8 Health Benefits Of Having A Cat

Beautiful Black CatIt’s safe to assume that anyone who has a cat understands the complex bond that humans and felines share. Their silly nature provides endless entertainment, their intuitive nature offers companionship, and their passion for cuddling fulfills daily affection requirements. However, did you know that there are several scientifically-proven health benefits of having a cat?

Here, we’re going to tell you all about the ways that having a feline in the house can help your well-being.

1. Lower blood pressure: Studies have shown that having a cat can reduce your blood pressure. When you pet your cat, studies have shown that it is clinically proven to reduce stress and therefore reduces blood pressure. In order to cash in on this health benefit, you’ll need to be petting your cat regularly. Luckily, this benefit is a win-win situation for both you and your kitty, since they love to get pet and will let you know when it’s time. In turn, this lowers your risk of heart attack and stroke. If you have had problems with high blood pressure for any reason, you may want to consult with your doctor about considering a pet.

2. Stress reduction: The lowering of your blood pressure is just one way that owning a cat can reduce your stress. When you interact with a pet, your body physically reacts in a few ways. Cortisol, the hormone associated with stress, begins to lower once you’re spending time with your pet. Serotonin, the chemical associated with well-being and restfulness, gets pumped out by your brain when you’re having a good time with your pet. These may seem like small gestures, but your body will start to notice the difference in no time. Almost everyone could use a boost of serotonin every once in a while, so why not invite it regularly with an easily accessible pet? Cats love to cuddle, and even if your feline allows affection sparsely, you’ll still reap the benefits.

Mother with her baby playing with pet on the floor at the kitche3. Helps with kids’ health: Some studies have shown that newborns who live with animals have less of a chance of developing allergies. It has also been proven that early exposure to cats can help to stop the development of asthma. Similar to an adult’s immune system getting better due to exposure to a cat, a child’s early exposure can help their body stop being affected by certain allergens, and promote respiratory health that will quell asthma. However, if the child’s mother has a cat allergy, the child is actually three times more likely to develop asthma with early exposure, so make sure this isn’t the case in your home.

4. Reduces anxiety: Anxiety can be brought on by a plethora of things; from a painful break-up, to genetics, or even just a bad day. Having a cat can reduce your anxiety greatly, whether you suffer from chronic anxiety or are just going through a spell. You’re signing up to care for another creature, which takes the pressure away from yourself. You’ll have a warm companion to cuddle and play with, and will receive boosts of oxytocin and serotonin on a regular basis. Just the boost of these hormones alone can drastically reduce your feelings of anxiety.

Many people believe that cats are natural healers.

Many people believe that cats are natural healers.

5. Natural remedy for depression: Depression is not easy for anyone, and feeling alone and depressed can really take a toll on your physical and mental health. Having a cat can help with depression in so many ways, and therapists have even prescribed pets as remedies in the past. You’ll always have a warm body that loves you unconditionally around, and you’ll also benefit from all the stress-reducing benefits that a cat offers. If you’re feeling down, it’s easy to end up in your own head, unable to gain perspective. With a pet, you are forced to stop thought-cycling and focus on another being. Cats are also rumored to be able to sense pain and sadness, and many cats know when their owners need them. Just having that little furbaby crawl up when you’re at your lowest can help reduce the tension that depression brings about.

6. Reduces loneliness: You would be surprised at how much having a pet at home can be a cure for loneliness. You may think, “Well they’re still not a human and it isn’t really someone I can talk to.” However, having a pet can truly fulfill the social quota for your home. If you’re living alone for the first time, or you’re living alone period, having a little furbaby to greet you at the door when you get home can surely cure the loneliness blues. Pet owners are notorious for talking to their pets, and just the simple act of talking about your day and hearing yourself can reduce your loneliness.

7. Helps with coping: Going through the loss of a loved one is one of the hardest things that we have to do, and we shouldn’t have to go through it alone. Having a cat encourages owners to talk without being judged. Many people in mourning use their pets as a sounding board to vent their feelings without the threat of upset from a human response. Studies have shown that cat-owners are able to get past their loss sooner than non-cat owners, and are less likely to show physical symptoms of pain like crying and acid reflux. Going through loss can truly take a huge toll on your physical and mental health, and having a cat can help reduce the damage.

Children And Cat8. Can help with sensory issues: Many forms of autism bring about sensory issues for children and adults alike. Having a pet has proven to help with sensory issues, and can be a great sidekick for an autistic person. Many physical therapists have used dogs and horses to help with sensory problems, and cats have been getting on-board lately as well. Animals help to calm the person, and also help to hold their attention, which can deter an episode. Autistic people sometimes bond with animals better than people, and cats can be a great tool.

As you can see, having a cat provides health benefits for children and adults in so many ways. If you’ve never had a cat, it is an easy pet that will help you learn to love better than any book. Cats teach humans about patience, love, acceptance, and balance. If you suffer from any of the previous conditions, you may want to consider adopting a cat. You can talk to your doctor about any advice that they may have. A cat is a low-cost and high-reward pet that can make you healthy and happy, so consider adopting a furbaby today.