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benefits of having a cat

30 Proven Benefits of Having a Cat: Enjoy Better Health and Be Happier!

Cats make great companions and can provide a number of benefits for their owners. For example, research has shown that spending time with a cat can help lower blood pressure and reduce stress. Cats also make good exercise partners. Playing with them can help you get up and moving around more.

In addition, cats can be beneficial for your mental health. Studies have shown that owning a cat can help reduce anxiety and loneliness, all while providing a sense of purpose and satisfaction as well. Cats make great therapy partners, comforting you in times of need and providing entertainment to make you smile.

So if you’re looking for a furry friend to help improve your health and well-being, a cat could be the perfect pet for you.

happy benefits

1 - Cats Make You Happy

It’s no secret that cats can make us feel good. After all, they’re known for being loving and affectionate companions. But did you know that owning a cat can actually have some serious benefits for your mental health?

One study conducted by the University of Missouri found that people who owned cats were less likely to experience depression than those who didn’t own any pets at all. In fact, the benefits of cat ownership were so significant that the study’s authors concluded “cats may be as effective as antidepressant medication in the treatment of depression.”

Another study from Japan found that spending time with cats can help reduce stress and anxiety. So if you’re feeling overwhelmed, spending some time with your feline friend could offer the relief you need to turn that frown upside down.

less stress benefit

2 - Cats Help Reduce Stress

We all know spending time with cats can be relaxing. But did you know cats can actually help reduce stress levels in the body?

A study conducted by the National Institutes of Health found that people who spent time with cats had lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol in their bodies.

Another study conducted by the University of Minnesota found that people who spent time with cats had lower blood pressure and heart rate, both of which are indicators of stress.

fewer allergies benefit

3 - Cat Exposure May Lead to Fewer Allergies

For those parents who are allergic to cats, there may be a bright future for your children according to a 2006 study by the Henry Ford Hospital. They initially found that children who were exposed to cats early in life are less likely to develop allergies later on.

Participants in the study who were exposed to cats before the age of one had a 67% lower chance of developing cat allergies, while those between the ages of one and four had a 50% less chance.

While the study failed to find early cat exposure prevented allergies altogether, it did show those who were exposed to cats early on in life were significantly less likely to have asthma and other allergies as they got older.

eco-friendly benefits

4 - Cats are Eco-Friendly

While dogs may happen to be the more popular pet, those who are serious about saving our planet should know that cats are more environmentally friendly than their canine counterparts.

A 2009 study conducted by the University of California found that the average cat produces about one-third of the greenhouse gases that a dog does.

This is due to the fact that cats are obligate carnivores, meaning their bodies are designed to digest and use only animal-based proteins. This efficient diet allows them to get all the nutrients they need while requiring fewer resources.

live longer benefit

5 - You Will Live Longer

If you’re looking for a pet to help you live a long and healthy life, cat are a great choice. A study conducted by the American Heart Association found that people who owned cats were 40% less likely to die of a heart attack than those who didn’t own any pets found and also 30% less likely to die from heart disease.

This is terrific news for cat owners since heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States.

loyal cat

6 - Gaining Their Trust and Loyalty

If you’re looking for a pet who will be a loving companion, a cat is a terrific choice. Cats form strong bonds with their owners and will be there for you when others are not.

One study conducted by the Waltham Centre for Pet Nutrition found that cats form attachments to their owners much like babies do with their parents. In other words, cats see their owners as a source of safety and security.

This bond is so strong that cats have even been known to grieve when their owners pass away. A study conducted by the University of California found that cats showed signs of depression and anxiety when they were separated from their owners.

That is amazing evidence of cats extreme loyalty and unconditional love for their owners.

low maintenance benefits

7 - The Best Low Maintenance Pet

Cats need less upkeep than other pets. They don’t need to be taken for walks. Tasks like grooming and using the litter box require very little time, if any at all from you.

They typically eat food by occasionally grazing throughout the day, so you don’t have to worry about feeding them set meals at specific times.

All of this means that cats are much easier to take care of than other pets like dogs, rabbits, and even some reptiles.

smarter benefits

8 - Cat Owners are Smarter

A study conducted by the University of Edinburgh found that people who own cats are actually smarter than those who don’t.

The study looked at a variety of factors, including IQ scores, and found that cat owners scored higher than non-cat owners on measures of mental ability.

Researchers believe that it may be due to the fact that cat ownership requires a certain level of responsibility.

A cat owner tends to have higher levels of education than dog owners as well.

mental health benefits

9 - They Can Improve Mental Health

Owning a cat can have a positive effect on your mental health.

A 2013 study conducted by the University of London found that people who owned cats were less likely to experience depression than those who didn’t own any pets.

