WCPO: Cat cafe gives visitors outlet to work through mental health issues

UC expert says finding therapeutic outlets, like cuddling animals, is important

A cat cafe in Covington, Kentucky meant to invite people to spend time with furry friends in hopes of adopting cats has grown to serve a larger purpose.

WCPO reported Chuck Patton, the owner of Purrfect Day Cafe, has found that many visitors tell him they visit the cafe to escape problems in their lives and relax.

Maria Espinola, PsyD, assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine and a UC Health clinical psychologist, told WCPO cuddling a pet is one of many therapeutic outlets that help to work through depression and anxiety.

"I always encourage my patients to find things that are therapeutic, but not traditional therapy," she said. "And I do this because therapy is one hour a week. OK, what do you do the rest of the time? You have to make sure that you structure your life in a way that improves your overall well-being."

Watch the WCPO report.

Featured image of Maria Espinola, PsyD. Photo/Colleen Kelley/University of Cincinnati