Have You Learned The Health Benefits From Having A Cat?

Yes, we’ll all agree that cats are cute and at times quite entertaining. Perhaps you have learned a few of the health benefits from having a cat in your home, but perhaps you don’t yet realize how very beneficial they can be. Here are some reasons to be thankful for your cat:

They Have The Ability To Soothe And Bring Calm

Cat being held

Cats often show a serene side to their personality. If the cat is present, the effect of a cat on your concentration can prove remarkable and mysterious. By their very nature they soothe us. We relax because they are relaxed, and the effect on our sense of well-being causes us to become calm.

In a study published in the journal Animal Cognition, the authors, Moriah Galvan and Jennifer Vonk, found that domestic cats have the ability to read their humans’ facial expressions. These give them emotional cues, which might allow them to respond in a helpful way.

Benefits For Infants And Young Children

baby petting cat

Having contact with cats as infants can result in their being less apt to develop allergies and obesity. The reason, according to researchers, is their exposure to two gut bacteria, Ruminococcus and Oscillospira. These appear to have protective effects.

Early exposure to cats can also mean the child is at lower risk of asthma. Researchers believe this stems from the child’s absorption of a type of siatic acid which does not occur naturally in the human body. This acid appears to regulate inflammatory reactions.

Risk Of Cardiovascular Disease Greatly Reduced

A study published in 2009 in the Journal of Vascular and Interventional Neurology found that statistics on cat owners showed that their threat of dying from heart attacks became much less likely because they owned a cat.

Being around a feline friend, petting or cuddling him, can bring physical changes in your body. These include making your heart healthier. The simple act of interacting with your cat can make a difference in your overall bodily condition.

Cat Ownership Can Reduce The Risk Of A Stroke

It’s especially important to have a cat if you are concerned about the risk of having a stroke. Researchers have found that owning a cat lowers the possiblity of having a stroke to about one-third.

Just spend time petting your purring cat and find the contact soothing. You will feel good while you help your body heal.

Your Cat Can Help Lower Blood Pressure

In a study published in 2001 in the journal Hypertension demonstrated that owning a pet lowers blood pressure.

The study included 48 participants, all with high-stress jobs. These people were divided into two experimental groups. All participants had hypertension and received lisinopril, the ACE inhibitor blood pressure medication. Only half of them owned pets.

Cat therapist

Each day, these participants had their blood pressure and heart rate checked, plus their plasma renin activity recorded, both before and after tasks designed to be mentally stressful.

Interesting that the study showed that the drug lisinopril lowered resting blood pressure for all participants, but only those owning pets demonstrated lower blood pressure in response to mental stress. The drug alone could not create this reaction.

Other Ways Your Cat Can Improve Your Health

Besides helping resolve some very serious health issues, the cat can improve your health in other ways. Find yourself the perfect kitty to make positive changes in your life. Look over these other benefits you can gain from having a cat.

1.) Providing companionship and reducing stress

elderly woman in wheelchair with cat in lap

These two items cover lots of ground. To combat loneliness, own a cat. I live alone, but have found that my cat provides a great way to eliminate loneliness. Interacting with the cat reminds me that another living creature shares my home, and we have a great friendship.

Playing with him keeps us both happy. Talking to him allows me to say anything at all that I might want to get off my mind. The cat will listen without passing judgment. Sleeping with him gives me a comforting and loving presence.

Not only has my cat become a great friend, but he also helps me relax and stay calm. If I am stressed, interacting with him for a few minutes makes the whole world look better.

2) A cat can improve your mental health

A study from the University of Pennsylvania tells us that owning a cat can lead to decreased levels of both anxiety and depression. Because they give you companionship, social support, and a sense of security, your mental health will benefit.

Just reducing your stress level can lead to an overall improvement in your physical health.

3) Your cat can help improve your social interactions with others

A University of Missouri – Columbia has found that owning a pet can improve social interactions with others. You’ll find other pet owners who like to compare notes on their animals, and soon you realize you have a new friend, thanks to your cat.

Because of your cat, you’ll live a longer life

cat sleeping against man's face

Having a pet has a long association with increasing your life expectancy. In a new study in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, we are told that owning a pet can reduce your risk of death by up to 33 %.

When researchers analyzed data from more than 12,000 people over the age of 40, they made the amazing discovery that those who didn’t have pets faced twice as much risk of premature death. That seems to me a good reason to get a pet if you don’t already have one.

Pets help keep your mind active and fresh

You have to remember to feed the cat, fill his water bowl, clean his litter box, and schedule any vet appointments. You need to spend time playing with him and interacting in general. These duties all contribute to keeping you in good shape and your mental muscles flexed.

The Power Of The Purr

Cats purr when they are happy and content. Their purr can soothe and relieve stress in themselves and in humans. They purr when they are stroked or fed, or when they nurse as kittens. It’s a most comforting sound.

Cats also use the purr to help heal themselves. They purr when they are stressed, severely injured, recovering from an illness or injury, while giving birth, and even while dying.

healing power of cat purrs poster

Elizabeth von Muggenthaler from the Fauna Communications Research Institue in North Carolina pointed out the importance of the purr to the cat. She asked “why would a cat waste energy purring in its last moments of life?”

She tells us that if the cat is physically stressed or ill, the purr will require valuable energy. When ill or dying, why would cats expend this energy unless the result (the purr) helped them heal faster, or perhaps even saved their lives?

The purr, according to scientists, follows a consistent pattern during both inhalation and exhalation. This pattern and frequency falls between 25 and 150 Hertz, the frequencies that promote healing. Both of these frequencies facilitate bone growth and fracture healing.

Purring in these frequencies also provides pain relief and the lessening of breathlessness and inflammation. Researchers believe that the healing power of the purr can help with infections, swelling and pain, muscle growth and repair, tendon repair and joint mobility

As you can see from this post, having a cat in your home becomes a force for good. Help yourself to better health and help your cat live a long, happy life. In this way you will both receive your rewards.

References I used for this post


4 thoughts on “Have You Learned The Health Benefits From Having A Cat?”

  1. Thank you for the references.

    A few years ago my husband Geoff and I did an experiment measuring blood pressure with a cat on the subject’s lap, and without. The results were that BP is lower with the cat on the subject’s lap. Then we tried it while looking at a picture of a cat. Same result. Conclusion: Cats can lower blood pressure significantly. Of course, this wasn’t very scientific, and we certainly did not have a blind control, but it demonstrated to our satisfaction that our little furry buddies were helping our health.


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