One of the perks of owning a cat is that you get to have an adorable furball for a friend. But did you know that being a cat lover comes with other numerous psychological benefits?
For instance, according to one Australian study, cat owners have better psychological health compared to people who don’t own pets. Also, watching those purr-fect online videos of Sparta cat or Simon’s cat does more than make you laugh. It also improves your mood and mental health according to a recent study published in the journal of Computers in Human Behaviour.
Let’s look at more unique benefits of being a cat lover, shall we?
1. Better Sleep
If you’re a restless sleeper, maybe you should consider adopting a fur-baby.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 50% of cat owners invite their felines to bed, and for good reason. Several studies report that sleeping with your feline gives you comfort and a sense of security. Besides, a cat purring can also help soothe you to sleep.
So, unless you’re allergic to cats or you have a playful feline who is likely to scratch or punch you every time you change your sleeping position, maybe it’s time you considered allowing your kitty into your bed.
2. Lowers Stress Levels
Nothing feels better than a warm soft cuddle from your cat on a cold winter evening. Undoubtedly, cats have a way of making us happy and there is science-backed evidence to prove it.
Researchers from Washington State University who used stressed university students as participants in a recent study found out that the students’ stress levels reduced when they petted a cat or a dog. Cats have also been used in hospitals and addiction centers as therapeutic pets to reduce stress levels among patients.
Chelsea Hudson, a therapist at Chicago-based CitySpace Counselling further explains that cats give unconditional love and can provide a safe escape for people looking to find love or those trying to distract themselves from everyday stressors.
The good news is that even if you have a grumpy cat, you can make them love you so that you can enjoy the benefits of petting or cuddling with your pet.
3. Helps You Cope With Grief
In addition to relieving stress, cats can help you deal with grief. Your pet offers consistent companionship which can help you deal with feelings of loneliness when you’re grieving.
Further, a cat won’t expect you to behave in a certain way which is often the case with human companionship. With your furball, they’re no expectations, which helps you deal with grief more naturally.
Besides, cats can be particularly beneficial during times of grief as they’re independent animals. In times of mourning, you may be too overwhelmed to do everyday responsibilities such as taking care of your dog. The good thing about cats is that they don’t need constant care. A cat will also quickly adapt to changes in your routine or behavior without a fuss.
Cats make great companions. They’re adorable, affectionate, and have lots of love to offer. According to one study, having a cat for a pet is almost the same as having a romantic partner. Another survey conducted by Cats Protection, most of the surveyed cat owners noted that their pets were great companions. Due to their affectionate nature, cats will often initiate contact. They also know how to reciprocate kindness and bond with their owners.
5. The Purr Helps Heal Joint Injuries
A cat’s purr can lull you to sleep. But did you know that the same sound has healing abilities?
Cat purring can lower your stress levels due to the release of endorphins, “the feel-good hormones.” Reduced stress levels translate to a quicker recovery for people with injuries.
Moreover, cat purring has a healing effect on injured human bones and muscles. Cat purring is associated with certain sound frequencies that have a healing effect on the human body. It’s believed that sound frequencies that fall between 18-35 HZ have a healing effect on injured bones, tendons and muscles. Since a cat’s purr has a frequency of between 20-140 HZ it’s said to have a positive healing effect on joint injuries.
6. Improves Relationships
Pets are a wonderful way to start conversations and meet new people. Although cat owners are believed to be more introverted than dog owners, a recent Carroll University study showed that they’re more open-minded, smart, and sensitive.
In yet another study, pet researcher Dr. June Nicolls found that men with cats were perceived to be more attractive, nicer, and more caring by women.
7. Good for Your Health
As mentioned earlier, petting your pet helps release oxytocin, “the love hormone,” which helps lower your stress levels. Also, a cat’s purr can help lower your blood pressure and calm your nerves.
In a study conducted by the University of Minnesota’s Stroke Institute, the researchers found out that snuggling with your cat reduces your risk of suffering from a heart attack. Cats can also prevent allergies, especially in children. A study published in the Journal of Clinical and Experimental Allergy noted that teenagers that were exposed to cats in their early years were less likely to be allergic to cats.
The theory is that due to being exposed to cats at an early age, a child will develop an immune system that can combat different kinds of allergies including cat allergies.
There is a ton of scientific evidence showing that being a cat lover has numerous benefits. So, go on and snuggle next to your fur-baby, as it will not only make you feel safe but you’ll also feel loved and happier.