Study participants who owned cats also had lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol in their bodies.

This is believed to be due to the fact that cats offer companionship and unconditional love, which can help improve mental health. The benefits of having a cat are far-reaching and can have a positive impact on all aspects of your life.

staying active benefits

10 - Cats Help You Stay Active

While they may not need to be taken for walks, cats still require some exercise. Playing with your cat can help you stay active and fit.

A study conducted by the Journal of Physical Activity and Health found that people who owned cats were more likely to meet recommended levels of physical activity than those who didn’t own any pets.

In addition, having a cat can also encourage you to get out and explore your neighborhood. Cats love to roam and explore, so taking them for a walk or hike can be a great way to get some fresh air and exercise.

watch cute cats

11 - Cats are Cute and Fun to Watch

Let’s face it, cats are just plain cute. They’re small, fluffy, and have a lot of personality.

They’re also a lot of fun to watch. Whether they’re chasing a toy or taking a nap, cats always seem to be doing something interesting.

Their cute antics can help relieve stress and provide a much needed dose of laughter.

Watching your cat play is definitely a great way to relax and de-stress after a long day.

cat quiet as mouse

12 - They're Quiet as a Church Mouse

Compared to other pets, cats are relatively quiet. They don’t bark or make other loud noises, which can be a major benefit for people who live in apartments or small homes.

Their meows are normally soft and gentle, and they usually only meow when they need to. This makes them perfect for people who want a pet that won’t disturb their neighbors.

Cats also tend to be more independent than other pets, so they’re not as likely to demand your attention as much. This can be convenient for people who live a less active lifestyle.

cat in small space

13 - Cats Don't Need a Lot of Space

Cats are known for being relatively small and compact creatures. This makes them a superior choice for those who live in urban areas or don’t have a lot of extra space.

If you know anything about cats, you’ve probably seen them squeeze into boxes and cabinets. They are experts at fitting into tight spaces.

This means that they don’t require a lot of room to live comfortably. This can be beneficial for those who live in smaller homes or apartments.

no cleaning benefit

14 - Cleaning is Not Required

Compared to other pets, cats are relatively clean creatures. They groom themselves regularly and typically don’t make too much of a mess.

This can be a major benefit for people who don’t want to deal with a lot of pet hair. Be sure to pick a cat with short fur if you’re looking for a particularly low maintenance pet.

A study conducted by the National Institutes of Health found that cats can actually help reduce the levels of bacteria in your home. This is due to the fact that cats have a very high level of hygiene and spend a lot of time grooming themselves.

train cat benefit

15 - They Can Actually be Trained

Cats are known for being intelligent creatures, and seem to quickly learn a variety of tricks. This is great for people who want a pet that’s interactive and fun to be around.

Tricks like using the litter box, coming when called, and playing fetch are all possible with a little patience and training.

Furthermore, training your cat can also help you bond with them and build a stronger relationship.

first pet cat

16 - Cats are the Purr-fect First Pet

If you’re looking for a pet, but you aren’t sure if you’re ready for the commitment, a cat should be your obvious choice. They’re relatively low maintenance and don’t require a lot of time or attention.

Being independent, relatively quiet, and not needing a lot of space, cats make the perfect first pet. Dogs are generally high energy and require too much attention for first-time pet owners.

Cats, on the other hand, are more low-key and can be left alone for longer periods of time. This is nice for people who are new to pet ownership or who are looking for a pet that is less demanding.

purring cat

17 - A Cat's Purr Can Heal

The sound of a cat purring has been shown to have healing benefits. One study found that the frequency of a cat’s purr is similar to the frequency of vibrations used in some types of physical therapy, which can help heal bones and muscles.

Another study conducted by the National Institutes of Health found that the sound of purring had a calming effect on the nervous system, which can help reduce stress. In addition, the researchers also found cat purring helps lower blood pressure and improve cholesterol levels.

Overall, the sound of a cat purring has been shown to have positive benefits for both the cat and the owner. If you are looking for a way to reduce stress and improve your health, consider getting a cat. Who knows, you may even find that the sound of your cat purring helps heal you!

emotional support cat

18 - Emotional Support (Therapy Cats)

If you suffer from anxiety, depression, or other mental health issues, a cat can be a great source of emotional support. Studies have shown that petting a cat can help reduce anxiety and improve mood.

While therapy dogs are more commonly known, therapy cats can be just as effective at providing comfort and healing.

In fact, cats are now being used as therapy animals in a variety of settings, such as hospitals, nursing homes, and schools.

A study conducted by the National Institutes of Health found that people who spent time with therapy cats had lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol in their bodies.

Another study conducted by the University of Minnesota found that people who spent time with therapy cats had lower blood pressure and heart rate, both of which are indicators of stress.

