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Cats often make an enigmatic appearance in the works of my favorite writer Haruki Murakami. For as long as I can remember, I’ve always loved cats. Somehow, I think they make this world a more magical place, because in a lot of ways, they have their own mysterious healing powers. Are you thinking about getting a pet? If so, definitely consider getting a cat! Psych2Go shares with you 7 benefits of owning a cat:

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1. Your risk of getting cardiovascular disease lowers.

Owning a cat can give you a calming effect, which reduces your blood pressure. As a result, your stress levels also go down, which in turn, lowers your risk of getting cardiovascular diseases. A study done by the University of Minnesota concluded that participants without cats were 30% more likely to die of cardiovascular disease than those who were cat owners. Researchers from the study stated that dog owners may receive the same benefits, but there weren’t enough dog owners involved to reach the same solid conclusion. Veterinary pathologist Lawrence McGill states that dogs need more hands-on attention than cats do, which may increase the owner’s stress levels. Since cats are more naturally independent and can take better care of themselves, they leaves their owners with less worries and hassle.

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2. Your immune system improves.

Owning a cat can improve your immune functions because it can tell when you are feeling sick. When it’s aware of this, it can provide you with comfort and help you get better. As a result, your immune system also gets the boost it needs to help you fight off illnesses in the future. Cats are intelligent and can empathize what you are feeling, so they will come and assist you when your health isn’t at its best.

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3. Your chance of developing allergies decreases.

The younger you are, the better the time is in regards to owning a cat. Children who own cats have a lower risk of developing asthma. This is because the early exposure and daily contact of cats reduces their chance of experiencing respiratory problems. As a result, your immune system strengths and allergies can be prevented.

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4. Your mood improves and symptoms of anxiety and depression decrease.

Cats act as a great distraction when you’re feeling down in the dumps or have fearful thoughts consuming you. With just the simple act of petting or playing with your cat, it can help improve and balance your mood. Although owning a cat doesn’t necessarily cure you of your anxiety or depression, it can take the edge off from some of your worst days. The best part about going through tough times is that your cat doesn’t judge you for them.

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5. Your carbon footprint reduces.

A study done in 2009 concluded that the resources required to feed a dog gives about twice the eco-footprint of an SUV. Don Jordan, director of the Seattle Animal Shelter, states, “If you look at a large-size dog, they can live 10-14 years, and it certainly wouldn’t surprise me. There’s a lot that goes into manufacturing and producing food to care for dogs during the course of a life.” Cats, on the other hand, generally eat less and are more likely to eat fish than corn or beef-flavored products. Not only is owning a cat good for your health, but it’s better for the environment, too!

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6. Companionship is provided and you experience less loneliness.

Although cats are known for their independent nature, there’s a special bond formed if nurtured properly between the cat and the owner. When you learn to respect your cat’s boundaries and give it the right amount of love and attention, it’s similar to the bonds you form with people. In fact, a Swiss study in 2003 revealed that owning a cat is similar to having a romantic partner.

Cats are often misunderstood and can be seen as cold, but they are as complex as humans; therefore, learning how to read their subtlety is important. Nonetheless, when you form a special companionship with a cat, it’s lifelong, which in turn, can alleviate the loneliness you experience. It took a while for my boyfriend’s cat to warm up to me, but I learned that patience goes a long way. I always find it endearing when she sleeps or sits next to me! She’s so cute!

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7. Your sociability improves.

In 2012, French researchers published a study in PLOS One in which they took a look at whether or not owning a pet can help those with autism. They write, “Playing with a pet is a complex behavior, sometimes involving object manipulation as a means for practice and mastery of action schemas (i.e. sensorimotor play) or a child’s ability for mental representation. Thus, it provides a child with means of practicing and understanding the events of his or her social world.”

Owning a cat specifically can help those with autism because they can relate to cats. Richard, the son of neuroscientist J. Mannerling, has autism and ever since the family adopted Clover, a cat from a local animal shelter, his sociability began to improve when he interacted with the cat more. Mannerling recalls his son telling him, “Cats are like me. They look at everything and think about it when everyone thinks they’re not paying attention and they only talk when they have something to say.” Even though a cat doesn’t talk back to you when you speak, just being able to learn how to interact with it can help you practice your communication skills. You also learn how your actions can impact someone else and understand how to form a bond and connection. Cats make amazing friends because of this!

What do you enjoy most about being a cat owner? Psych2Go would love to hear your thoughts! Please be sure to leave a comment down below!

 

If you enjoyed this article, you may also like 7 Ways to Read Your Cat’s Body Language from Psych2Go.

 

References:

17 Health Benefits of Owning a Cat. (2010, June 17). Future Medica. Retrieved December 26, 2017.

Cara, E. (2015, July 19). Children With Autism Can Become More Social With A Cat By Their Side. Medical Daily. Retrieved December 26, 2017.

Paddock, C. (2008, February 25). Cat Owners Have Lower Heart Attack Risk, Study. Medical News Today. Retrieved December 26, 2017.

Rahner, M. (2009, November 2). Dog’s Eco-footprint a Hummer, Study Says. The Seattle Times. Retrieved December 26, 2017.

Top 10 Health Benefits of Owning A Cat. (2015, April 24). Health Fitness Revolution. Retrieved December 26, 2017.

3 Comments

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  1. My kitten Nel is about 3-4 months old and I can say that I can very much agree to these!!! She has made me much happier and is always the one waiting at the door for me when I get home 💕

  2. I was subconsciously aware of this fact about cat. It did cross my mind that people who own cats are more mello, and the calming effect spoke of in the article fits so well what i was thinking. This article conferm what i was thinking about cat owners . But more importantly what i am feeling .i only resently have my first cat .im 54 but i can feel what the article is talking about. I new owning a cat was a good thing without knowing of these studys and this article. My cat 8ball is good for me somehow i new this fact without knowing i new.

  3. Hi, I couldn’t resist reading this article because of all these adorable pictures! But cute kitties aside, the studies that you have included are really interesting and all of your points are well developed and explained. There are only two minor grammar mistakes: in 2) there should be a ‘with’ between ’empathise’ and ‘what’, and in 3) ‘strengths’ should be ‘strengthens’.

    However, overall these are minor mistakes that don’t detract from a great article with some really interesting points and studies. Great Job!

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Written by Catherine Huang

Catherine Huang graduated from the University of Rhode Island with a BA in English. She has a penchant for storytelling, ramen, and psychology. Catherine is a writer for Psych2Go and looks forward to reaching out to its growing community, hoping to encourage others to tap into self-examination and confront life's challenges head on with the most difficult questions.

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