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Why Getting A Cat Was The Greatest Thing For My Depression And Anxiety

Meg Wilder is a beautiful, bright young woman from Dallas, Texas, a recent graduate of Baylor University, a volunteer for a suicide prevention text line, and a blogger. Meg uses her blog, The Wilder Outlook on Life, as a platform to share her experience living with anxiety and depression. She writes to spread awareness, share her story, and de-stigmatize the way we talk about mental health.

“I believe that taking medicine for my depression and anxiety is no different than a diabetic taking insulin,” she explains in a post for World Mental Health Day. “I was born with a chemical imbalance in my brain. I do not produce enough serotonin and dopamine, making me predisposed to depression and anxiety.”

But Meg isn’t only addressing the way that proper diagnoses and medications have changed her life, she also shares the everyday things that have made a difference. In the post below, Meg shares how adopting a cat was “the greatest thing” for her mental health.

Cats often get the stereotype of being distant, unloving, and indifferent. Although Lily is sometimes distant, she has tremendously helped with my depression and anxiety. I decided to write this post to 1. show you why cats are great for mental illness and 2. post pictures of my cat on a different social media outlet.

Here are some of the ways my cat has helped:

1. She forces me to get up every morning. Whether I like it or not, around 6:45am I wake up to a meowing cat in my face. She is not only loud, but also extremely persistent. Sometimes, especially on weekends, I want to sleep all day. My depression tells me I’m too exhausted to get up and do something. Fortunately, my cat is louder and more annoying than my depression and I am forced to wake up and feed her.


2. She gives me a purpose. Yes, I have other purposes in life, but there’s something profoundly unique and inspiring about having someone (or something) need you. If I wasn’t around, she wouldn’t have fresh water, clean litter, or food. She depends on me for everything, which makes me feel pretty important.

Wilder Outlook

3. She helps me stick to a routine. I feed her at certain times every day and if I’m even five minutes late, she lets me hear it. I also clean her litter box daily and buy her food monthly. Although this seems trivial, having a fixed routine, even for something so small, helps me.

Wilder Outlook

4. She knows when I’m upset. I don’t know how, but she does. The other day I was crying in my bed, and as soon as she heard me she jumped on the bed and sat on my chest. She began purring and licking my arm. She knows when I’m having a hard time and she tries her best to make me feel better.


5.  She makes me laugh daily. If you’ve never seen a cat chase intangible objects, you are missing out. Lily chases the reflections of the metro by jumping on the wall and running around my apartment. After she doesn’t catch the moving lights, she acts as if she was never frantically chasing them.


She also makes hysterical faces.

Wilder Outlook

…How could you not laugh at this face?

Wilder Outlook

Basically, if you have the means to get a cat (or dog), I would highly recommend it. They make living life so much more fun.

Share Meg’s (and Lily’s) inspiring story today!

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