If you’re looking for a pet who will offer emotional support, cats are a magnificent option.

man with cat

19 - Woman Like Men Who Have Cats

It turns out that women are attracted to men who have cats. A study conducted by the University of Texas found that women perceived men with cats as more sensitive and open than those who didn’t own cats.

In the study, participants were shown pictures of men, some with cats and some without. The participants were then asked to rate the men on various attributes, including intelligence, attractiveness, and sensitivity. The results showed men with cats were rated higher on these attributes than the men without cats.

So, if you’re a single guy looking for love, get yourself a cat! It could be the key to your dating success.

sleep better benefit

20 - You'll Sleep Better

If you’re looking for a way to improve your sleep, owning a cat may be the answer. One study conducted by the Mayo Clinic found that people who slept with cats got better sleep than those who didn’t.

The participants in the study were asked to rate their sleep quality on a scale of 1 to 10. The results showed that those who slept with cats had an average score of 8.1, while those who didn’t sleep with cats had an average score of 7.9.

In addition, the participants who slept with cats also reportedly slept an average of 20 minutes longer than those who didn’t have cats.

Cats seem to emit a calming effect which helps you relax and fall asleep more easily. Having a cat in your bedroom can also help you feel safe and secure, which may further improve your sleep.

Finally, cats also tend to sleep a lot, so they can be a good sleeping companion.

no loneliness with cats

21 - No More Loneliness

It’s no secret that one of the benefits of having a cat is companionship. In fact, research has shown that owning a cat can help reduce feelings of loneliness and isolation.

A study conducted by the University of London found that people who owned cats were less likely to feel lonely than those who didn’t own cats.

The participants in the study were asked to rate their loneliness on a scale of 1 to 10. The results showed that those who owned cats had an average score of 2.9, while those who didn’t own cats had an average score of 3.4.

Another study by the same researchers looked specifically at the benefits of older adults having a cat and found that those who owned cats were less likely to report feelings of loneliness than those who did not own any feline friends.

cats save lives

22 - Cats Can Save Lives

  • When disaster strikes, cats have often been instrumental in helping their humans escape to safety. In 2013, a cat named Simon saved his owner from a gas leak by crying and scratching at her door until she woke up and smelled the gas. She was able to get out of the house and call for help before the situation became dangerous.

  • Another cat named Jasper alerted his owner to a fire in the house next door by meowing and scratching at her bedroom door. She woke up and was able to call the fire department, which saved the lives of her neighbors.

  • Cats have also been known to save their humans from health crises. In 2004, a cat named Oscar gained fame for his ability to predict when elderly patients in a nursing home were going to die. He would curl up next to them and purr, and he was right about almost every case!

  • Did you hear about the cat in New York who saved his owner from a burglar? The burglar was trying to break into the apartment, but the cat meowed so loudly that the owner woke up and scared the burglar away.

  • A cat named Mixie saved her owner from a stroke by meowing and pawing at his face until he woke up and realized something was wrong.

  • This cat actually saved two lives! A woman in England named Julie was about to commit suicide by jumping off a bridge. But before she could, a cat named Freddy ran after her and grabbed onto her leg with his teeth. She was so surprised that she stopped to pet him, and then decided not to jump.

  • The other life that Freddy saved was that of his owner, who was very depressed and had stopped taking care of himself. After Freddy came into his life, the man started taking better care of himself and even got a job!

special needs children

23 - They Can Help Special Needs Children

Many kids with medical conditions can benefit from having a cat as a pet. From autism to cancer, there are a number of ways cats can help these children with therapeutic recovery and emotional support.

Autism

One of the benefits of having a cat is that they can provide companionship and love to children with autism.

A study conducted by the University of Missouri found that children with autism who interacted with cats had significantly lower levels of anxiety and stress than those who did not interact with cats.

Another study from the same university found that children with autism who had a pet cat also had improved social skills and were more likely to initiate contact with others.

Cancer

Cats can also be therapeutic for children with cancer.

A study from the University of Colorado revealed that children with cancer had reduced levels of anxiety and stress about their situation with a therapy cat in the room.

Lower heart rates and blood pressure were also reported in the children during their interactions with cats.

Another study by St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital found that children with cancer who interacted with therapy cats had improved mental and emotional health.

These same children also had higher levels of self-esteem and self-confidence.

ADHD

Cat have been known to help children with ADHD focus and concentrate.

A University of Texas study concluded that children with ADHD who interacted with therapy cats had improved attention spans and were better able to focus on tasks.

A following study from the same university found that children with ADHD who had a cat improved their social skills and were more likely to initiate contact with others, while showing decreased hyperactivity and impulsivity as well.

cat senior benefits

24 - Great for Senior Citizens

Living alone can be difficult, especially for seniors. Having a cat can provide much-needed companionship and love. In fact, research has shown that owning a cat can have several benefits for seniors, including reducing stress, improving heart health, and providing social support.

