Cats are not just cute and furry companions, they can also be good for your health. According to the Humane Society of the United States, 62 percent of American households own at least one pet, and a little less than half of those households own at least one cat. In appreciation, your feline friend offers these benefits:
ϖ A study by the University of Minnesota found that cat owners are 30 percent less likely to die from a heart attack, and their chances of dying of cardiovascular disease go down as well.
ϖ Scientists have found that cat ownership can cut stroke risk by one third.
ϖ Scientific American states that a cat’s purr reduces stress levels and lowers blood pressure. It also says that the frequency of a cat’s purr, between 25 and 150 Hertz, can facilitate bone density and healing.
ϖ A growing number of studies show that the love and positive feelings you have for your cat can give your immune system a boost.
ϖ Further, numerous studies have found that playing and cuddling with your cat and the unconditional love they provide improve mood and can help relieve depression.
ϖ A State University of New York at Buffalo study found that cat lovers are more likely to have lower blood pressure, reduced heart rate and less anxiety. It is thought that stroking a cat cuts stress-related hormones in the blood.
ϖ A Canadian study reported in Psychology Today states that owning a cat can lower your cholesterol just as effectively as medication.
ϖ A three-year study at the Baker Medical Research Institute in Melbourne, Australia, has shown that owning a cat can lower triglycerides.
ϖ Time reported on a French study that stated that autistic children benefit emotionally and socially when they have a family cat.
ϖ Cats can help children with other developmental disorders as well, especially with communication.
ϖ The journal Pediatrics reports that researchers have found that if you have a cat, your newborn is less likely to develop asthma and will have a greater immunity to allergies.
ϖ Studies have shown that nursing homes that allow therapy cats have lower medication costs than facilities without cats.
ϖ A German study found that if you own a cat, you don’t go to the doctor as often or have as many hospital visits, perhaps for all the reasons stated above.
One last benefit: Adopt a homeless animal from your local shelter, and not only will you save their life, but you’ll feel pretty good, too.