it go. They don’t judge, hold grudges, or anticipate. They just are. This is how it should be. Every moment and experience is an energy that is passing through us. When we humans tend to not let this energy flow, it gets stuck inside of us in the form of thought and feeling. To live the moment means to let go of every moment every second. This is truly how we go with the flow.
Be Attentive – Cats are intuitive and attentive. Whether they focus on cleaning themselves, playing with a string, or stretching, they are mindful and aware. Their ears and noses are also always active, even when sleeping. Awareness is the first step to any action. Cultivating some attentiveness and awareness might aid in our own well-being process.
Make Eye Contact – Cats have soulful eyes and they are not afraid of using them. Cats will stare intently to connect with their humans. We can learn a lot from this. Making eye contact as humans is sometimes challenging and awkward, but it also fosters deep connection. They say the eyes are the window to the soul. Let’s learn again to trust and open ourselves to others, as well as show our real faces.
Explore – Cats are curious creatures. They are always exploring new corners and objects. We can learn from this curiosity to fully experience life. The reality is, a lot of us get stuck in old routines, habits, and often feel in a rut. Let’s lean into the cat’s sense of adventure. To learn, grow, and move more fully into the people we want to become.
More than just lovable companions, cats can curate some serious well-being wisdom we can all benefit from.