Do you need a feline earthquake-detection system? Then adopt a little fluffy kitty! Cats are one of the best furry friends you could ever ask for, and noticing seismic activity is just one of the many talents they possess. From warming your heart to warming your feet, everyone should have a cat.
You would be surprised at how cats can benefit your physical health in many different ways. The vibrations of a cat’s purr have a range of 20-140 Hz and are proven to be medically therapeutic for a plethora of illnesses and ailments. Specifically, the vibrations help heal soft tissues like muscles, tendons, and ligaments. They also help promote bone strength. Purr vibrations help heal infections and swelling (Michaela).
According to Igor Purlantov, those without cats were between 30-40 percent more likely to die of cardiovascular disease than cat owners. This means that cat owners have a 40 percent less risk of having a heart attack. Studies have also shown that people can reduce their chances of a heart attack by having a cat due to the decrease in stress levels the animal can provide, lowering incidents of sudden cardiac arrests. (You feel better already, don’t you?)
A cat can reduce anxiety. Simply petting a cat has been shown to be soothing and calming. The level of cortisol, a hormone associated with stress, is lowered and the productions of serotonin, a chemical associated with well-being, is increased (Flowers). Also, caring for a cat can help someone take their mind off their own worries, especially as they enjoy the unconditional love a cat provides.
Purlantov discovered that along with being able to lower stress, cats can also lower cholesterol. He found that having a cat can reduce the risk of a stroke by one-third. (Chance of hairballs increased ten-fold.) One study showed that having a cat was more effective at lowering cholesterol than taking certain medications. Research has shown that having a cat can lower your triglycerides, something that is usually only achieved by exercise and by eating fewer carbohydrates and processed foods. (And just think, if you AND your cat are taking the medications…)
Cats could even help to lower human risk of cancer. Researchers have found that dog and cat owners have a reduced risk of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The longer the duration of pet ownership, the less chance the individual would suffer from this type of cancer (Viegas The Truth About).
Scientists found that infants who have pets at home suffered from fewer respiratory tract illnesses. “Our findings support the theory that during the first year of life, animal contacts are important, possibly leading to better resistance to infectious respiratory illnesses during childhood,” wrote Eija Bergroth and colleagues in the paper, which was published in the journal Pediatrics. (I didn’t even know animals wore contacts.) Researchers, such as Flowers, have also found that children who grow up in a home with a dog or cat are less likely to develop allergies. In addition, children with pets have higher levels of certain immune system chemicals and therefore have a stronger immune system. This will keep them healthy as they get older.
People believe that mothers and unborn babies can contract diseases from cats. That is true. If precautions are not taken when caring for cats, pet contact with pregnant mothers could be less than beneficial. There are microscopic parasites in cat feces, so pregnant women should stay away from cat litter or sick cats. The parasites can cause toxoplasmosis and disease that can lead to many health problems or possibly death. As long as the litter box is cleaned daily, the feces will not be infected with the parasite as it takes longer than that for them to start multiplying (Burd).
Although it is extremely rare, cats have been suspected of snuggling up on babies’ faces while they sleep, suffocating them. Most likely, this is based on the folklore surrounding cats being evil and jealous, sucking the breath out of babies while they sleep. Luckily, it is not true because cats can be a positive addition to your family (Mikkelson). Just to err on the side of caution, you should watch your pets closely around the babies. (And, don’t name your cat Sid. Sids and babies DO NOT mix!)
Cat-ownership can benefit your emotional health immensely. A study, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found the stress-lowering hormone, oxytocin, helped mildly-autistic children and adults feel calmer and socialize more easily. Since the release of this hormone is triggered by touch, researchers say petting your cat works to increase oxytocin, and in turn, feelings of trust, love, and connection with others (Zerbe).
People with AIDS are less likely to be depressed if they own a pet, especially if they are strongly attached. With an animal in the home, people with Alzheimer’s have fewer anxious outbursts, which the cats really appreciate. The animal also helps the caregivers fell less burdened. Cats are particularly helpful since they require less care than dogs, but they do require being treated like royalty.
Animals are becoming useful in therapy for people of all ages. Some studies are being done on bringing specially-trained animals into clinical settings, which is happening in more and more hospitals and nursing homes. One of the biggest advantages of letting patients interact with animals in such places appears to be improved mood and reduced anxiety (Flowers).
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. Pets serve as a social support during difficult times. People in mourning report talking to their pet to work out their feelings, since it is often easier to talk to something that will not respond and cannot judge than to another human-being (Benjamin).
You do not need a prescription to adopt a cat like you do to buy medications that treat mental health. There have been several studies where cats have been very important in therapy for autistic children, says Igor Pulantov. Cats have also been shown to help children with other developmental disorders, especially cases where the child has difficulty with social interactions and communication.
Sensory issues are common among children with autism. Sensory integrations activities are designed to help them get used to the way something feels against their skin. Or, it may be how they react to certain smells or sounds. The children usually find it calming to work with animals. And, animals easily hold the attention of children with autism.