One study found that seniors who owned cats had lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol than those who did not own cats. Cortisol is a hormone that is released in response to stress and can have negative health effects, such as high blood pressure and weakened immunity. Therefore, reducing stress levels through cat ownership may help improve a senior’s overall health.

Another study conducted by the American Heart Association found that seniors who owned cats were 30% less likely to die of a heart attack.

Taking care of a cat can also encourage seniors to get regular exercise through playtime and grooming. In addition, seniors with cats are more likely to eat healthy meals on a regular basis.

Finally, research has shown that seniors are more social because cats give them companionship and love. Cats often develop strong bonds with their senior humans and often provide extensive emotional support.

Overall, owning a cat can have numerous benefits for older adults. If you are a senior citizen who wants to get a cat, be sure to speak with your doctor first to make sure that it is the right decision for you.

long time cat

25 - They Will be Around for a Long Time

Cats have a relatively long lifespan, typically living from 10 to as much as 20 years these days. This is nice for people who would like to have a cat in their life for many years to come.

Cats typically don’t experience many health problems as they age, so they tend to be low maintenance pets. That makes them perfect for children who are still learning how to take care of animals and seniors who may not be able to handle a high-maintenance pet.

Long-term benefits of having a cat around include:

  • They will be there to provide companionship as you age.

  • You won’t have to go through the process of rehoming or finding a new pet as often.

  • They can provide years of enjoyment, love, and laughter.

cat listening

26 - Being Fantastic Listeners

If you need someone to talk to, a cat will always lend a furry ear. In fact, studies have shown that talking to a cat can reduce stress and anxiety.

Cats are an awesome audience because they provide unconditional love and support. When you talk to a cat, they do not judge you or offer advice. Instead, they simply listen and provide emotional support. This can be incredibly beneficial for people who are dealing with an unpleasant period in their life.

Cats are also known for their calming presence. Spending time with a gentle and easy-going cat can help you feel more comfortable and relaxed as well.

hunter cat

27 - They're Excellent Hunters

While most cats these days are indoor pets, they still have the instinct to hunt. This means that they can help keep your home free of rodents and other pests.

This hunting instinct comes from their wild ancestors. Cats are natural predators and have a strong desire to hunt. When they see a small animal, such as a mouse or rat, their instinct is to pounce and kill it.

Being equipped with sharp claws and teeth enables cats to take down their prey quickly and efficiently. They also have superb night vision, which allows them to see well in low-light conditions.

Whether they stay indoors or are allowed to roam outdoors, cats have the skills and ability to be top-notch hunters.

cat boosts mood

28 - Boost Your Mood

In addition to reducing stress and anxiety, owning a cat can also help boost your mood. That comes in handy when you’re feeling down or having a bad day.

Cats have the ability to make even the gloomiest of days seem a little brighter. They are known for their calming and therapeutic nature. Spending time with a cat can help you feel more relaxed and at ease.

Researchers found that people who interacted with cats had higher levels of the happy hormone oxytocin. This means that cats can actually make you feel optimistic and more content.

Studies suggest cats can have a positive effect on your mood, which can greatly benefit people who suffer from depression or other mental health conditions.

lower blood pressure

29 - Help Lower Your Blood Pressure

If you have high blood pressure, owning a cat could help you get it under control. A study published in the Journal of Vascular and Interventional Neurology found that people with hypertension who owned cats had lower blood pressure.

This study looked at 100 people with hypertension. Half of the participants owned cats while the other half did not. The cat owners had significantly lower blood pressure by the end of their participation.

The study found that the benefits of owning a cat were comparable to those of smoking cessation and exercise. That’s pretty darned impressive results coming from a furry little friend.

cat video benefits

30 - Watching Cat Videos Makes You Feel Good

Who doesn’t love watching cat videos? It turns out that this simple pleasure can actually have some benefits. A study published in PLOS ONE found that watching cat videos can boost energy and mood.

The study asked participants to watch either cat videos or non-cat related videos. The people were then asked to rate their energy levels and moods. The results showed those who watched the cat videos had significantly higher energy levels and better moods than those who watched the non-cat videos.

Final Thoughts

Overall, there are many other benefits of having a cat we haven’t listed here. Yes, they make great listening companions, help control pests, and may even lower your blood pressure.

So, next time a cat rubs up against you or jumps into your lap for a cuddle, you will understand that it’s seeking out social contact for the benefit of feeling good. In short, cats are adorable little furballs with some pretty quirky behaviors but, that’s what makes them so lovable to us!

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