Most Americans With Cats Say They Couldn’t Have Gotten Through Lockdown Without Their Feline Friend

Three-quarters of Americans with cats couldn’t have gotten through the quarantine without their pet, according to a new survey.

The poll of 2,000 cat owners (57% of whom also have a dog) looked at the various benefits provided by our furry friends during the pandemic, and how they helped us through.

Pets were found to ease feelings of anxiety. 57% said having a pet made them feel less alone, and 49% said it helped them feel less anxious.

Those weren’t the only benefits though — 41% said being with their pet gave them someone to talk to, and 35% said their pet brought a feeling of positivity to their days.

Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Royal Canin following International Cat Day Aug. 8, the survey also found quarantine was an opportunity for respondents to learn more about their feline friends.

Two-thirds (66%) of cat owners surveyed learned or noticed something new about their pet, and three out of four respondents became closer to their kitty as a result of the quarantine.

Being cooped-up indoors gave respondents time to uncover a new spot their cat enjoys hiding in (64%), notice a new behavior (57%) and discover a new food their pet likes (55%).

But our pets, like many of us, may be ready for things to return to normal! The survey found 73% of those surveyed said their cat seems to be ready for some space.

“Although many cats are enjoying the attention from their owners being at home, most cats are independent and do a good job of structuring their day themselves,” said Laura Pletz, DVM, Scientific Services Manager, Royal Canin. “Owners should make gradual changes to help reduce stress and ease the transition back to ‘normal’ life.”

With all the things our pets do for us — during quarantine and beyond — it’s no wonder that respondents want to return the favor.

Eighty-six percent of respondents agreed that they want to take care of their pet because their pet takes care of them.

Helped them to feel less alone 57%
Helped them to feel less anxious 49%
Playing with their pet helped encourage them to move around my space 47%
Gave them someone to talk to 41%
Helped give them a schedule throughout the day 39%
Brought a feeling of positivity into my day 35%

And, another silver lining of the pandemic: 66% plan to improve how they care for their pets since COVID-19.