Kids with ADHD can benefit from working with and keeping a pet. Taking care of a pet helps the child learn planning and responsibility. Playing with a pet is a great way for children to use up excess energy. Pets help children with ADHD find out about self-esteem because the bond between a pet and a child is unconditional love (Flowers). Cats can open up a new lifetime of learning.
A study of British pet owners found that people who owned cats tended to be smarter than their dog-loving counterparts, in both terms of IQ score and overall level of education. The researchers said that smarter people tend to work longer hours, and since cats require less attention than dogs, they are a better choice for the busy intellectual.
If you are a tree-hugging hippy, then get a cat! Since cat-owners are such smart people, they would want to protect the world around them. Cats are better for the environment. A 2009 study found that over its lifetime, the resources needed to feed a dog make the same eco-footprint as that of a Hummer. Cats eat less and are more likely to eat fish than corn or beef flavored products only have the approximate carbon footprint of a Volkswagen Golf.
Another great thing about cats is that they can help you find a partner. A British poll found that 82 percent of women agreed they are more attracted to men who like animals. 90 percent of single woman said that men who own a cat a “nicer” than other guys. It seems like most women buy into the corny stereotype that cat owners are more sensitive and thoughtful, so listing that you own a cat and your dating profile could do wonders for the number of responses you get guys (Benjamin).
According to Igor Purlantov, there are clearly numerous health benefits associated with having a cat. It has been shown that people with cats make fewer visits to the doctor and to hospitals in general. Studies have also shown that when nursing homes allowed cats as part of their therapy, they had lower medication costs than other facilities without cats.
These studies all confirm that cat-ownership can lead to a longer life. At the end of the day, people should go out and adopt a cat from a local animal shelter. It may be the best thingy that has ever happened to them and their new cat companion. And, when there is an earthquake, you will love your cat even more.
After the earthquake in Japan, Hiroyuki Yamauchi of National Tsing Hua University and colleagues conducted a survey on how cats reacted beforehand. The survey found that six or more days before the quake, some cats engaged in unusual behaviors and became more stressed-out. Felines began, “…trembling, being restless, and escaping.” Other cats, immediately prior to the quake, became just as agitated. Cats may have a "sixth sense" about tremors. The researchers believe that cats may sense quakes ahead of time because they have a wider range of hearing than humans. Cats might also be able to detect changes in atmospheric pressure, gravity, and ground deformation (Viegas 10 Animals).
Even though a cat can improve your situation and are clearly mystical creatures with amazing powers, some people might say that having a pet is too much work. Well, if you get a cat, you will find that they are fairly easy to care for, and you do not have to take the time to let them out or talk them. Cats are quiet animals that clean themselves. Have a mouse problem? They will take care of that, too. Cats are natural-born hunters and will have your home mouse-free in no time.
Cat hair can be a nuisance in your home, in your food, and in your nose. Luckily, there are hairless breeds available if fur or dander bother you. This kind of feline friend is for people who do not mind that their cat looks like a skin bag with teeth and claws. They are still perfect. If the cat tears up your furniture when sharpening its claws, get it a scratching post and keep its claws trimmed. De-clawing the cat is also an option, but it can be inhumane. And, never grab it and throw it against the wall. They DO NOT like that. However, they eventually forget and let you near them again.
Guys, if you are having problems getting a girl, a cat will help you. Even if you do not get a girl, the cat will make you feel better about it. If you have a cat, you will live longer with better health. That gives you plenty of time to think about your lost loves… all while lessening your chance of a stroke. What more could a person ask? Whether it is match-making or just wanting a fur-baby, everyone needs to get a cat.
Benjamin, Kathy. "8 Benefits of Being a Cat Owner." Mental Floss., 14 June 2013. Web. 17 Dec. 2014.
Burd, Irina, MD, Ph.D. "Toxoplasmosis." University of Maryland Medical Center. Ed. VeriMed Healthcare Network. A.D.A.M., Inc., 14 Apr. 2014. Web. 27 Jan. 2015.
Flowers, Amy. "Slideshow: 27 Ways Pets Can Improve Your Health." 27 Ways Pets Can Improve Your Health – WebMD Slideshow., 21 Oct. 2014. Web. 16 Dec. 2014.
Mikkelson, Barbara. "Murderous Moggies." Snopes. N.p., 29 June 2007. Web. 27 Jan. 2015.
Purlantov, Igor. Studies Confirm Health Benefits of Having a Cat. Rep. Igor Purlantov, Web. 17 Dec. 2014.
Viegas, Jennifer. "10 Animals That Can Predict Disasters: DNews." DNews., 18 Dec. 2014. Web. 20 Dec. 2014.
Viegas, Jennifer. "The Truth About Cats: They're Good for Us: DNews." DNews., 21 Aug. 2012. Web. 17 Dec. 2014.
Zerbe, Leah. "5 Ways Cats Make You Healthier." Rodale News., 05 June 2013. Web. 17 Dec. 2014.