International Men’s Day is 19th of November.  This year’s focus for the UK is “Making a difference for men and boys” and “how we can give men and boys better life chances”. Pause Cat Cafe sees this as an opportunity to help men and boys in the local community by offering them a free visit to experience the healing benefits of spending time with cats.

Pause Cat Café recognises the happiness that spending time together brings to both humans and animals, and utilises this to help local people as well as their 12 resident rescue cats. The cafe runs a number of community initiatives to promote health and wellbeing such as mindfulness, yoga, counselling and social groups for carers, people with disabilities and the elderly. The cafe also serves healthy food that is locally sourced, vegetarian and vegan.

They believe the biggest boost to wellbeing comes from the time spent interacting with the cats in the cafe. Headey (1999) carried out a study that showed that “cat and dog owners make fewer annual doctor visits and are less likely to be on medication for heart problems and sleeping difficulties than non-owners.”

The cafe is a place where anyone can come to spend quality time with cats without the responsibility or practicalities of owning a pet.  “Pets were a source of physical contact and comfort, and a way for individuals to channel their own emotional energy often not available elsewhere.” - Brooks et al, 2016

To celebrate International Men’s Day, and for one day only, the cafe is giving out a voucher for free entry for men that can be used to visit over the winter, a time where winter depression is common due to the reduced duration of daily sunlight (Pereira Jr et al., 2017) believing that the healing influence of being around cats in this environment could help with the issues that face men and boys today.

Michelle Myrvold from Pause Cat Cafe says, “International men’s day is a day to celebrate all the wonderful men and boys out there and this free voucher is a purrfect gift for yourself, your chosen man, or for men that just need some cat cuddles in their life!”

The voucher can be downloaded at www.pausecatcafe.com/shop on the 19th of November only.  The free entry voucher can be used by men and boys over 13 years old, on weekdays until the end of February 2018 (except bank holidays, events and Valentine's Day).

Some of the issues that affect men and boys are:

- High male suicide rate
- Challenges faced in all stages of education including attainment
- Men’s health, shorter life expectancy and workplace deaths
- The challenges faced by the most marginalised men and boys in society (homeless men, boys in care and the high rate of male deaths in custody)
- Male victims of violence, including sexual violence
- Men as parents, particularly new fathers and separated fathers
- Male victims and survivors of sexual abuse, rape, sexual exploitation, domestic abuse, forced marriage, honour-based crime, stalking and slavery
- The negative portrayal of men, boys and fathers

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