Those who have a preference for dogs can not deny the major benefits that can be enjoyed when one has hairy companion, regardless of its species. Science has, among other things, shown that pets can help prevent allergies in children, ward off respiratory infections, improve mood and even boost self-esteem.
So whoever you are, if you are one of those obsessed with their feline friend, be prepared to enjoy the many benefits of having a cat.
Here are 11 reasons why we must appreciate the presence of a cat in our life.
They keep your heart healthy.
According to a 2008 study by the Stroke Institute at the University of Minnesota, cat owners are less likely to die of a heart attack. By observing 4500 people (three out of five having a cat) for 10 years, researchers were able to determine that cat owners had 30% less chance of dying from a heart attack than others. Subsequently, a 2009 study found a relationship between having a cat and a lower risk of dying from cardiovascular disease, including stroke.
They almost invented the nap.
These heavy sleepers know the importance of sleep but they also look adorable when they sleep. Many studies have shown that a nap can improve alertness, memory, creativity, productivity and mood. So if you are not a fan of naps alone, maybe the opportunity to curl up against your hairball will convince you to sleep a little twenty minutes today.
They leave no room for failure.
No matter how many times they fall, cats always find a way to get up and try again. They have a pounding spirit and probably know better than us that the small mistakes we make do not mean that we are unable to achieve what we want in the long run. It’s not for nothing that they have nine lives.
Their purrs calm your nerves
Studies show that purring can reduce stress and blood pressure. In addition, the purring of cats can cause vibrations ranging from 20 to 140 Hertz, a frequency that, medically, would be good for various diseases, according to Scientific American. As if we needed another reason to stroke a kitten’s neck!
For them, only the present moment counts.
“I lived with several Zen masters: they were all cats. – Eckhart Tolle
Sure, they have lives far less stressful than their human companions. But that does not discredit their innate ability to sit, perfectly still, sometimes for hours, just enjoying the moment. From their coveted window sill to their reserved perch on the top of a floor, they gaze at the world before their eyes. We, too, can benefit from the many benefits of meditation practice.
They make you laugh more than you think you can.
All cat owners will tell you that these creatures are as hilarious as they are cute. From small funny incidents to undisputed chess, it’s impossible not to laugh (a little at their expense) and thus reap the benefits of such laughs. Last year, researchers at California’s Loma Linda University explained that watching funny videos for 20 minutes substantially reduces cortisol levels and helps develop the short-term memory of older people. This other study links laughter with a stronger heart and immune system.
Here’s why, having a cat makes you happier and healthier following:
They teach us the importance of strategic decision-making.
“If animals could talk; the dog would be a companion full of an awkward frankness but the cat would have the rare elegance of never saying a word too much. Mark Twain
Unlike their canine enemies who leap as soon as they get the chance to get some fresh air, run after a tennis ball or swallow up all the confectionery bags that hang out in the kitchen, cats tend to choose their battles with a little more caution. They take a moment to look, think, weigh the pros and cons, before deciding whether this thing that attracts them really deserves their attention. They manage to climb in places that seem inaccessible and yet find a way to get off safely. They are thoughtful, strategic and deliberate – all these characteristics that their owner puts forward and would like to claim himself.
They can help people with autism communicate.
Children and adults with autism sometimes have trouble communicating with the world around them. However, animal therapies have proven to be a useful learning tool in the sense that many people with autism feel a stronger connection with animals than with other people. In a 2012 French study, researchers observed 40 autistic children and their pets, and found that children felt calmer and socialized better than those without pets. They associated this change with increased production of the oxytocin hormone, which can be triggered by stroking a cat and subsequently increasing feelings of confidence and love.
Iris Grace Halmshaw, the 5-year-old girl in the picture above, was diagnosed with autism in 2011. Her therapeutic cat Thula helped her regain enough self-confidence to talk to others, as well as to give her more inspiration when she paints, one of the other components of her therapy.
They support you in your fight against depression.
Stroking her cat on her lap is soothing and does not only reduce stress. This companion is known to boost mood, and a positive distraction for those struggling with depressive disorders. Beyond their company, animals add routine, responsibility and social activity to days that would otherwise have none of these characteristics. While animals can play a role in improving depressive symptoms, cats are particularly calm and peaceful, and these traits can be contagious in the good sense of the word.
They know it’s nice to be a little crazy from time to time.
“A cat has absolute emotional honesty: human beings, for one reason or another, can hide their feelings, but a cat is not. – Ernest Hemingway
While cats are known for their calm and quiet behavior, they are not afraid to let go completely – physically and emotionally – when it tells them. This way of acting can help their masters too. A 2012 study by the Harvard School of Public Health shows that repressing negative emotions can be toxic to the body, increasing the risk of dying from heart disease and certain cancers. On the other hand, psychologists have found that negative emotions such as sadness, anxiety, anger and guilt can be very positive when a person allows themselves to fully experience what they feel.
They annihilate feelings of loneliness with their unconditional love.
“What better gift than the love of a cat? – Charles Dickens
Even Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recognize that one of the greatest benefits of having an animal is their ability to soothe our feelings of loneliness. They are often the best ears that we could wish for after a long and hard day, and their look when we go home reminds us that there is always someone who is excited to see us. According to researchers at the Universities of St. Louis and Miami, animals can meet the social needs of their owners in the same way as people.
Source: Here’s why, having a cat makes you happier and healthier This article, previously published on The Huffington Post (USA) has been translated from English | By Alena Hall