Feline fans, rejoice: Your cat isn’t just a cute and cuddly ball of fluff — he’s also incredibly good for your health.
Even pet owners who prefer puppies can’t deny the major benefits that come along with caring for a furry friend of either species. Science shows that pets can help prevent allergies in kids, ward off respiratory infections, improve your mood and even boost self-esteem.
Whether you’re a crazy cat lady or a dude ready to publicly proclaim your obsession with your feline friend, get ready to celebrate the many pros of being a proud cat owner — all negative stereotypes aside. Here are some reasons we should appreciate all of the cuddly kitties in our lives:
They Keep Your Heart Healthy
According to a study from researchers at the University of Minnesota’s Stroke Institute, cat owners are less likely to die from heart attacks. Monitoring nearly 4,500 people (three out of five participants owned a cat) for a 10-year period, the researchers were able to determine that the cat owners experienced a 30 % reduced risk of death by heart attack than the participants without cats. A follow-up study further established that cat ownership is linked to a decreased risk of death from all cardiovascular diseases, including strokes.
They Practically Invented Napping
These serious snoozers not only value the importance of sleep but also look adorable doing it! Studies have shown that indulging in a little midday shut-eye can work wonders for your alertness, memory, creativity, productivity and overall mood. So if you won’t make time for a nap solo, maybe the opportunity to curl up next to your furry friend will convince you to take a cozy 20-minute rest today.
Their Purrs Naturally Calm Your Nerves
Studies show that cat purrs can help lower their owner’s stress levels as well as reduce their blood pressure. Additionally, cats can create purr vibrations from 20 to 140 Hertz, a frequency said to be medically helpful for a variety of illnesses, reported Scientific American. As if you needed one more reason to scratch behind your kitty’s ears!
They’re all About the Present Moment
Sure, they lead far less stressful lives than their human counterparts on most days, but that doesn’t discredit their innate ability to sit perfectly still, sometimes hours on end, and just appreciate the present moment. From their coveted spot on the windowsill to their reserved perch on top of the bookshelf, they watch the world before them come and go with ease. We, too, can reap the expanding list of benefits of a meditation practice should we decide to follow their lead.
They Support You in Your Battle with Depression
The soothing nature of petting a cat on your lap is not limited to stress relief. That tangible companionship is a known mood booster, and a positive distraction for those who struggle with depression disorders. Beyond their companionship, pets provide a way to add routine, responsibility and social activity to days that might otherwise not include such components. And while all pets can help play a role in improving depression symptoms, cats are particularly calm and peaceful, and those characteristics can be contagious for their owners in a rather helpful way.
They Crush Feelings of Loneliness with Unconditional Love
Even the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention acknowledge that one of the biggest benefits of a pet is their ability to ease our feelings of loneliness. They are often the best listeners we could ask for at the end of a trying day, and the looks on their faces as we walk through the front door remind us that there is always someone excited to see us. According to researchers from Miami University and Saint Louis University, pets can fulfill their owners’ social needs in the same way other humans can.