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The Incredible Health Benefits of Adopting a Cat

4 minute read

By Christopher Brown

Adopting a pet can be one of the most rewarding decisions you ever make. Sure, pets come with a fair share of responsibilities. They aren’t free either. But welcoming a pet into your home is far from one-sided.

Sharing a space with a cat is associated with a long list of health benefits, both physical and psychological. Today, we’re going to look at the incredible health benefits of adopting a cat.

Pixel Cat Photo / Shutterstock

Cats Reduce Stress

Cat lovers don’t need numbers to quantify the impact that their furry friends have on their stress levels. Nonetheless, there exists emerging studies that set out to prove just that.

A Washington State University study researching the effects of animal visitation programs on stressed out students discovered that just 10-minutes of animal time can have a significant impact on an individual’s stress levels.

Cats Improve Relationships

There’s evidence to suggest that owning a cat can improve your capacity for building better human-to-human relationships. Owning a pet of your own has been linked to an increase in social sensitivity in both male and female cat owners.

One study asked over 500 young adults a series of questions about their pets and life. It found that those that regularly spent time with animals were more likely to help others, give back to their community, and take on leadership roles.

Cats Provide Companionship

Humans are social creatures. Don’t believe me? Just take a look at the havoc that loneliness can have on the human body. Social isolation is linked to a higher risk of negative physical and mental health conditions, including:

Cats can’t outright replace human interaction but adopting one does go a long way in combating feelings of loneliness and isolation. Cats are also lower maintenance than dogs and much easier to manage than dogs due to their size and independent nature.

Cats Are Good for Your Heart

This isn’t symbolism either. We’ve already drawn a line between the positive benefits of building a loving relationship with a furry friend of your very own. However, the benefits that pets have on the physiology of your heart is very real.

A study that dates back to 2009 found a link between cat ownership and a significant reduction in heart attack deaths and cardiovascular diseases. The same couldn’t be said for dog owners either, as the findings seem explicitly linked to felines.

Cats Boost Your Immunity

It may sound counterintuitive to adopt a cat as a way to beat back allergies, but the science is certainly convincing. There’s a lot of evidence to suggest that owning a cat has a way of preventing sensitivity to cat dander for infants later on in their life.

Pairing a pet with a dog may have an even greater impact on infant allergies. A 2002 study discovered a strong link between high pet exposure early in life to the prevention of common allergies to things like ragweed, grass, and dust mites.

Cats Are Good for Your Sleep

There’s a lot of evidence linking a better night’s sleep with cat ownership too. The study used motion sensor devices to monitor sleep trends of pet owners and their pets. The study found that some pet owners took comfort and enjoyed a more restful night’s rest when sleeping in the same room or sharing the bed with their pet.

Cats Keep Your House Pest Free

Cat owners never have to worry about ridding their homes of bugs. Cats are natural pest hunters, making light work out of rodents like mice and rats. In fact, cats have been de-facto exterminators for close to 10,000 years, with modern cats beating back rat infestations in barns, basements, and bodegas all over the U.S. Cats don’t just kill pests, but keep them from setting up shop entirely.

Good for Kids

If you have a young family and are considering adopting a cat, know that it is a good idea. Pets are good for kids on a number of different levels. They reduce stress, provide comfort, encourage nurturing, and help children learn. There’s a lot of evidence to suggest that having multiple pets in a home decreases a child’s risk of developing certain allergies.

Cats are healthy for the family unit too. Introducing a pet into the family can strengthen the bonds between all family members. It really can be a profound experience.

Conclusion

As you can see, the cat haters are clearly misguided. The incredible benefits of adopting a cat encapsulate a lengthy list of scientifically established pros. Improved sociability, improved trauma recovery, less stress and anxiety, and a little furry companion to call your own are really just the beginning.

That’s not to say that you should go out this second and adopt a cat. Only you know if you’re financially and emotionally ready to make such a big decision. You’re always encouraged to dig deeper, do more research, and learn as much as you can online to see if adopting a cat is the right thing for you and your family.

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