Why Owning a Cat Benefits Your Well-being

Anyone who owns a cat knows the loving bond that can form between owner and pet, but scientific research now shows just how powerful this bond can be. For thousands of years, humans have taken in and looked after unwell and disabled animals. However, it appears that the potential for healing can be reciprocated by our feline companions.

Effects on Mental Well-being

Cat Wheelchair DanetteIf you’re an animal lover, you are already aware that owning a cat will bring joy into your life. But have you ever stopped to wonder exactly why this is the case? Well firstly, there’s the benefit of companionship for pet owners. People who live alone can often go for long periods of time without interacting with other people. With everything available online and delivered directly to your door, there are fewer reasons to head outside. However, socialization is an essential human need which is important for psychological satisfaction.

Furthermore, simply having a cat will make human interaction easier. It gives other people more motivation to come and visit, plus it’s a great conversation starter and something to bond over.

There is also the calming effect cats can have. After a stressful day at work, a few minutes stroking your cat will lower stress levels and anxiety. This is because this kind of interaction releases oxytocin, building feelings of trust and love. Cats are also low maintenance, which translates to largely stress-free pet ownership.

Positive Physical Effects

Cat GroomingBelieve it or not, there are measurable physical changes that come with owning a cat! For instance, by bringing in fur and pet-related germs, cats help to build the owner’s immune system. This ultimately makes it easier to fight off diseases and infections that may arise.

Those who own cats have been shown to have lower cholesterol levels, as well as lower blood pressure. This correlation suggests that owning a cat is having a physical effect on the health of your body. As a result, the chances of dying from a stroke, heart attack, or liver and kidney disease may be significantly decreased, should you choose to adopt a cat. Lower cholesterol levels also help prevent the emergence of type 2 diabetes.

One study has suggested that people who own cats are up to 40% less likely to die of a heart attack than those who do not.

Is Cat Ownership for You?

If you’ve ever been on the fence about whether it’s worth your time to get a cat, there is now plenty of scientific research to help make the decision. Cats help to lower poor mental health arising from loneliness, anxiety and stress, whilst also improving physical well-being.

If you are thinking of finding a cat to love, please consider adopting one from a local shelter or rescue. If you are considering adopting a disabled cat, here are some things to keep in mind.

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6 Comments

  1. I am thinking of getting a cat and I am glad that I found this article because I did not know that there are so many benefits! You make a great point that it helps with mental health because they will provide me with companionship and help me to reduce stress and anxiety. The fact that cats have a calming effect will help me to calm down after a long day at work and school.

  2. I’ve been feeling rather depressed, so I’ve been wondering if I should get a pet. It’s really cool that cats are low maintenance and help build your immune system. My little brother is very sensitive to allergens, so what kind of cat has hair instead of fur?

  3. I never knew that an act as simple as stroking a cat can release oxytocin in your body, which is a chemical that triggers feelings of calmness and happiness. My wife and I have been considering getting our daughter a cat for her birthday, and she has been stressed recently about school. After reading your article, I will be sure to tell my wife that a cat might help our daughter be less stressed!

  4. My mother has been living alone for nearly five years. She has mentioned that she would love a pet some time so she can feel purposeful and have something with her to love. I like what you wrote about how beneficial cats are for people who live alone. It is true what you said about how people who live alone can go a long time without interaction. I agree that a cat can give this interaction. We will start looking for her companion before the end of the month.

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