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What are the benefits of owning a cat

Good question! Actually, when I brainstormed with my cats and googled “benefits of cat ownership” I came up with lots of stuff. I’m going to use bullets to list my points.

  • cats offer their owners unconditional love and, if the cat is happy and well-treated, it will be a loyal and loving friend with whom you may develop a close bond.
  • petting a cat can lower your blood pressure by about 10 basis points.
  • cat owners have a lower risk of heart disease because cats help people to reduce their triglyceride and cholesterol levels; a reduction of these levels also helps to reduce risks for strokes, type 2 diabetes, liver and kidney disease.
  • cats help to reduce stress and anxiety and promote a positive mental outlook while reducing negativity, and boost energy (I noted this also in my pet therapy post in relation to the effect our cats have on nursing home residents). This can even happen while watching cats or cat videos
  • the purring of a cat helps your body to heal bones, tendons, and muscles.
  • improved sleep: when you lie down and go to bed and a cat cuddles up to you you will sleep more soundly (my Velvet has often put me to sleep after lunch when she wants to lie with me and I end up napping).(Mayo Clinic)
  • if you are a single male and are looking for a female, researcher Dr. June Nicolls notes that 90% of single women look favorably on a man with a cat as he is seen as being nicer and more caring.
  • cats and their actions are conversation starters, so cats help to promote sociability.
  • cats help reduce loneliness.
  • playing with a cat is active exercise that is physically beneficial to the owner - for example I walk up and down our hall for a good 10 minutes whenever Peach decides it’s time to play with his catnip mouse or his ball with a bell inside: I’m the one going back and forth to get the toy and throw it again; true he runs like the wind in his mock hunting mode, but he needs me to keep throwing the toy and that means I cover quite a bit of ground during our games.
  • if a cat lives in your house young children exposed to it will grow up having fewer allergies to common allergens such as ragweed, dust mites, and grass. (National Institutes of Health)
  • cats are very empathetic; they can sense good and bad vibes and can even sense if there is something wrong with you. Velvet, for example, can tell if we have a sore knee or shoulder and will cuddle up to that spot, putting her body’s warmth against it.
  • cats are very bright and, while they don’t think like dogs and don’t think like people their minds are always on the go and researchers are only beginning to tap into what is going on inside their heads, so if you want a smart pet, consider a cat.
  • cats are quite trainable, especially in terms of being trained to enjoy car rides, enjoy their carriers, taking pills, being groomed, walking in harness on a leash and several other things you might not have thought a cat might not mind - and, yes, they can also be taught to roll over, sit, and jump through hoops, though the last one requires a fair bit of work. (John Bradshaw and Sarah Ellis, The Trainable Cat)
  • cats help people cope: they help people cope with their problems and with mourning/death as it is easier to talk with your pet than people and it allows feelings to be expressed and received non-judgmentally.
  • interactions with cats provide a calming effect on people through the release of oxytocin, a human hormone associated with feelings of love and trust.
  • cats fulfill the need for companionship, especially for women, and they will remember kind acts and try to return them later.
  • cats may save your life or warn you of trouble - there are plenty of stories about cats warning their humans in advance of seizures, gas leaks and other situations. Our Sasha warned us about water coming into our basement so that we could move things before the water got too high.
  • owning a cat can provide a person with mental stimulation and education as you learn about their various meows and other sounds, watch their body language to pick up communication, and try to determine what human words they understand.
  • lastly, cats are very entertaining - watching them chase and beat up toys, going through the so-called “cat crazies”, seeing them hide in boxes, watching them climb scratching posts or other tall objects, the agility and speed a cat possesses is truly amazing to watch.

Given all of these benefits, is it any wonder why cats have now replaced dogs as the Number One Pet in the world?

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