Why Cats Rock: 5 Health Benefits of Owning a Cat

cats

It’s no secret that cats own the internet and for good reason — cats are awesome!

The internet’s dearly worshiped furball friends have a number of supremely weird, supremely fantastic talents. They can hear ultrasonic noises (yep, just like dolphins). Some scientists believe felines have magnetized brain cells, making them excellent navigators. An idling diesel engine and your cat purr at the same frequency (26 purrs per second, to be exact).

When cats are not starring in YouTube videos, plotting world domination or developing their obscure talents, they are hanging out with their human companions. Lucky for us, our health benefits from our beloved cats.

How Owning a Cat is Good for You

1. Lowers blood pressure. The State University of New York at Buffalo found that pet owners typically have a lower blood pressure than non pet owners. Researchers found test subjects who interacted with cats immediately displayed a change in blood pressure along with a slower resting heart rate.  A cat’s purr vibrations are known to have a frequency range of 20 to 140 Hz, a frequency medically known to be therapeutic for many illnesses.

2. Reduces stress, anxiety and depression. Many mental health specialists claim owning a cat can significantly improve a person’s mental health. People who feel needed by another person or creature are less likely to experience depression. Cats can act as a healthy distraction to a person’s anxieties. Further, simply petting a cat can reduce your anxiety (it’s difficult to feel stressed when cuddling a warm, purring animal). Cats are surprisingly aware of human emotional states making them great for overall mood improvement.

Kitten on white background

3. Helps with autism. Cats can be an excellent social aid for people with autism, particularly children, according to animal activist Igor Purlantov. Therapists use cats to teach autistic children appropriate social interaction. Unlike humans, cats do not pass judgment, allowing autistic children to feel less guarded and more secure when interacting with their therapy cat. The calming effects cats have on nearly all humans can be significant to those with autism.

4. Decreases risk of heart attacks. According to Minnesota University professor Adnan Qureshi, cat owners are 40 percent less likely to have a heart attack.  Qureshi examined 4,435 adults between the ages of 30-75 for a decade. Half the study’s respondents owned a cat. Of the participants who owned a cat, 3 percent to 4 percent died from a heart attack over the 10-year period compared with 5.8 percent of participants who did not own a cat. Qureshi predicts health benefits like reduced stress and lower blood pressure as mentioned contribute directly to the decreased risk of heart attacks in cat owners.

5. Provides companionship. Cats provide incredible health benefits to their human counterparts, but perhaps their most favorable role is as our companions. Owning a cat is great way to connect with another living being. What’s better than a sleepy Sunday morning accompanied with hot tea and kitty-cat cuddles, and maybe a good book? Cats are excellent friends that still maintain their independence and enjoy their alone time.

So, for the countless hours of entertainment and improving our health, cheers to our feline friends! We’ll happily allow you to dominate memes, YouTube and blogs in exchange for your inherent awesomeness.

Fellow cat lovers, what are your favorite cat parent moments? How does your favorite furball improve your life? —Alex

Categories: Family, Mind/Body, PetsTags: , ,

This article was originally published on fitbottomedgirls.com.

We often receive products from companies to review. All thoughts and opinions are always entirely our own. Unless otherwise stated, we have received no compensation for our review and the content is purely editorial.

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  1. Man this is the best! Im not sure i agree with all of it…. i have 2 lovely fur balls and they can sometimes be the cause of my stress (umm hello…. 3am wake up calls, singing about empty bowls haha!)
    However i didn’t realise cats can help with autism, thats really interesting but not at all surprising, i recently saw a video of an autistic child with a “support dog”, its amazing how understanding animals can be.