If you’re looking for some miracle cure based on a recipe that has cats in the ingredients, please leave now. This post is not for you and for that matter, this blog probably isn’t either. For everyone else here who appreciates cats as pets, life-companions and even as beloved children, we want to show you how a cat can prove good for your health.
It so happens that living with a cat brings some benefits to our health. Many of them are related to a natural phenomenon found only in cats: purring. That’s right that funny noise that sometimes sounds like a washing machine (okay, I might be exaggerating a little) features a series of vibrations at specific frequencies which can help prevent and cure certain ailments.
As if that were not enough, it’s not all about purring; feline behavior also benefits us in many other ways.
So with that, would you like to learn about the reasons why having a cat is good for your health? Well, keep reading. There are plenty of super ”purr” feline “remedies” ahead.
1. Oh, my heart!
Yes, our hearts, that healthy muscle that doesn’t need any action (as Andres Calamaro would say). And yes, we can rev it up little thanks to cats, as research has shown that people living with a feline have between 30-40% lower risk of dying from a heart attack.
But beware – just because the risk is reduced doesn’t mean that we can run it ragged until it goes “pow” and explodes.
All we’re saying is that, according to several studies, our heart will be healthier as a result. It has even been confirmed that the post-operative period following surgery is generally shorter in patients who co-habit with a pussycat than those who don’t, as well as being beneficial for the recovery of those who’ve suffered heart attacks.
They also help lower blood pressure in hypertensive patients and reduce cholesterol. This means that, with a cat, our blood will flow like never before.
2. Cat Bones
There is an old saying from vets: “if you put a cat in the same room as a heap of broken bones, the bones will heal.” Far from being a magical notion, what the phrase actually reflects is the experience of professionals who’ve healed many fractures in cats, over many years.
Any veterinarian worth his salt knows the incredible resilience of cat bones. This talent is believed to stem from the cat’s purring, which helps fractured bones to reset in very short times.
Having our cats purr as they sit on your lap can strengthen our bodies and help prevent bone disease. According to various studies, if you let your cat cuddle up next to you when you have a broken bone and purr away, the fracture will heal sooner than expected.
It has also been shown that muscles, tendons, and ligaments benefit from these same vibrations and in the case of injury, improve sooner. All of this is within the cat’s healing power. It’s enough to make you call for your cat and beg it to purr for you!
3. Stress-reducing cat
Yip, you read correctly. Owning a cat reduces stress, petting a cat reduces stress and loving a cat reduces stress.
Whaaat? Well, as if it would be otherwise, once again, it’s all down to her purring. Studies show that it reduces stress due to the vibrations produced at around 20 to 140 hertz. This frequency is considered beneficial for many diseases. It’s akin to listening to soothing music.
Did you have a rough day at work? Pick up the cat and stroke it, or just lie down and let it come to you. You’ll notice how your mood changes for the better.
Cats love to contemplate life calmly and can teach us to relax in many different situations. It’s a different story when they go a bit crazy and start running up the walls. Then it’s best to leave them to their own devices because it’s hard to relax with them at such times
Kitties have a soothing and comforting effect on humans. And we haven’t even discussed when then knead us with their front paws.
Simple – if you need a massage, call your cat.
4. Feline Laughter-Therapy
Here we refer to those moments when we engage in laughter therapy due to our pussycat’s antics. Let’s face it; there are countless situations in which your cat can make you split your sides laughing.
How about, for example, those times when our kitty is enjoying a dose of pampering, writhing on the bed, and when suddenly it turns around and falls off. It’s difficult to keep a straight face and avoid offending your cat (they’re a funny bunch :-).
Or for example, when they’re about to perform a perfectly-calculated jump but the forget that the surface they’re starting from is really slippery and just end up falling to the ground (from a low height), like a paratrooper falling from the sky. Not to mention the games they play where sometimes they get literally trapped. Thank goodness we’re there to free them.
There are hundreds of amusing cat videos out there. What better therapy for the body than some side-splitting laughter, even though it’s basically at kitty’s expense. Laughter significantly reduces cortisol levels, improves short-term memory, strengthens our immune system by improving the body ‘s natural defenses and relaxes us in general, amongst other benefits.
Laugh with your cat, your body will thank you for it. Your cat not so much.
5. Unconditional love
Do you know anyone who gets excited when he sees you coming home every single day of his life, anxious for your touch? Don’t think about it too much, because the answer is: no-one. Even our parents have had moments when they were eager to see us, and it had nothing to do with giving us a pat.
