The Health Benefits of Cats



“The cat could very well be man’s best friend but would never stoop to admitting it.”  ~Doug Larson

Cat people know the following is true even if they never read further than this sentence.

Having a cat (or cats) is good for your health.

And it’s not just a matter of opinion.  Science is now backing this truth up as a fact.  And universally, all those who have been termed “crazy cat lady” are vindicated.  Consider the following:

  • The sound of a cat’s purr is calming and lowers blood pressure. Holding a cat close enough to feel his purr is relaxing.  And because a cat’s purr is indicative of their contentment, it helps people feel calm and content.
  • Scientists say that petting a cat releases oxytocin, which is the hormone that reduces stress. When stress is lowered, people can experience a lower blood pressure.  In fact, the Journal of Vascular and Interventional Neurology published a report that stated that cat owners had a decreased risk of dying from a heart attack or stroke.
  • In addition to relaxing, the companionship of cats cannot be underrated. Because loneliness is tied to various health issues, a cat’s company can help alleviate those feelings of isolation.
  • For children who were exposed to cats in their first year of life, they are less likely to develop allergies later. Which is great considering that so many blame cats for allergies.  Scientists have determined that a cat’s presence may help the immune system develop in a healthy, normal manner rather than overreacting later to other stimuli.
  • Cats help you sleep better. For those who snuggle with their kitties, 41% of those who were evaluated by the Mayo Clinic Center for Sleep Medicine reported better rest.
  • Cats help their owners get through difficult times of loss and grief. Those who are in mourning report better coping skills when they can spend time with their cat.
  • Studies have also shown that people who have cats are more likely to have college degrees and higher levels of education. The assumption behind these findings is because cats are generally self-sufficient and require less attention, their owners have more time for academic pursuits.
  • Cats are better for your finances than dogs. The care of cats is less than their canine counterparts, making them a more affordable pet for those on a budget.
  • Fellas – a cat can improve your dating life. Research has determined that an overwhelming majority of women – 90% – perceived men who had a cat (or cats) as being nicer than those without.
  • If having a cat isn’t an option, even watching videos of cats playing can have a positive impact on health.

Cats are wonderful pets that give their owners great joy.  It’s nice to know that they also improve our quality of life in addition to all the marvelous ways they keep us entertained.


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