Benefits of Having a Cat

They Make Purrfect Companions

Benefits of Having a Cat

They’re fluffy, independent and affectionate, they're cats!

While they don't require much less attention than dogs, owning a cat or kitten can provide multiple benefits for your health/personal life. Whether you own a friendly lap cat or a quiet introvert, the sense of companionship and love you have for your pet can be just as enriching as any other friendship. Here are some benefits that can help you.

1. Reduces Stress and Anxiety

Owning a cat can be soothing and trigger calming chemicals in the body, decreasing stress and anxiety levels. Cats are known for being low-maintenance, so a simple petting session is often enough to relax owners and distract them from other worries.

2. Provide Companionship

Owning a cat reduces feelings of loneliness. Though cats are often known for their independence, the bond between a cat and its owner reinforces companionship. In fact, it turns out that cats can be just as good of companions as dogs, especially for women. A previous study conducted in 2003 found that having a cat in the house is the emotional equivalent of having a romantic partner. As well as initiating contact much of the time, studies have shown cats will remember kindness shown to them and return the favour later.

3. Coping

Losing a loved one is incredibly painful, but one of the best ways of coping is to own a pet. Cats have been shown to help people get over their loss more quickly and show less physical symptoms of pain, like crying.

4. Reduces Carbon Footprint

If you're worried about your carbon footprint, it’s better to own a cat than a dog. A study found in 2009 shows that the resources needed to feed a dog over the course of its life create the same eco-footprint as that of a Land Cruiser (Hummer). Meanwhile, cats, which eat less in general, are more likely to eat fish than corn or beef-flavored products, only have the approximate carbon footprint of a small hatchback.

5. You'll have a healthier heart.

Owning any pet is good for your heart. Cats in particular lower your stress level, possibly since they don’t require as much effort as dogs and lower the amount of anxiety in your life. Petting a cat has a positive calming effect.

6. Increases Sociability

Cat ownership provides a natural conversation starter and can enhance the owner’s ability to socialize. One study revealed that women were more attracted to men who owned cats because cat ownership often suggests sensitivity and intelligence.

7. Better Sleep

Several studies and polls have found that people (especially women) prefer to sleep with their cats than with their partners, and they even report sleeping better with a cat than with a human.

8. They can tell you a lot about your personality.

Your choice of pet reveals something about your personality. While dog lovers tend to be the life of the party, cat owners are quieter and more introverted. However, they score very highly when it comes to how trustworthy they are and how much they trust other people. Cat owners are also less manipulative and are more modest.

9. Lowers Blood Pressure

Cat owners are known to have lower blood pressure than non-cat owners due to the calming presence cats provide. One study was conducted with a room full of cat owners. In the study, the owners would speak aloud, which naturally elevated blood pressure levels, but when the owners were observed speaking with their cats, their blood pressure remained constant.

10. Decreases Risk of Stroke

Studies show that cat owners are less likely to be at risk for having a stroke than any other pet owner. Scientists speculate this is also because of a cat’s low-maintenance ownership.

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Read next: Calling All Wannabe Pet Owners
Kristina Nagode
See all posts by Kristina Nagode