Despite the fact that pet ownership has become commonplace, cats are often thought to be treacherous or bad omens. Nothing could be further from the truth. There are studies that have shown that being accompanied by cats is good and brings us wellbeing, but… Do we really know the health benefits of having a cat?
Animals can help us fight loneliness and bring us a kind of love that is difficult to explain. In addition to all this, there are a number of advantages to having a cat on a physical and emotional level. According to studies we find that a cat as a pet can benefit us in the following ways:
Reduce cardiovascular diseases
After several studies carried out in recent years in Minnesota and the United Kingdom, a relationship has been observed between having a cat and the absence of cardiovascular diseases and a reduction of up to 30% in the probability of dying from a heart attack. Why does this happen? Cuddling a cat or petting a cat reduces our heart rate and therefore our blood pressure and as a result the chances of suffering a heart attack or stroke decrease, so pet that cat right away!
Reduce stress levels
Caressing a cat means that our breathing becomes more controlled and the pleasant purr of the animal relaxes our nerves. In addition, the purring of the cat is a natural massage, since it produces vibrations of between 20 and 140 hertz, which has also been demonstrated in several studies of the Scientific American that it is beneficial for the prevention of diverse diseases and psychological disorders derived from anxiety and stress. However, relying on cats alone to reduce these pathologies is not the best solution. If you think you have very high levels of anxiety and stress you can always consult a professional psychologist.
Helps us to meditate
Watching the elegant movements of these animals, how they wash themselves or how they enjoy every moment just looking out the window or dozing next to the heater, causes us to mimic them and learn to enjoy the relaxation of being at home without doing anything, to live with tranquility and enjoy every little moment. Cats can allow us to be more in the present and appreciate every moment.
Every day you have guaranteed laughter
Another advantage of having a cat is that they are adorable little animals but also very funny. They usually liven up our day with their skills, moments of clumsiness and just watching them play in general. They have reactions that make us laugh and watching them playfully entertain themselves while we laugh is something that activates our already known happiness hormones.
Boosts your self-esteem
If you are short of affection, this is another benefit of owning a cat that makes them a great choice. They tend to come to you when you get home, constantly beg for cuddles, rub on your legs, head-butt you with affection and show their unconditional love for their human companions in the house. Because they need you, you feel that you are taking care of them and as a consequence you feel useful!
Decreases the possibility of suffering from depression.
Cats and pets in general keep you busy. They are a responsibility because their well-being depends on you taking care of them. As you know, depression feeds on apathy (disinterest or reluctance to do things) but by having a cat and seeing their needs, you force yourself to be active and do things. If you have depression and you don’t feel like going out to buy food, your cat will ask you for food and even if you don’t do it for you, you will end up doing it for them. Thus, it helps to activate and reduce the effects of depression as well as to prevent it, because if we feel comfortable with them, suffering from this disorder is less frequent.
Reduces the feeling of loneliness
Arriving home and not finding it empty is something that makes us feel good. In addition, you can talk to them and they look at you as if they understand what you are explaining, so you will not have the feeling that you can not talk to anyone or that no one listens to you. There are even studies from the universities that assure that the company of these felines cover the social needs of people in a similar way as humans do. Therefore, another of the benefits of having a cat is feeling more accompanied in your own home.
Might improve the immune system
There are studies that have also shown that loving a cat as well as receiving its caresses, improves the immune system and therefore, the defenses are improved and the risk of having diseases is reduced. Thus, it is good to have cats at home, since it allows us to improve our immune system.
Might help us recover from injuries or illnesses
The purring of a cat is not only good on an emotional level, but on a physical level. Thus, these vibratory frequencies might help to deal with inflammations, reduce breathing difficulties (dyspnea) and improve injuries in tendons, muscles and ligaments.
These are some of the benefits of having a cat by your side. If you are still hesitating between having or not having a cat as a pet, these advantages of having a cat can help you make a decision.