Montage of Eileen Davidson with cats

Living with rheumatoid arthritis can often be challenging, painful, and lonely. However, for me, finding solace and relief in the form of my cats has been a game-changer. So much so that my house currently has five cats living in it. These furry companions have not only brought immense joy and love into my life, but they have also played a significant role in managing my RA symptoms. Some people prefer dogs, that’s fine, I love dogs, but kitties hold my heart. 

All my cats have different personalities. Big Man is a large ginger who’s a big softy, Abigail is a Russian Blue who is timid, Logan is a tabby with a wild streak, Penelope is tiny and sassy, and Pliskin, a one-eyed Maine Coon, is shy but sweet. I have a particular fondness for Big Man, but I treasure all my kitties.

Their mere presence soothes me. When I’m feeling overwhelmed or in pain, just being with my cats helps calm my mind. Their purrs and gentle nature create an environment that reduces the stress of RA. 

Living with a chronic condition can sometimes make me feel isolated, but my cats always provide comfort. They seem to sense when I need a cuddle or even just a comforting meow, making the challenges of RA more bearable. 

I’ve observed that my cats can often detect when I’m in discomfort. When my joints act up or when I’m feeling particularly stressed, they come close, offering warmth and a calming vibe. It feels like they understand when I need their support. 

Beyond just emotional comfort, they also encourage me to stay active, which is essential for managing RA. Their playful antics, whether chasing a toy or just being their cute selves, spur me to move. Sometimes, I even dance around the house with them. Of course, any cat owner knows this is on their terms. 

Their needs have also brought routine to my day, essential for RA management. Their feeding times, grooming, and play sessions are not just about them but remind me to prioritize my self-care. 

Having cats while living with RA presents challenges. The litter box can be cumbersome, they occasionally wake me up, and yes, sometimes they’re a little too playful. But the benefits? They far surpass any drawbacks. 

My cats are more than just pets; they’re my lifeline, especially during RA flare-ups at home. Their calming presence, steadfast companionship, intuitive pain-sensing, encouragement to stay active, and instilled routines have enhanced my quality of life despite RA’s challenges. If you’re grappling with RA or another condition, a furry friend might offer unexpected comfort and support. Proudly, I’m a “crazy cat lady,” and I wear that title with pride.  

  • Was This Helpful?