Is Living With Cats Good for Your Health?

Cats are playful and very curious pets. If you live with a cat, then we're sure you'd like to know what benefits this coexistence can bring you.
Is Living With Cats Good for Your Health?

Last update: 03 November, 2021

Living with cats brings unconditional love and companionship to your life, but is it good for your health? Several studies have shown many benefits that you probably never imagined existed when it comes to sharing a home with a feline.

Even though they have a reputation for being independent and distant from their owners, cats are an unbeatable companion. If you want to know the benefits they can bring to your health, read on.

Living with cats is good for your health

Although cats are independent animals who like to roam and explore on their own terms, they’re also very affectionate with their owners and the people they trust. How beneficial can living with a cat be to your health?

Owning a cat is extremely rewarding, as experts say that cats have the ability to calm your nervous system while filling your life with fun and games. In addition, they tend to help reduce stress, which has a very positive impact on your heart health.

By the simple act of lying on your lap at the end of the day, while watching TV or reading a book, felines cause your brain to release chemicals that help you spend a relaxing night and get some rest. This is just one of the many benefits of living with them.

Un ejemplo de gimnasio para gatos.

6 benefits of living with a cat

While having a pet provides a lot of health benefits, some are specific to cats and have been proven by professionals in the field. We’ll show you them in the following lines.

1. They reduce stress and anxiety

Cat owners know that a cuddle or play session turns a bad day into a good one. In addition, scientific evidence cites that a feline’s purr can calm your nervous system and lower your blood pressure. This, in turn, turns into a reduction of stress symptoms.

2. They improve your physical health

Cat owners have a lower risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, and strokes. So explains the Affinity Foundation, and they tell us that cat (and dog) owners show signs of better physical health because of the emotional bond they have with their animals. In addition, these relationships may help reduce the risk of obesity.

Research seems to indicate that having pets means better health, but remember that this isn’t a substitute for a visit to the doctor and doesn’t apply in all cases.

3. They can prevent allergies

It’s common to hear that feline fur is one of the most common allergens. However, if a child is exposed to cats during the first years of life, they’re more likely to develop an immune system that fights cat allergies. Techniques such as allergen conditioning immunotherapy are based on this premise.

However, the opposite can also be the case. Allergies develop after a period of exposure, so coming into contact with a potential allergen never means immunity 100% of the time.

4. Their purr may help heal bones, tendons, and muscles.

A cat’s purr is one of the most comforting sounds in the world. While it sometimes signifies that felines are happy and comfortable, it has also long been associated with a therapeutic healing ability in human bones and muscles.

This is because feline purring creates vibrations at a frequency of 20 to 140 Hz. Studies have shown that frequencies in the 18 to 35 Hz range have a positive effect on joint mobility after injury, but there’s a long way to go to find out if this act can actually speed up healing.

5. Reduce feelings of loneliness

Felines are excellent companion animals and offer unconditional love that can be equal to or greater than that of other human friends and confidants. Therefore, they’re ideal for lonely people or those who live at risk of social exclusion.

6. They’re a great emotional support

Cats bring us benefits in the psychosocial field, because in times of stress pets provide positive effects. This occurs not only in times of stress and anxiety, but also in very difficult situations, in which they are a great emotional support.

Even in people with a psychological ailment (such as depression) it’s clearly seen that interaction with a cat reduces the negative symptoms.

Benefits in older adults

American Humane tells us that living with cats lifts older people’s spirits – people who often feel lonely or depressed when they retire, lose a spouse, or when their children move away. Pets help older people overcome loneliness and depression by providing affection, companionship, entertainment, and a sense of responsibility and purpose.

Adults with pets tend to get up, talk, and smile a lot more than adults who don’t have animals in the home. Because of this, their mental and physical health also improves. Although cats require minimal care, having one encourages much-needed exercise.

Benefits for children

As for the benefits that felines bring to children, there are many. We highlight the following:

  • They increase responsibility: Caring for an animal shows children the direct results of their actions, allowing them to evaluate how they benefit or harm other living things.
  • They help work on patience: Cats, in particular, often teach patience, as they’re often solitary and skittish animals around active, noisy children. This means that little ones will need to learn when it’s time to play and when it’s time to be alone.
  • Foster companionship: By interacting with cats, children learn to be gentle with animals that are small and delicate.
  • Teaches about social life: Lessons from the bonds children form with their feline friends carry over to those they may form with other humans. By learning to share and play for the comfort of others, infants develop social skills that help them in the interactions they’ll have at school and throughout their lives.
¿Cómo atrapar un gato que se ha escapado?

As with any pet, kittens enrich your life in many ways, some unimaginable. Although there are still unknowns to be discovered about the positive effects of living with cats, all indications are that sharing your life with them is good for physical and psychological health, and in many different ways.

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