27 Surprising Health And Lovely Benefits Of Owning A Cat

For the human being, the benefits of owning a cat are many and extraordinary, and that's because the cat is nothing short of miraculous. The capabilities of the domestic cat have been hailed as magical to us mundane humans.

Several scientific studies have been conducted for the sake of understanding why and how many ways the typical house cat improves human lives, and although the results are mind boggling, some findings can't be explained with science.

All results are accepted and without surprise, by cat owners and that's because they have experienced the brilliance of cats firsthand. Cat owners know that house cats are a lot of things, but common is not one of them.

benefits of owning a cat infographic

1. Cats Help You Make New Friends

cats help us make new friends

The study called "The Pet Factor" has shown that pets act as catalysts for their owners to form friendships with other pet owners. Friendships among pet owners are more likely to happen with each other than with non-pet owners.

This study was to investigate pets and their indirect function as helpers for their owners in acquiring human social bonding, the forming of friendships, and social support networks. The benefits of having a cat, in itself, is an automatic conversation initiator and can coax the owner to try and socialize with other cat owners.

A close bond is naturally present between cat owners, which is not only based on their love for their cats but also common personality traits that they share that would contribute to their compatibility.

Cat owners are considered mavericks, but introverted, sensitive and open-minded. The open-mindedness could involve an appreciation for art, unique ideas, unconventional beliefs, adventure, and imagination.​

2. Cats Reduce Your Feelings of Loneliness​

One of the good things about cats is that cats are better listeners than our friends when we want to talk about our problems. Cats make us feel loved and wanted when they are at the door to welcome us home after we've been gone.

The bond that develops between a cat and its human can provide more than enough companionship and social interaction to drive off loneliness. Even though cats are stereotyped as being aloof and distant, studies have shown that cats initiate contact with humans the majority of the time and they will reciprocate kindnesses that have been shown to them.

A survey was conducted in the United Kingdom, of 500 cat owners 55 years old and over with the results showing that 62 percent claimed that having a cat helped them conquer loneliness and 75 percent said they would rather talk to their cat about important things than with a friend or significant other.​

3. Cats Will help You Cope With Problems and Tragedies​

cats help you cope with problem

The pain and despair experienced when going through any crisis are lightened when having your cat by your side. When mourning a loss of any kind, whether it's divorce, the death of a loved one, or a lost job, you're not facing the predicament alone.

Cats can give you the needed emotional support when trying to cope with your situation and help you recover from your plight quicker. People claim that when going through stressful situations, they like talking to their cats when working out their feelings because cats can't respond nor do they judge them and it is easier than talking to another human.

A cat also has the ability to sense your moods and instinctively know when you need the comfort, strength, and love. A cat advantage is that they are loyal and will always be there for you when you need them.​

4. Cats Help Find a Significant Other For You​

couple with a cat

As it has been shown that cats can help you make friends, they can also help you find a significant other. It has been proven that the ownership of a cat in itself opens up the lines of communication with other cat owners.

One study discovered that women were more attracted to men who owned cats because that implies sensitivity and intelligence, along with other personality traits that they would have in common and contribute to their compatibility, such as being introverted and open-minded.

A British poll discovered that 82 percent of the women tested claimed that they are more attracted to men who like animals and 90 percent of the single women tested said that men who own a cat are kinder than other men. Cats can attract like-minded mates for you but don't get a cat just for the sake of snagging a potential partner. Get a cat because there are so many other benefits of owning a cat.​

5. Cats Act as Your Companion​

girl and cat playing

There are many reasons to own a cat, but the most common one is for the companionship that cats provide humans. People who have never had a cat are inexperienced concerning the nature of cats because they believe cats are unsocial pets.

Undoubtedly, they have never received affection from a cat. Their affection, along with their loyalty, can discredit the myth of being unsocial. Contrary to that long-held belief that cats are detached and solitary, cats are not the reclusive animals they are believed to be.

Humans aren't the best companions to have, and cats can easily surpass humans in being the better companion. Cats don't judge, lecture, or talk, for that matter. They listen and provide comfort and love.

According to a survey conducted in the United Kingdom, 100 cat owners aged 13 years and under were questioned on their feelings about their cats. Eighty-one percent said they would rather talk to their cats about their feelings and experiences than talk to friends or parents and 87 percent consider their cat as a close friend.​

6. Cats Lower Risk of Having a Cardiovascular Disease​

​Cardiovascular disease is an affliction of the heart and blood vessels. What does this disease have to do with owning a cat? Research has been conducted on the relationship between cats, and the prevention of cardiovascular disease and some strange discoveries have been made.

