In the Unites States there are over 36 million cats. Pets are integral parts of families and though cats can be unpredictable at times, the benefits they have on humans are constant. Here are 9 ways owning a cat aids in keeping you healthy.
1. Therapeutic Purrs
The days your cat is in a great mood and wants to sit on your lap and purrs like an engine can benefit you. Their purrs run between 20-140 Hertz. At 45 Hz, there is evidence to suggest shorter healing times for fractures and in certain cases purrs falling around that frequency could have other soothing benefits. Their purrs are so soothing that a patent has been filed for a device to provide purr-like therapy.
2. Improve Heart Health
Currently the leading cause of death in the United States is heart disease, with more than 610,000 deaths in 2015. Your cat may be helping to protect your heart health. Research reviewed over a ten year period by University of Minnesota’s Stroke Institute in Minneapolis has concluded that cat owners reduce their risk of having a heart attack by nearly one-third.
3. Decrease Allergies and Asthma
A 2017 study discovered that exposure to a pet after birth and before three months of aged helped children with allergies later in life. Those infants in contact with pets developed an increased amount of Oscillospira, a gut bacteria linked with reducing allergies. Additional results from the Detroit Childhood Allergy Study proved that exposure to a cat in the early stages of development led to significantly less sensitization to the animal as an adult.
4. Smaller Carbon Footprint
The carbon footprint of your pet may not be something that crosses your mind very often but a New Zealand study calculated the impact common pets have on the environment. Cats fall into the more eco-friendly category with a footprint comparable to a Volkswagon Golf, a German Shepherd on the other hand is similar to a gas-guzzling, large SUV. For green feline owners, there are some additional ways to decrease your pet’s carbon footprint.
5. Improve Your Mood
There are millions of cat videos on Youtube, and for good reason. A professor at Indiana University Media School released a study showing that watching a cat video alone increased feelings of happiness in viewers. Not only that, but a Swiss study conducted research showing that while interacting with cats does not do much to boost positive moods they help alleviate owner’s negative feelings.
6. Increased Life Outlook
Studies have shown the positive result of pet therapy in nursing homes. Those facilities that allow residents to interact with animals have reduced the need for medication, improved vital signs, and improved physical functioning. A professor from Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Karen Snowden, noticed similar results in pet therapy in retirement communities. Snowden commented, “having a pet can be greatly beneficial to the health of the older population. A pet can provide companionship and social opportunities for the elderly population, as well as physical, psychological, and emotional health benefits.”
7. Help Children Develop
Children who grow up in a household with pets benefit in myriad ways, especially in their emotional development. Cats allow the children to have a companion and encourage responsibility and routine. A study done of individuals with an average age of 19 showed that owning a pet helped them cope better with feelings of rejection and exclusion. Another story shows how owning a cat benefited an autistic child and allowed him to open up and providing someone to communicate with.
8. Help You Sleep Better
Instead of shooing your cat off your bed, even though sometimes they sometimes act as an annoying alarm, you should allow them to sleep with you (or on you like the above photo). Based on the results from a Mayo Clinic study showed that many felt secure and slept better with their pets. Of the 150 participants over 40% viewed their pet as unobtrusive and beneficial to their own sleep.
9. Lower Blood Pressure And Reduced Risk Of Stroke
Owning a cat can have calming effects that aid in lowering their owner’s blood pressure. In a study conducted by social psychologist Karen Allen Ph.D at the State University of New York Buffalo, the findings were positive for cat owners. Allen found that stockbrokers with hypertension who adopted a cat or dog had lower blood pressure readings in stressful situations than did their non-pet-owning counterparts. Following the study, Allen said. “When we told the group that didn’t have pets about the findings, many went out and got them.” So if you need an excuse to go get a cat, you just got it!
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