[Editor’s Note: We are pleased to bring you this article, co-created by recovery kitty specialist Amy Sproston and iRunFar editor Sarah Brady. We hope you enjoy — and recover well.]
What’s the best recovery tool for runners? We asked that question of Google and were shocked that it did not come up with a single correct response. A heavily discussed topic, the internet is full of articles describing various types of foam rollers, trigger point balls, massage guns, things that vibrate, assorted creams, TENS units, compression socks or boots, red lights, lasers, hot/cold therapies, and supplements. But not a single article mentioned the one thing that is blatantly obvious to those of us lucky enough to cohabitate with them — cats. Cats excel at recovery and can encourage their owners to take it seriously, too.
What’s one of the best activities for recovery? Sleep. Anyone who lives with a cat knows that cats are exceptional nappers. And cats often enjoy napping on their humans, adding benefits, including purring and warmth. The frequency of a cat purr has been shown to help heal broken bones and repair joints and tendons. Add in a warm kitty, and that bum knee will be healed in no time. Compounded by the unspoken rule that when a kitty falls asleep on top of you, you are not allowed to wake the sleeping kitty. This forced rest is another great benefit of kitty parenting.
In trail running circles, dogs often get a lot of the spotlight, but as ultrarunners start to appreciate that rest is an important component of training, who should really be in the spotlight? This gallery of ultrarunners with their adorable feline companions highlights the answer.
Cats. Cats are the answer.
Call for Comments
There is just one thing you can do here: Share in the comments about your recovery kitty. Go!