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7 Scientific Health Benefits of Owning a Cat – What The Science Tells Us!

cat lying on humans lap

Let’s be honest, cat people don’t need a scientific study to prove that cats improve our health and overall well-being. Isn’t it obvious?

Cats certainly make us feel better, but it’s interesting to know what the numbers show. For decades, scientists have conducted studies and surveys to uncover why cats make us feel good and how our bodies react to feline exposure.

In this post, we’re sharing those findings and what the data says about cat lovers. Let’s dive in.

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The 7 Scientific Health Benefits of Owning a Cat

1. No Rodents Hanging Around

a gray and white shorthaired cat lying on a blanket at home
Image Credit: coryr930, Pixabay

The first and most obvious reason is the lack of rodents. Rats and mice carry several diseases, steal our food, and leave droppings everywhere they go. It’s a little rude.

Cats quickly take care of this problem by keeping the mice and rats at bay. No rodent wants to scavenge a house with the perfect killing machine prowling around.


2. Improved Well-Being

Recent surveys have shown cat owners to be more psychologically healthy than non-pet owners. A survey from Australia in 2015 suggested that cat owners are more nurturing than non-pet owners.

A study from 2017 showed that kids growing up with cats had a better quality of life and communication in relationships, specifically with their best friends. The stronger their relationship with their cats, the less lonely and stressed kids felt.

Even if you don’t own a cat, watching cat videos can significantly lift your mood by using laughter as the best medicine.


3. Reduced Stress Levels

woman resting with cat in sofa at home
Image Credit: Yuriy Seleznev, Shutterstock

Speaking of stress, did you know cats can help you with your cardiovascular health? A study on married couples in 2002 showed that pet owners had lower blood pressure levels during a resting baseline. Through stress exposure, the results showed smaller blood pressure spikes and faster recovery.

Even a cat purr can turn a stressful day into a peaceful moment. Cat purrs are excellent examples of vibration therapy, which uses sound power for an emotional response.

Cats purr between 20–140 Hz. The vibration from the cat’s purr releases endorphins within the cat and in us. In reality, you and your cat are helping each other out when you snuggle and stroke your cut.


4. Increased Physical Activity

After spending most of the COVID years inside, a little physical activity would do us some good. A study in 2021 showed that pet owners showed greater physical activity levels than non-pet owners.

Granted, the type of pet you own makes a difference in how active you are. Even so, cats get us off the couch by getting us to run around the house, hide behind corners, and take them on outdoor adventures.

If you rest on the couch too long, your cat will tell you how it feels about it. Who needs an Apple watch telling you to move when your cat already does it for you?


5. Relationship Opportunity

family with cat
Image Credit: Africa Studio, Shutterstock

Cat owners are often seen as anti-social, but the truth is that cats help bring people together. As soon as a cat walks into the room, two strangers can become friends over their love of felines. The wall that stood between you and other people is now broken, all thanks to the floof with legs.

Pet owners are generally more trusting and socially sensitive compared to non-pet owners. Our relationships with our pets help us empathize with others, building stronger human connections.


6. Immunity Boost

Keeping a clean house is a dream, but it’s not always practical. Interestingly, a hyper-clean home can actually harm our immune systems. Exposure to dirt, grime, and even pet dander introduces our immune systems to microbes, making them stronger over time. It’s like giving your immune system a workout.

Not everyone can experience an immunity boost with cats because of allergies. But cats can help ward off illness for some because the immune system already has good practice.

Remember, though, that cleaning your house whenever you can is still important—especially the litter box!


7. Trauma Recovery

woman owner petting and playing with her cat at home
Image Credit: Stokkete, Shutterstock

Since cats can help reduce stress and well-being, it makes sense that cats can help with trauma recovery. Trauma can be physical or mental, but that doesn’t seem to matter with cats. Their gentle and calming presence puts us on the path toward healing.

Cats can’t cure disease and they can’t fix our lives, but they can act as a beacon of light during difficult times.

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Are There More Benefits With Cats Than Dogs?

Cats and dogs have differences and similarities. Their benefits don’t outweigh each other, but everyone has their pet preferences.

Some people may find owning a cat more beneficial than owning a dog because they don’t have to take a cat outside to use the bathroom. Cats also tend to live longer and require fewer hospital visits.

On the other hand, some may find owning a dog better because dogs require more physical activity than cats and are easier to read. Dogs can also fulfill roles cats cannot, such as farm work or helping with disabilities.

The bottom line is that all animals embellish our lives through companionship, love, and support. Each pet has its own way of showing affection, so it’s up to us to decide which pet would better serve our lives.

What Does Being a Cat Owner Say About You?

Cat welcomes his owner at home
Image Credit: Jaromir Chalabala, Shutterstock

Most of the scientific results about cats are correlational and not absolute. This means most cat owners could have already been mentally healthy and had strong relationships when they adopted a cat. However, there’s data that tells us differently.

Cat people are typically less extroverted, more neurotic, and more negative than dog people. We also tend to be less agreeable but are still willing to be open about how we feel.

Every person is different, of course. We each have a choice in how we react to life. But overall, cat people would prefer to sit in the corner with another cat person, while dog people enjoy being the life of the party.

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Conclusion

Cat lovers don’t need scientific studies to confirm that cats improve our lives. We can feel it in our souls when they rest on our chests and purr or rub against our legs as we walk through the front door. Still, it’s nice to know that we have the information.

As cat people, we can’t imagine our lives without the pitter-patter of little paws around the house. Research or not, cat people will always feel better with a feline in their home.


Featured Image Credit: Piqsels

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