The research included examining almost 4,500 men and women, ranging in age from 30 to 75, as a part of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Study that took place in the 1970s.

It was discovered that over half of the participants who showed no presence of any cardiovascular disease had owned a cat sometime in their lives. When the subjects were being examined, other factors for the detection of cardiovascular disease were also taken into consideration such as age, race, gender, and lifestyle choices that would contribute to the disease like smoking.

Still, the researchers couldn't figure out the connection between cat ownership and the lack of cardiovascular disease. The researchers could find no such correlation for people who had owned dogs. There are health benefits of owning a cat.

7. Cats Help Reduce the Risk of Heart Attack​

The Stroke Institute of the University of Minnesota conducted a study on people who are likely to suffer from heart attacks, and the results revealed that individuals who don't own pets have a 30 to 40 percent increased likelihood to die of heart attack than pet owners.

Further exploration into the matter of cat owners' health suggests that in comparison to other pet owners' health, cat owners have the lowest chance of having heart attacks. Having any pet is beneficial for your heart health, but it is the cat, that lowers stress levels.

The cat may be responsible for this occurrence for two reasons. A less stressing thing could be that cats don't need as much effort for their care as dogs. Another of the cat advantages that may contribute to the lowering of the thing that contributes heavily to the onset of heart attack is that to pet a cat is calming and therapeutic, reducing stress and blood pressure.​

​8. Cats Help Improve Our Immune Function

The outcome of being regularly exposed to pet dander and fur when living with a cat results in increased resistance to illnesses because the immune system is strengthened. Immune system chemicals, known as immunoglobulin A or antibodies, are produced at higher levels contributing to a stronger immune system that is insusceptible to the effects of microscopic invaders.

It has also been shown that children who live with a cat tend to miss a lesser amount of school days a year than those who don't and the main reason is that their immune system tends to be more enduring and able to fight off illness.​

9. Cats Decrease Chance of Developing Allergies

A study was posted by the National Institutes of Health in 2002 that determined children under a year old, who are regularly exposed to cats as pets have a slimmer chance of developing pet allergies and other allergies as they grow up.

This does not apply to older children and adults. Authorities claim that infants who have continuous exposure to pet allergens and bacterias will have healthier immune systems because their bodies have become accustomed to allergens, which aids in building up a natural immunity.

Authorities also claim that one of the benefits of cats is that when babies have consistent exposure to them, it seems to help build a resistance to other types of allergens such as ragweed, grass and dust mites, as well.

10. Cats Help Prevent Asthma in Children

Pet allergies are one of the most common causes of the onset of asthma, so it doesn't make sense that exposing babies to cats will prevent asthma from occurring in them. Researchers have studied the effects of having cats living with children who have a predisposition for becoming asthmatic.

Their findings involving the prevention of asthma follow the same theory about pet allergies and forming an immunity to them by consistently subjecting babies to cats. They found that those children were less likely to develop asthma as they matured.

There is an exception where that theory won't tend to work, and that is in babies whose mothers have an allergic reaction to cats. Those children are three times more inclined to becoming asthmatic after consistently being in the presence of cats.

11. Cats Help Reduce Our Blood Pressure

One of the benefits of owning a cat is that they can help with lowering blood pressure. Petting a cat is a restorative and relaxing way to reduce stress and anxiety, therefore, lowering blood pressure.

The calming effect of owning and petting a cat prompts the brain to release oxytocin, the hormone known for encouraging social bonding and regulating anxiety by inducing feelings of love.

It is also a known fact proven by recent studies that the pitch of a cat's purr will enhance healing in humans, depending on how high or low the pitch of the purr. Evidently, petting a cat and being nearby of its purr works wonders for the health of humans.

In a study observing 240 married couples, couples who owned cats had lower blood pressure and heart rates than the couples who didn't.

12. Cats Help Lower Our Triglycerides and Cholesterol

High cholesterol and triglyceride levels lead to heart disease and are also indicative of possible occurrences of type 2 diabetes, liver disease, kidney disease and a higher likelihood of stroke.

Cats as pets can benefit humans where this issue is concerned. The Medical Journal of Australia published results of a study conducted in which pet owners were tested, and it was found that they have lower triglyceride levels, cholesterol levels, and lower blood pressure than non-pet people.

