Cats can have an aloof nature to them – but it doesn’t mean they don’t care. In fact, there are many ways cats can help humans, especially when it comes to health. Simply petting a cat can reduce stress and relieve anxiety!
Here are the top reasons why you should pet a cat at least once in a lifetime.
IT’S GOOD FOR YOUR HEART
Petting a cat is good for your heart. Not just in a soulful, emotional way, but actually for your heart health.
Studies have shown that cat owners have a lower risk of heart attack. A ten-year study of 4000 Americans found that the risk of death from a heart attack was 30% lower in cat owners. Stress is a leading trigger for heart attacks. Petting a cat can help reduce stress and anxiety, lowers the risk of stroke and brings down cholesterol levels and blood pressure.
THEY ACT AS A COMPANION
The cat lady stereotype might elicit a few giggles from time to time – but cats make remarkably good companions. Petting a cat creates mutual affection and a connection – especially for women.
A study in the Behavioural Processes journal suggests there’s a special bond between women and cats. The researchers found a bond between cats and both men and women, but it was strongest among cats and women.
Petting a cat makes a connection, while owning a cat can also be an instant conversation starter. Some people may be more attracted to cat owners as they appear to be sensitive, nurturing and calming.
IT BOOSTS POSITIVITY
Petting a cat is a positive interaction. Spending time with a cat can help release endorphins which make women feel good. It means you’re spending your time doing something that has a positive reaction. This is partly why animals are used for therapy for mental and physical health conditions. Animal Assisted Therapy is used throughout the world to treat a range of illnesses. This positive interaction with pets can also help reduce the level of medication required among some patients.
IT WILL HELP YOU COPE WITH LOSS
Grieving for a loved one is a difficult time for anyone. But petting a cat may help you cope with your loss. It can trigger the release of oxytocin – a chemical known as the ‘love hormone’. The release of this chemical helps build trust and affection. Petting a cat can also lower the stress hormone, cortisol. By petting a cat, you may find yourself less anxious about the difficult journey ahead, as well as being comforted. It can also help reduce any feelings of loneliness.
IT MAY HELP HEAL INJURIES
A purring cat may help you recover from that sporting injury. Not only is it comforting to hear, but one study even suggests the sound frequencies of a cat’s purr can promote healing and even improve bone density! Playing with a cat can also help increase or maintain mobility and motor skills.
IT MAY HELP FIGHT ALLERGIES
Studies suggest owning a cat may help prevent allergies in children. Researcher James E. Gern believes that having a pet in the home can lower the risk of allergies by as much as 33% among children. Exposure to the animals helps young children develop a greater tolerance towards allergens.
Still need to be convinced that cats are good for you? Perhaps head to your local cat boarding in London facility and feel the feline love around you! You may not be able to have a cat full-time but you should pet a cat at least once in your lifetime to boost your health.