I have just read an email from a penfriend. Her cat, who had been an important part of her life for many years, died this morning. As I read the news I felt sadness for her as I know how fond she was of him. I am a cat lover with a ‘senior’ cat and over the years we have exchanged numerous cat photos and anecdotes. It got me thinking about the benefits of owning a cat.
Research has found people who own a pet tend to be in better physical health than those who don’t have a pet. Psychologically, people also benefit from having a pet. It has also been found that children benefit from growing up with one or more pets.
Owning a cat gives numerous psychological benefits, providing you with company. A Swiss research project claims that for a single woman, having a cat in the house provides as much emotional support as a romantic partner. A cat is something living to come home to if you live alone or if other people who live with you are often out. You can talk to your cat but he/she won’t give you unwanted advice or criticise you. Fluffy will never say, ‘I told you so.’
Having a pet will help you come to terms with the loss of a loved one. Cats in particular help lower stress levels. They may be more effective than dogs for lowering stress levels because they are less effort to care for.
Cat in the hat
Pets are good for children. They help children learn to be kind. Research shows children who have a pet are more sociable and have more empathy. They are more positive and have higher self esteem.
Having a pet strengthens people’s connectedness with others. When a cat owner meets someone else who owns a cat there is a shared interest to talk about. This can be a great ice breaker as they can start to build a relationship without talking about personal topics. This is particularly helpful for people who are quiet and private.Two people of different age groups with different education and socio-economic backgrounds may not have a lot in common but if they both have a cat that is a great talking point.
Owning a cat lessens anxiety in someone with Alzheimers. A cat tends to be a better pet than a dog for someone with Alzheimers because cats require less care.
There are physical benefits to owning a cat. Owning a cat lowers the risk of suffering a fatal heart attack or stroke by 30% to 40%. The frequency of a cat’s purr varies from 20 to 140 HZ and this range is medically therapeutic as it stimulates healing of broken bones and infections, as well as lowering blood pressure. Studies have found cat and dog owners are less likely to get non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
Cat owners know how good it feels to have your cat sleeping on your lap. Sometimes our cats make us laugh at the antics they get up to and a laugh always lifts the spirits. Even without reading the research proving that cat ownership is good for us, we just know it is because it feels so good and adds another loving, positive facet to life.
you are a true friend Mare. I watch your snippets with fondness. You are good. Love the photos of Max he is a delight.
I actually (against Raymond's wishes) had given a 3-yr-old cat. Poor bugger had no name! Little S ..t from what I was told. Anyway we settled into some sort of life until the 12 day. By now he had gone outside, had a fight with another cat etc I took no notice of how much he was devouring Once thoroughly stuffed he went outside and disappeared. He came from a small crops farm somewhere out of the way, and he was going back, to really the only home he knew. End of story. Love you Anne
I know the obvious benefits of owning a cat, having had various kitties that past 30 years who were all much loved members of our family. However I didn't know about the physical benefits of a cats purr - that was really interesting. Giving my cat a cuddle instantly lowers my stress level if I've had a bad day. Great article Marie. (From one kitty fan to another)