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Survey highlights benefits of cats to mental wellbeing
Nine out of ten cat owners say owning a cat has a positive effect on their mental health.

Findings released ahead of World Mental Health Day 2019 

Research by leading feline welfare charity Cats Protection has highlighted the importance of pets to their owner’s mental health and wellbeing. 

Survey findings published by the charity shows that nine out of ten cat owners (93.7 per cent) say owning a cat has a positive effect on their mental health. Of the activities that people said helped them most were stroking their cat (72 per cent) and playing with their cat (58 per cent).

When asked if owning a cat has had a positive effect on their mental wellbeing, 26.1 per cent of respondents said ‘very much’, 21.6 per cent said ‘quite a lot’, 23.5 per cent said a ‘fair amount’. 

The research comes ahead of World Mental Health Day (10 October) and was conducted as part of Cats Protection’s ‘More Than Just a Cat’ campaign - an initiative that focuses on the numerous ways cats can enhance and enrich human lives.

Kate Bunting from Cats Protection said: “We often hear about how cats have had a positive impact on their owners’ wellbeing and it’s heart-warming to see how cats really can make such a difference to people’s lives.

“We believe anyone can benefit from owning a cat. From sharing a secret to being by our side during lonely times, cats lift our spirits and make us more able to cope with the stresses of modern living so having a cat in the home is a win-win for everyone.”

Eve Hawker from Romford, Essex, is one feline owner who credits her cat for helping her to improve her mental health. Following a complete mental breakdown earlier this year, Eve adopted a fluffy black and white cat called Dusty and says that he came to her at just the right time.

“I’m so grateful to Cats Protection for bringing Dusty and I together,” said Eve. “He has saved me and given me a purpose as well as more love and affection than I ever expected.

“He’s always with me and will help when I’m not feeling myself by nudging my hand and being even more affectionate than usual.

“Since having him in my life, my confidence has started to come back and I’m in a much better place and I believe he has played a huge part in improving my mental health. Dusty is so much more than just a cat, he’s my little angel.”

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Rare chimp birth announced at Edinburgh Zoo

News Story 1
 The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) welcomed the birth of a critically endangered western chimpanzee on Monday 3 February at Edinburgh Zoo's Budongo Trail.

The baby girl will be named in the coming days through a public vote, and staff will carry out a paternity test during its first health check to determine the father.

Mother Heleen's first infant, Velu, was born in 2014, making this new baby only the second chimpanzee born in Scotland for more than 20 years.

Budongo Trail team leader Donald Gow said: "While we celebrate every birth, this one is particularly special because our new arrival is a critically endangered Western chimpanzee, a rare subspecies of chimpanzee."

Image (c) RZSS/Donald Gow. 

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News Shorts
BEVA offering free membership to vet students

The British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA) is offering free membership to veterinary students. As part of a new initiative with the aim of encouraging more veterinary professionals into equine practice.

According to BEVA, less than one in ten veterinary students choose to work in equine practice. The association hopes that this initiative will provide insight into the field and the benefits of a career in equine medicine.

Benefits of membership include:
▪ access to a network of nearly 3,000 members
▪ special student rates to attend BEVA Congress
▪ online access to BEVA's Equine Veterinary Education (EVE) journal
▪ free access to the association's online learning platform
▪ free access to BEVA's practical veterinary apps
▪ exclusive discounts on a range of things from cinema tickets to grocery shopping.

BEVA will be releasing a series of short videos over the next few months from BEVA Council members, explaining what inspired them to work in equine practice.

Image (c) BEVA.