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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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