Cats get a bad rap from dog people, but cat owners know there’s nothing that compares to the love of a cat. For those still needing convincing, here are 19 benefits of owning a cat.
Charles Dickens wrote, “What greater gift than the love of a cat.” People normally equate unconditional love with dogs and think cats are just sassy little jerks who don’t love anyone—well, people who don’t own cats. The love of a cat is pure; they don’t share it with just anyone.
Cats can adapt to various living arrangements, whether it’s a small apartment or a large house. Unlike dogs, cats don’t need huge living spaces to get their exercise in; they can make a parkour course wherever they are. Plus, napping in one spot is one of their favorite things.
Companionship is one of the top reasons people get a pet. Cats, along with their tail-wagging counterparts, can be the highlight of coming home and keep loneliness at bay.
PetGuard says, “Cats can expect to live between 12–18 years, but many dog breeds can reach between 10–13 years of age.” Diet and environment will affect how long any pet will live, with indoor cats having a longer life expectancy than those who venture outside.
Cats are generally low maintenance and cost less to look after compared to dogs. Keep them fed and hydrated and make sure their litter box is clean, and most cats are good to go. Some breeds will require more play time with their owners; just be sure to pick a furry companion who fits your lifestyle.
In one study, it was found that cat owners were 30 percent less likely to die of a heart attack or stroke compared to individuals with no cats. The study was carried out for ten years on 4,000 Americans by scientists at the University of Minnesota’s Stroke Institute in Minneapolis. Even people who had existing heart problems before participating in the study were found to have a higher survival rate than non-cat-owners.
Boost Physical Activity
Owning a pet helps older people manage everyday activities such as preparing meals, getting dressed, and even climbing stairs. Whether it’s a cat or a dog, it’s mostly the caregiver role that gives people a sense of purpose and encourages them to maintain physical activity.
Improve Mental Health
“It seems that pets can act as ‘important sources of social and emotional support’ for all pet owners, including those who already have strong social networks. Pets don’t replace your human friends and they don’t come at the expense of your human relationships—they simply enhance your well-being and improve your emotional resilience,” says the Young Veterinary Partnership.
Protection Against Allergies
A recent study out of the Fukushima Regional Center for the Japan Environment and Children’s Study, according to Forbes, revealed that “children growing up with cats and dogs are less likely to develop food allergies later in life.” Those who grew up around cats also had a decreased risk of developing egg, soybean, and wheat allergies.
Improved Sleep Quality
Sleeping with your cat can give you a better night’s sleep than sleeping with your partner or alone. They’re like loving, purring, heated weighted blankets that help you doze off to sleep and stay asleep longer.
Since owning a cat can help reduce stress and anxiety, it’s also found to boost confidence levels. If you can handle your cat, you can take on the world!
Improve Kids’ Quality of Life
In a survey of more than 2,200 young Scots ages 11–15, kids who had a strong bond with their kitties had a higher quality of life. The more attached they were, the more they felt fit, energetic, attentive, and less sad and lonely, and the more they enjoyed their time alone, at leisure, and at school. Children who have cats are also found to show more empathy than their cat-less peers.
Reduced Health Complaints
James Serpell of the University of Cambridge followed two dozen people who had just gotten a cat. They completed surveys within a day or two of bringing their cat home and then several times over the next ten months. At the one-month mark, people had reduced health complaints for headaches, back pain, and colds.
Better for the Environment
Mental Floss published an article saying, “If you’re worried about your carbon footprint, it’s better to own a cat than a dog. A 2009 study found that the resources needed to feed a dog over the course of its life create the same eco-footprint as that of a Land Cruiser. Meanwhile, cats—which eat less in general and are more likely to eat fish than corn- or beef-flavored products—only have the approximate carbon footprint of a small hatchback.”
Help Find a Mate
If you’re in the dating world, owning a pet can make you more appealing to your potential matches. Women especially find men who have pets more attractive and perceive them as kinder and more capable of empathy.
Help Cope with Tough Times
Owning a cat can help you feel less lonely and overall happier. Hard times can feel isolating, but your cat will always be there for you with a listening ear. And even though they will judge you, they won’t tell another soul about it.
Learning responsibility at a young age through pet ownership can help children learn how to more effectively communicate with their parents and respond better in social situations. Every parent might want to rethink their “no pets” stance the next time their child asks for a kitty.
Healing Properties of Purring
We know that the sound of a purring cat is soothing to the ear and can bring a sense of peace and calm. It also serves a more physical purpose. A cat’s purr creates vibrations at a frequency of 20–140 Hz, and studies have shown that frequencies in the 18–35 Hz range have a positive effect on joint mobility after injury. Scientists have begun talking about how cats’ noise could help humans.
Cats Can Manage Pests
Even if you don’t need a farm cat, cats are wonderful predators. Having a cat in your home can reduce the risk of mice invading and will also keep your home bug-free. Although, the intense staring at a bug you can’t see can be a little creepy.
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