There is no recognized correlation between owning pets and the healthier state of pet owners. It is speculated that a healthier lifestyle involved with owning a pet could be a reason. Another reason is that pet owners are more conscientious of their health, so they will be in good shape to be able to take care of their pets.

13. Cats Help Reduce Our Feelings of Stress and Anxiety

funny cat

Cats are a tranquil influence on humans' lives, and studies have concluded that petting a cat will help ease feelings of stress and anxiety or when there is the anticipation of facing those things.

Owning a cat is comforting, and that is partly because they induce the release of calming chemicals in the body of their human. One of the good things about cats is that they act as catalysts to prompt their owners' brains to release higher levels of serotonin, a natural chemical that emulates happiness and wellness, which conversely causes cortisol production to go down.

Raised cortisol levels are correlated to the raising of blood pressure, leading to hypertension, which is a result of perpetually high blood pressure. Researchers also believe that cats have a more relaxing effect on their owners than any other animal.​

14. Cats Can Help Save Our Life​

For as long as cats have been domesticated, they have been chastised for being aloof, indifferent toward humans and not being very bright. Apparently, cats have become known by this reputation because people who don't have any experience with them have unjustly given it to them.

This characterization couldn't be further from the truth. There are several benefits of having a cat, but this advantage goes above and beyond for a pet. It has been confirmed, several times, which cats are very caring, supportive, and highly intelligent, as well as having proved to be very heroic, selfless and devoted animals.

It has been documented, that cats have saved several human lives. Cats have detected the onset of epileptic seizures, thus informing and preparing their owners for a seizure that was about to happen.

Cats have saved their owners from gas leaks and exploding gas pipes inside their houses. There are several cats on record that have prevented their owners' deaths by rescuing them from house fires, and one cat going as far as dialing 911 to save its humans.

Cats have been known to have the ability to detect cancer in their owners and warn of impending heart attacks. Remember, also, the heroic cats who lend their support, care, loyalty, and love to injured or sick people.​

​15. Purring Can Calm Your Nerves and Heal You

The cat's purr can produce sound and vibrations ranging from 20-140Hz and is known to be medically therapeutic in many ways. Several studies have found that the sound patterns of a cat's purr, as well as their frequency, can benefit both cats and humans.

A cat’s purr can lower stress levels and blood pressure in their owners. Studies have also shown that the purr can reduce infection, heal soft tissues like muscles, ligaments, and tendons, bring down inflammation.

Strengthen bones, and combat depression. The purr also has a restorative advantage for Alzheimer’s patients by lessening anxiety and agitation and raising physical activity levels. Their purr is one of the health benefits of owning a cat that is truly priceless.​

16. Cats Improve Our Mood Greatly​

One of the many cat advantages is that they can improve your mood. To significantly improve your mood, spend 15 to 30 minutes of your time with your cat. Your stress or anxiety levels will be greatly reduced, and you will feel calmer.

In the time you spend with your cat, your body will manifest positive physical changes which will reflect on your mood and your overall health. Your brain will release beneficial chemicals, which include oxytocin, serotonin, and dopamine, all the while your cortisol levels will drop.

When you are feeling low, your cat will instinctively know it and comfort you until they know you feel better. Your cat is responsible for prompting your brain to release chemicals that give you a sense of well-being, such as oxytocin--love hormone, serotonin-- a neurotransmitter that influences relaxation, happiness, and stabilization of the immune system, and dopamine-- a neurotransmitter that controls the brain's pleasure and reward centers.​

17. Cats Help Fight Depression​

The benefits of petting a cat aren't limited to stress and anxiety relief. Petting a cat can also uplift moods and be a remedial way to deal with depression disorders for those who grapple with them. In fact, it has been discovered that depressed people become increasingly social and their depression decreases when they are in the presence of cats.

Although cats can be instrumental in improving depression symptoms, their placid and mellow traits can be communicable to their owners in a symbiotic way, in other words, taking the characteristics of their cats and making them, their own.

The fact that cats love their humans unconditionally can help them deal with and overcome depression. Perhaps the best way that cats can help is that they seem to be highly sensitive to people who don’t feel well and are comforting and supportive for them when they need it, for as long as they need. That is one of many good reasons to own a cat.​

​18. Cats Teach Us About Ourselves

Perhaps we don't know ourselves as well as we should, but our choice of pet reveals some things about our personality. For example, cat owners are proven to be quiet and introverted.

