When a person hears the term “cat yoga,” the first image that comes to mind might be that of a cat in a very un-cat-like pose. However, while regular exercise is as important for cats as it is for humans, cat yoga is something much more serious in nature.
In short, the Capital Humane Society is offering a yoga class to interested individuals at the Pieloch Pet Adoption Center, which can be found in Lincoln, NE. However, the yoga class will have a few cats wandering through them, thus constituting one more upside without constituting a distraction in the process. On the whole, considering the seriousness of the problems that it is meant to address, cat yoga seems like a rather interesting idea that should be encouraged.
What Is Cat Yoga Intended to Do?
An argument can be made that cat yoga is addressing two important issues at the same time. First, it is contributing to stress relief, which is important for both cats and humans. Second, it is contributing to the problem of cat adoptions, which is once again, important for both cats and humans but for rather different reasons.
First, there are a lot of people who like cats, so much so that there should be no shortage of people who happen to like cats while possessing a strong interest in yoga as well. As a result, it be can be said that the addition of cats to a yoga class is actually helping them out by putting them in a better mood, thus enabling them to get more enjoyment out of the experience as well as increasing the chances of them coming back again and again. Considering how yoga can help people by relieving their stress as well as getting regular exercise, this can mean huge health benefits for said individuals in the long run, particularly once one counts the positive effects of happiness as well.
Second, having the cats in the yoga class helps them become accustomed to humans as well as vice versa. This is critical because adopting a cat is a huge step, meaning that it tends to take a lot of convincing for people to make that final decision. Considering that there are a lot more cats that need to be adopted than there are people willing to adopt cats, this is a serious issue to say the least.
How Serious Is the Problem?
To get an idea of the seriousness of the problem, there are an estimated 6 to 8 million domesticated animals brought to animal shelters in the United States on an annual basis. Out of these, an estimated 3 to 4 million are euthanized. Sometimes, this is because the animal is so sick that euthanasia is the kindest thing that can be done for them because it spares them from further needless suffering. Unfortunately, an estimated 2.7 million of those animals that were euthanized are considered to have been both healthy and adoptable, meaning that if they had been adopted by someone, they could have been spared from that time. Even worse, this isn’t because of some kind of evil intent on the part of animal shelters but rather because at the end of the day, animal shelters have limited resources to work with, meaning that they are forced to make heartbreaking decisions about which animals they can keep and which animals they can’t keep.
With that said, the most mind-boggling part might be that these statistics have actually improved over time. For instance, the number of euthanized animals has actually fallen by a significant margin over the course of decades, as shown by the estimate that animal shelters in the United States were euthanizing an estimated 12 to 20 million animals on an annual basis in the 1970s. However, it is important to remember that this fall means that there are a wide range of solutions that are being used in an effective manner by animal shelters to reduce said issue. One example is how animal shelters are spaying and neutering domesticated animals that could contribute to the problem of over-population. Another example would be programs such as cat yoga, which exist to encourage potential cat owners to take that final step of bringing a cat into their home. Summed up, the Capital Humane Society is doing good work, so it will be interesting to see whether their idea will spread or not.