Having a pet, especially owning a cat is rewarding, research shows that companion animals are an important part of our social world. We often talk to them about our problems, aspirations, hopes, dreams without them, judging us, they are the source of comfort, love, joy and some refer our cat as our babies, children, grandchildren and even friends. Pets especially cat provides its owners opportunity to improve health.
Here is the list of health benefits owning a cat:
Lower Risk of Cardiovascular Disease
In a research conducted by North American Journal Of Psychology (3), 2008,the effect of physical contact with a cat to 62 participants (28 males & 34 females) revealed a reduction in blood pressure occurred immediately following holding a cat, a pet therapy was discussed to be considered in reference to this study. There is also evidence the cat’s purr can help lower blood pressure and relax the nervous system.
Cats are commonly used in pet therapy, which helps people reach specific goals in their treatment by a formal interaction, structured set of sessions with their pets with the help of an animal handler. A study from Stroke Research Center at the University of Minnesota, found that having a cat reduce stress in peoples lives and apparently decreases the potential disease of having a stroke and developing cardiovascular diseases.
Helps to cope and lower stress and anxiety
Cat owners clearly identify the immediate pleasure and joys of snuggling up and sharing their lives to their furry friend. Petting and playing with your cat can reduce stress, anxiety and depression, encourage exercise and playfulness, easing our loneliness in everyday life. Cats know when their owner is sick, sad, tired, hurt and not in the mood, oftentimes they will respond becoming clingy and attentive. Anecdotal evidence shows that cat saves lives by picking up diseases and negative energy from their owners.
In a research study from Washington State University, suggested as little as 10 minutes playing with a cat or dog lower stress levels. A college students for a total of 249 were divided into 4 groups, the first group was allowed to pet cats & dogs for 10 minutes, the second group was allowed to watch the first group while waiting for their turn, the third group was allowed to watch a slide show while the first group is playing with the animals. The final group was put on the waiting list to wait for 10 minutes without a phone or any other distractions while waiting.
Taking the saliva samples of participants throughout the day, after examination, research shows that the first group had significantly lower levels of cortisol as compared to the 3 other groups. Cortisol is a hormone produced by our adrenal grands which affects several aspects of our body and mainly helps to regulate body’s response to stress, a stressful experience will increase cortisol production to fight stress.
A great companion, improves sleep quality
Sleeping with a cat provides a sense of security and companionship emotionally and physically. It helps the pet owner fall asleep easier, especially for those having sleep disorders. The sounds of cats purr give its owner a calming sound therapy that emits soothing vibrations which helps improve sleep. Aside from dogs, cats are a great companion, they are low maintenance, independent, quiet, long life spans and keeps the house free from pest.
Cats are a great companion, owning one can be extremely rewarding relationship. Besides the joy and happiness they bring to the owner and their family, there are numerous health benefits that a feline friend can offer. Petting and playing with a pet cat can reduce stress, anxiety, depression, loneliness, research studies prove that holding them even in 10 minutes can lower the cortisol level, a hormone which is increased during stress, thereby lowering the blood pressure and help lower the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Sleeping with them, give a sense of companionship and security, promotes a quality sleep. A cat’s purr was studied and found out that there is a soothing therapy sound that gives calmness to the environment, enable you to sleep easily. An anecdotal evidence revealed that cats can absorb the negative energy and illness of their owner thus protecting them from getting sick or some bad situation that will occur. Over all owning a cat is low maintenance, it improves our general health and maintain mental health.