They also prove themselves to be trustworthy and they also trust other people. Cat owners aren't as manipulative and are more modest than other pet owners. Like the cat, cat owners also tend to be solitary, intelligent, and highly sensitive.

Cat lovers score higher in categories such as imaginativeness, creativity, open-mindedness, adventurousness, and having unconventional beliefs. Cat owners, much like cats, are independent, have minds of their own and are considered to be free spirits.​

19. Cats Help People With Autism

People who have autism find communicating with other people to be awkward, but pet therapy has helped them make large strides in learning to interact and learn other important skills socially.

Many people with autism find it easier to connect with animals than with people, so the animals become a means for them to communicate. A 2012 French study monitored 40 autistic children connecting with their family pets, observing that the children were calmer and were able to socialize in an easier manner than autistic children without pets.

It has been shown that working with pets helps autistic people gain confidence in themselves to speak to other people. For children, it is soothing for them to work with animals, thus allowing them to be more social and showing longer attention spans because animals were able to hold their interest.

Studies have also shown that one of the benefits of cats is to work with autistic children because they were calmer, especially since petting cats increases the production of the hormone oxytocin in the children, which increases feelings of love and trust.​

20. Cats Contribute to Fewer Health Care Visits For Us​

Cats are known to do more than just be good companions. Among the cat's many talents and benefits of having a cat, they can also help keep your doctor visits to a minimum. According to the study, "Pets Can Keep The Doctor Away," cats were discovered to decrease their owners' need to see a doctor by as much as 12 percent less than people who didn't own cats.

The probable reason may be due to a stronger immune system made possible by the physiologically motivated increase in the production of immunoglobulin A, which are antibodies in your blood, that occurs when petting your cat.

This increase in immunoglobulin A makes it possible for you to avoid common colds more often than non-owners. Other benefits, researchers found in owning cats include less or shorter hospital stays and lower stress levels.

People with painful illnesses or chronic conditions have realized added purposes for owning a cat, and one of them is that cats give them a reason to get out of bed and be productive every day. Petting and playing with your cat can also divert your attention away from your illness and pain when it occurs, making it more bearable for you to endure.​

21. Cats Make Us Live Longer​

Although cats are relatively low maintenance pets, owning one means having the routine and responsibility of taking care of it which in itself gives the cat owner a sense of purpose and a feeling of fulfillment.

Cat advantages include providing companionship and a sense of wellness to their owners, so to provide care for a cat who depends on you for their well-being as much as you depend on your cat for your well-being is a perfect symbiosis. S

Several studies have shown that having a cat does a lot to benefit our health such as lower stress levels, decreases blood pressure, lowers cholesterol levels, improves mood, and bolsters immunity, so basically, they lengthen our life span.​

22. Cats Make You Smarter​

woman studying with cat

The University of Bristol in England administered a survey in 2007 testing British pet owners to determine which group of pet owners was more intelligent and more educated. It was ascertained that the group of pet owners who owned cats had college degrees or were more likely to have college degrees than dog owners.

In 2014, a study was completed by a researcher from Carroll University in Wisconsin, who tested 600 college students and found that cat owners scored higher on the intelligence test than dog owners.

Fewer people claimed to be cat lovers at 11 percent of the survey group whereas 60 percent were dog lovers. So it seems that cats as pets are more suitable for people who are homebodies, like the indoors and who spend a lot of time reading or studying.​

23. Cats Help Us Sleep Better​

sleeping with cat

Many polls and studies have been organized in the United Kingdom to learn about people and their pets. One of the polls was designed to find out how people feel about sleeping with their pets, particularly cats.

For all the people who were surveyed, the majority preferred to sleep with their cats than with their significant others, or with humans in general. This finding has been particularly true for women.

In 2013, The Mayo Clinic Center For Sleep Medicines administered a study discovering that slightly less than half of the people surveyed asserted that they were able to sleep better with their cats.

It seems one of the benefits of cats is to provide the needed emotional encouragement for their owners to be able to sleep well. Some people said their cats gave them a feeling of contentment and security and they were able to be more relaxed while they slept. This seems to hold true mostly for people who slept alone.​

​24. Cats Make Us Laugh More

Cat owners know that cats are not only cute but they are also unintentional comedic geniuses and it’s impossible not to laugh when watching them play or just being themselves. It's also the cat owners who benefit from their cats' merriment.

Laughter and humor are vital parts of human social interactions, whether you are laughing with people or with your cat, because a lot of us regard our cats as almost, or better than being human.

