10 Scientific Benefits of Owning a Cat
If your family includes a cat, you’re in good company. Cats are popular pets and they bring much love and joy to their human companions. Studies have shown that just watching cat videos on the internet can boost a person’s energy and create positive emotions—so it’s no surprise that actual cat ownership has a number of benefits.
Many people feel that a house only becomes a home when a cat lives there. Here are some benefits to cat ownership which will surprise even the most devoted of cat-people.
Cats might not need much exercise, compared to dogs and rabbits, but they do like to play with their human companions. Tossing a toy mouse around the living room can get you moving a bit, too.
People sometimes accuse their friends of turning their pet into a substitute child. By replacing a child or younger sibling as “something to nurture”, a pet often does serve that need. In today’s smaller families, that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Everybody needs somebody to love, furry or otherwise.
Petting a cat who’s curled up and purring on your lap is a great way to lower stress and blood pressure. In fact, recent studies have shown that the frequency (or the “pitch”: how high or low the purr sounds to you) of a cat’s purr helps bones and muscles to heal after an injury.
The most common reason to keep a pet is for companionship, so this benefit won’t come as a surprise to anyone. People who don’t have a cat in their lives often believe that cats are unsocial, distant pets. If you’ve ever been the recipient of an affectionate head-bunt from a friendly kitty, you know that the “unsocial” myth is indeed a myth. Cats are not the solitary animals that they had been believed to be.
5.Cat owners are smart
2010 survey of British pet owners by the University of Bristol found that people who owned cats were more likely to have college degrees than their dog loving counterparts. In 2014, a researcher in Wisconsin surveyed 600 college students and found that cat owners were actually more intelligent as well. (But it’s probably not the cat itself making the owner smarter: The researchers conducting the Bristol survey said that smarter people tend to work longer hours, and since cats require less attention than dogs, they are a better choice for the busy intellectual.)
6.They can tell you a lot about your personality
Your choice of pet reveals something about your personality. While dog lovers tend to be the life of the party, cat owners are quieter and more introverted. However, they score very highly when it comes to how trustworthy they are and how much they trust other people. Cat owners are also less manipulative and more modest.
Do you know just 15 to 30 minutes of quality time with a cat can calm your nerves and boost your mood? There’s even chemical evidence. When you spend time with a cat, your production of serotonin, a chemical that boosts feelings of well-being, goes up, and your cortisol levels go down. Cortisol, along with high blood pressure, is a result of stress, and can lead to high cholesterol and hypertension. This means that spending time with a cat can keep you healthier in the long run.
Did you know?
A 20-year study found that people who owned a cat were 40% less likely to die from a heart attack.
Cat ownership provides a natural conversation starter and can enhance the owner’s ability to socialize. One study revealed that women were more attracted to men who owned cats because cat ownership often suggests sensitivity and intelligence.
It might be noticed more with dogs, but children who grow up with cats appear to have more practice with considering what other people are thinking and feeling. This experience of empathy helps children learn to relate to other people, and to consider their actions in light of how those actions will affect others.
Many who have feelings of loneliness can find relief with a pet. Cat companionship can help those who are lonely feel a connection with another life. Just having a cat to come home to and spend time with can help those who are single, or widowed.