Sometimes we instinctively know when something is good for us, like having a cat or eating chocolate (okay, maybe chocolate is not the best example). That is why it is especially nice when science agrees with what we already know and says, “Yes, cats are good for us.”
Here are some scientifically proven benefits that cats bring to our health .
Help your heart
Imagine that a global pharmaceutical company develops a new drug that means you are 30% less likely to die of a heart attack. This drug would be great news and would make that company millions and millions.
The truth is that this “drug” already exists and does not need a prescription. Cats
The University of Minnesota analyzed data that showed cat owners were 30-40% less likely to die from a heart attack than a similar group of people who did not own a cat.
In fact, of the people who had already suffered a heart attack and recovered, 28% of non-pet owners died before the end of the year, while only 3% of cat owners died within 12 months.
Owning a cat reduces the risk of stroke, as petting and soothing a cat lowers blood pressure.
In one study, people had their blood pressure measured while performing a stressful task, such as speaking in public. Then they repeated the task but in the presence of a cat. The results showed that keeping the cat company maintained normal blood pressure, despite being subject to stress.
But the benefits of stroking don’t stop there, because it also lowers blood triglyceride and cholesterol levels, both of which are recognized contributors to cardiovascular disease and strokes.
Another benefit of having a feline friend is that it reduces stress. In fact, when scientists measure levels of stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol, they are noticeably lower among cat owners than among people who do not have a furry friend.
It seems that sharing your life with a cat acts as a distraction from the pressures of the outside world. Cats are excellent listeners and are also non-judgmental, which makes them good at talking. In turn, this is related to a reduced incidence of mental health problems, addictive behavior, and even suicide.
Cats are experts at sleeping, so I think they could teach us a thing or two about sleep. And it seems they can. Recently, the Mayo Clinic Center for Clinical Sleep Medicine decided to figure out once and for all whether bedroom pets are a good thing or a bad thing.
They found that 41% of people slept better due to the presence of a pet, while half said the pet had disturbed them.
The explanation is believed to lie in the sense of companionship and security provided by the presence of a pet, which helps us to rest better.
In fact, looking at your pet promotes the release of the “love” hormone, oxytocin. Therefore, having a cat around also helps with feelings of happiness and satisfaction.
There is such a thing as “too clean to be healthy.” Modern disinfectants and high hygiene standards mean less exposure to bugs that would otherwise boost the immune system. In the absence of a “challenge,” the unworked immune system of a developing child looks for something else to act on, and allergies can develop.
The presence of a pet in the house can change all this. Cat dander, while unhealthy in and of itself, provides a first-class workout for the immune system, which in turn means you have less time on your hands wasting allergic reactions, including those that trigger asthma.
The National Institute of Health even issued a statement saying that children under the age of one who spent time with a cat were less likely to develop common allergies to pollen and dust mites. However, it should be noted that once a child already has allergies, the presence of a cat is not going to remedy that.
Lonely but sociable
Cats are by nature solitary animals but with sociable tendencies. This is ironic because they also help people who live alone feel less isolated. Owning a cat in some way makes up for the absence of a human companion and reduces feelings of isolation.
Also, cats help people to blend in as talking about their cat is a great opportunity to break the ice in a social situation.
Another big issue is that women find men who own a cat more attractive than others. Men seem to enjoy the reflected glory of feline intelligence and sensitivity traits, which women like.
If you need more reasons before embarking on a cat adoption, there is always the benefit of bragging. Cat owners are more likely to have a college degree than dog owners, and therefore a higher percentage of cat owners are possibly “smarter.”
However, it is not the cunning of felines that by rubbing against people make them intelligent, but rather the other way around. The most intelligent people tend to choose a cat over a dog as a pet, for more appropriate traits with their personality and their mind.
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