Cats are capable of making us laugh because we consider our cats as companions as if they were human because of the social interaction that happens between our cats and us at the time they are making us laugh.

Research has also found that watching something humorous and laughing for 20 minutes can reduce cortisol levels significantly. Laughing has also been credited with making the heart and immune system stronger. You can't go wrong owning a cat because there are so any good things about cats. They enrich our lives in so many ways.​

25. Cats Teach Us To Be More Decisive​

​Being very different from dogs, cats tend to think before they act. Cats don't act first then think about the consequences later. Cats take time and think before getting involved in a situation that may be more trouble than it's worth to them.

They will walk away from a situation that they foresee could be disastrous, even going against their great curiosity. Cats have the ability to anticipate; they are intelligent, strategic, and willful.

One of the benefits of owning a cat is that they have traits that their owners value and admire and can implement themselves just by watching and learning from them.

26. Cats Help Us Get Up and Exercise​

Cats get their kind of training that would exhaust their owners, so they probably wouldn't expect them to try and keep up. Cats do like to play with their human companions, even though the cat does most of the work.

Cat parents can pull a long string around the house or dangle it over their heads. Tossing a toy mouse and the cat can play fetch is a good way for cat owners to get some exercise. One of the health benefits of owning a cat is that the cat can teach their owners to do some good stretching exercises, either by getting down on the floor with them or sitting in a chair and stretching the upper body.​

27. Owning a Cat is Better For the Environment

If you are environmentally conscious, you may be concerned with carbon footprints that are left behind. If that is the case, one of the good reasons to own a cat is that they are more beneficial for the environment than owning a dog.

A study was conducted in 2009 which discovered that all of the resources that are consumed to feed and care for a dog during its lifetime leave behind the same carbon footprint or eco-print, that is equivalent to that of a large Sports Utility Vehicle.

A cat, on the other hand, eats less and has better food products and are lower maintenance so that they will leave a carbon footprint equivalent to that of a compact car.​

that's all folks

I hope you have enjoyed this list of 27 Surprising Health And Lovely Benefits Of Owning A Cat. This list tells of cats' incredible strengths and abilities. Knowing and understanding cats and their influence on us, a little bit more through research, we as humans realize that it is a privilege to have these incredible beings in our homes.

There are a lot of facts supporting their extraordinariness and a lot of things that can't be explained by science. Some aspects of the cat are still a mystery to us, and may never be known. Please feel free to comment on this article.

Additional Resources:​

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/98432.php

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-08-08/health/ct-x-0808-dogs-cats-immune-system-20120808_1_dog-ownership-ear-infections-babies

http://healthland.time.com/2011/06/13/study-living-with-pets-may-protect-infants-from-allergies/

http://www.webmd.com/allergies/news/20110613/pets-may-reduce-childrens-allergy-risk

http://www.healthcentral.com/asthma/c/52325/140811/cat-prevent-asthma/

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080520150717.htm

http://pets.thenest.com/cats-lowering-blood-pressure-humans-8509.html

http://www.catster.com/lifestyle/lower-your-cholesterol-with-a-cat

http://www.academia.edu/1449356/Studies_Confirm_Health_Benefits_of_Having_a_Cat

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https://www.purina.com/cats/getting-a-cat/how-can-cats-improve-moods-and-help-reduce-stress

http://www.catster.com/lifestyle/cat-behavior-cats-therapy-anxiety-depression-in-kids-children

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http://www.onegreenplanet.org/animalsandnature/ife-changing-ways-your-pet-can-improve-your-health/

http://www.webmd.com/depression/features/pets-depression#1

https://theestablishment.co/cats-are-the-unsung-heroes-of-mental-health-2a78398f9f3#.1kdji8mus

https://www.thespruce.com/cat-therapy-for-autistic-children-555622

http://www.medicaldaily.com/children-autism-can-become-more-social-cat-their-side-343684

http://mritechnicianschools.net/2010/17-health-benefits-of-owning-a-cat/

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/dont-delay/201002/living-alone-can-canine-companionship-help-beat-loneliness

http://metro.co.uk/2015/11/13/8-scientifically-proven-reasons-why-having-a-cat-is-good-for-you-5498254/

http://www.upworthy.com/4-brilliant-ways-cats-are-secretly-helping-their-owners-live-healthier-lives

http://www.mnn.com/family/pets/stories/pets-bedroom-may-help-you-sleep-better

https://animalwellnessmagazine.com/can-your-cats-purr-heal/

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