Guy says: “This year has been rough so I adopted this cat and things have been better”.

The statement sums up the benefits that living with a domestic cat companion can bring you. “Snuggle cats” is a nice phrase which conjures up the sweet, tender moments that you spend with your cat when he or she is lying against you or on your lap. You slow down immediately. When your cat does this you should stop what you’re doing for a short while. You may be on your computer working from home during the coronavirus pandemic. You may be slightly stressed, pressured by your workload. You don’t want to stop and you feel like telling your cat to leave you alone but you allow him on to your lap or next to you where he might interfere slightly or greatly with your work. You stop and you look at each other. You stroke him. He purrs. The healing sound of his purr and his presence slows you down a little and calms you.

Man with cat snuggling up. Great. For both! Picture: the man in the photo on Reddit.com. Thanks Reddit.

Some of the stress falls away. You put a circuit breaker into your day for a few minutes and then resume working. That’s how you benefit from the presence of a domestic cat companion while working from home.

It pays dividends in health (cardiovascular improvements) and contentment. And of course it works both ways because your cat is happier as well and interacting with you in a gentle way. Working from home has taken on a new meaning over the past six months. The pandemic has changed the way we work for ever. Many businesses will never go back to the way they were. They’re going to have to vacate their office blocks and find something smaller because they’ve decided that a significant part of their workforce can work from home, at least part of the time. Office buildings will be places where employees can meet up. There is a need for employees to interact, face-to-face. There’s no doubt that there are benefits to that. But there are also benefits to working from home for the employee in terms of contentment, family life, productivity (sometimes!). And benefits to the family cat 🙂 .

Employers found that productivity dipped on Mondays and Fridays for homeworkers. No surprise there. And I think overall productivity is slightly lower for people working from home which is also unsurprising. There was talk initially that people were more productive but it’s not true. It is likely to be untrue because after all you’re working from home with distractions. Distractions such as your cat sitting on your lap or on your computer keyboard! You can blame your cat for a slightly lower productivity level. It’s a price worth paying and you can make up for it in some other ways.

Thinking wider and for a second coming out of the world of cats, a significant increase in homeworking is going to destroy the transport systems such as railways and buses. They’re going to have to do get rid of rolling stock, shrink substantially and give up their government subsidies. In the UK they are currently being subsidised by the taxpayer. This cannot continue. They will have to face the reality that their businesses have shrunk. The same goes for the hospitality businesses providing services to office workers in those dense office block conurbations in the middle of cities. The Pret a Manger style businesses are all going to have to shrink because the footfall isn’t there any more and it won’t return to the way it was.

But our domestic cats are going to love it. One of the great problems with office working, if you have a cat, is that they are alone all day waiting for your return. There are many domestic cats who are less than content because of this. They may suffer from separation anxiety. They may become anxious and they may develop cystitis depending upon the circumstances. Those days might be over for them. Those cats who yearn to be with their owners throughout the day every day. That’s one of the benefits of the coronavirus pandemic.

Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 71-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I have a girlfriend, Michelle. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare.

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  • Both my cats love the attention they've given since retiring. If I'm on the computer for too long, Abby will jump up on the keyboard and just sit on it looking at me with doleful eyes. Shadow, on the other hand, spoons with me every night when I first go to bed, then first thing in the morning when I turn on the news. I love them both dearly. They give me such love, it just cannot be measnured.

    • Thank you Gail. I do hope that you are well during this difficult time with the pandemic. I know exactly how you feel. I get a lot of comfort from my cat and when he is outside I miss him. I worry about him. I need him as he is my number one companion. He makes me feel better just like this guy says in the article. My cat also interferes with my work on my computer. I sometimes allow him to do this because it slows me down. It makes me pause for five or 10 minutes and then I gently place him on my legs rather than on my lap to allow me to continue working. He complains slightly but he understands.

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