If we stop to think about it, both cats and dogs are the only beings that will be so thrilled to see you, every day of their lives. And as incredible as it sounds, even if you’ve had the worst day ever, you’ll stroke them and greet them warmly.
So, what exactly is the benefit of all this? Actually, nothing more than the ability to get us out of our bad mood, appease and bringing out the best in us. This affective relationship is very beneficial to us given that it’s based on an unconditional love that goes beyond the physical and material.
No matter what you have or don’t have, how handsome or ugly you are, your cat will love you above all else. Needless to say, this helps us love and accept ourselves, increasing self-esteem and our self-confidence.
Feline love therapy. At the end of the day, who wants to live without love?
6. Sort out my head
What better company than a cat for when a person is depressed? Their presence improves our mood and serves as a positive distraction.
The routine required by cats, although nowhere near comparable to that of dogs, forces depressed people to fulfill an obligation, with the responsibility of doing so continuously, which at certain times can help avoid apathy and feeling low. This can even improve our eating habits, fight a lack of appetite, and enhance our performance of daily tasks. With a cat, we must learn to follow a pretty tight schedule.
Some studies support the therapeutic use of cats to treat schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s disease, anxiety and certain types of neurosis. This is due to the feline stimulating our endorphin production, substances directly responsible for our happiness.
7. Filling a space
There are many people who, for one reason or another, can’t have children. After spending years absorbed in the impossible task of having a baby, they learn that nature has decided not to give them the opportunity. Such people may feel a certain emptiness in their lives, and this is where cats come in, filling these spaces to perfection.
It’s easy to verify how these kitties come to form part of the family, even single-unit ones, as though they were actual family members.
Regarded as children, they come to fill that void, their cheerfulness, games and general company helping to overcome that lack of emotional support.
The same applies to elderly people who have lost a loved one. Or for those who, after finally retiring, have the dreaded feeling that they’ve stopped being useful to society. Cats are the perfect company to fill that hole.
Externalizing our affection for a cat in turn makes us more communicative with the people around us. It opens up our world; we find it easier to make conversation with strangers when there’s an animal in the midst.
8. Cats and children
It is widely-known that living with a cat brings many benefits to children.
We could mention that, for example, cats stimulate their emotions and encourage responsibility by having to care for the animal. They make children more sociable and empathetic.
They strengthen their immune systems simply because the child grows up in a less “clean” environment, equipping them with stronger defenses (what we would consider a simple adaptation to the environment) against possible respiratory diseases or allergies.
And let’s not forget about the companionship that a cat can offer a child. This in itself encourages a sense of respect and benevolence towards animals.
On a side note, we’d like to show you how cats can be the perfect companion for autistic children. The felines help them communicate, increasing production of the hormone oxytocin, which is produced by stroking a cat and which increases the child’s feelings of trust and love.
But as we all know, a picture is worth a thousand words, therefore, below you’ll find a video of a little girl with autism and her cat, which is sure to move you.
Iris and her cat Thula. The incredible story of how a cat can change our world.
At an early age, Iris was diagnosed with severe autism. Her relationship with her parents, family and friends were difficult to say the least. Unable to speak, the only things she was drawn to were her books and painting, so much so she developed great talent with her brushes. Until Thula came into her life. A little Maine Coon kitten that would change her world forever.
9. Cat Nap
If you have a cat, our advice is to simply follow their lead. Cats sleep more than half the day, and us humans have a thing or two to learn from that. We’re not suggesting you should spend 14 hours a day sleeping, no. But you should take advantage of those naps after lunch, just as your cat comes to rest by your side, and have your forty winks as God intended.
Amongst other benefits of having a nap are: improved memory, productivity, attention, creativity and our overall mood. Yes, it’s true that you don’t need a cat to get in some more sleep, but we can assure you – it helps.
It’ll be difficult to move once it’s settled into your lap and curled up for a sleep, so if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em! Ready, steady, sleep!
10. Quality of life
There are myriad other benefits that people who live with a cat are undoubtedly already aware of. But perhaps most important of all, in our view, is that cat improves our quality of life. And it’s not just us saying it. Countless studies attest that living with a cat improves and prolongs life.
So at this point, all that remains is for us to ask you a couple of questions (if you don’t already share your house with a pussycat): What are you waiting for? Do you really need more reasons?