A lot of people choose to make kitties a major part of their family due to the enormous benefits they offer- both mentally and physically. Studies have shown that the more time you spend with your feline friends, the better you become.
Little wonder the American Veterinary Medical Association showed about 25% of U.S. households have at least one feline companion as a live-in friend.
Although cats can be mischievous at times, and they might love to smack things off your desk for no reason, but that’s part of their charm – one major reason why we love them being around.
Here are the 7 main reasons why cats make us better people:
1. They keep us healthy
Research by the American Heart Association shows that pet owners have a reduced risk of developing cardiovascular diseases, including high cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, and obesity.
Some studies have also shown that cat owners are less likely to have a heart attack or stroke than their feline-free counterparts.
Interaction with cats also helps to release serotonin and dopamine, which are useful to reduce stress, regulate your mood, and ultimately improve immune functioning.
Although experts aren’t so sure how pets improve our health beyond the exercise factor, they do anyway.
So, you can think of your cat as a natural medicine that you have in your home that can help you maintain a healthy state.
2. They help you stay active
When you dance around in the living room with your cat or toss a tennis ball at your cat, you’re definitely exercising, and that means you’re burning some kilojoules.
Having a cat in your home helps to get your heart rate up, boosting your energy levels, and improving your mood through quick bursts of exercise.
You don’t have to do too much; just a simple walk with your cat down the footpath once or twice a day adds up over time.
3. Cats reduce allergies
One of the major benefits of having a cat around is that they help reduce allergies. Studies have shown that when children below one year of age stay close to felines, they gain immunity to allergic reactions.
Not only that, but research also shows that babies that live with cats gain resistance against pollen, dust, and other allergenic elements.
4. Cats are independent
When you think of pets that do not give their owner much work to do, cats take the lead. Although having this four-legged buddy comes with some responsibilities, they are very much independent. This gives you a fewer tasks to handle on a daily basis since they look out for themselves.
Cats lookout for a sandbox to pee and poop in and that reduces the odor significantly. Besides, this reduces the weight of clean up that you need to do as a pet owner, and you don’t need any form of training to do so.
When it comes to hygiene, cats clean themselves in a way that’s enough to keep them away from the pet shop for some time. Their self-cleaning nature is a good thing and they’re experts at it.
A normal cat can spend over 50% of their day grooming themselves, and this often results in one very pristine feline.
However, you need to bathe your cat at least once every two months.
Also, offering cats a routine with different activities help in responsible tutoring. You can offer them a few toys and accessories to entertain them. By creating a fun environment for them, you can be sure your feline friends will have fun independently for their whole lives.
Cats can sure make things easier for you as their owner, but you still need to shower them with love, care, and attention.
5. Cats love human company
Cats are often compared to dogs (which are known to be man’s famous best friends), but enough studies show that cats are as loving as canines and they make us better people.
One study conducted by Oregon State University shows that cats prefer to stay around humans than eat food. The cats were offered choices of activities such as spending time with humans, eating, and playing with toys, to know which they like best.
The result of the study shows that most of the cats chose to be with humans first, and then food.
This study shows that cats really do love us. They just tend to be nonchalant at times.
You already know cats can’t express their emotions with hugs and kisses the way humans do. Nor do they lick people, jump on their favorite humans, or wag their tails like dogs tend to.
Instead, you find them rubbing their heads on you or cuddle up on your laps to vocalize their affection and show you that they love you.
They even have conversations with you through their meows. When they make this sound, they are telling you about their day, asking when their next cuddle time is, and asking you what’s for dinner- so take note of these signs.
The interesting thing is that cats only meow at humans. This means they use this vocal communication exclusively for you. Meowing is a language that helps you bond well with your cat, and it shows that you always have a paw-some buddy to interact with.
6. Petting them feels good
Imagine coming back home after a long stressful day and snuggling up with your kitty. It sends a feeling of relaxation down your spine. Petting the velvety fur of your feline companion goes a long way to help you unwind and relax.
Scientists, however, show that this feel-good action is based on three facts: You’re initiating a positive interaction with your cat; you’re devoting at least partial attention to this activity; and you’re moving in a steady, rhythmic pattern as you stroke your kitty’s fur with your hands.
To make your kitty feel good in return as you pet them, try to concentrate more on areas behind their eyes and ears, as well as around their chin and cheeks.
More so, research has shown that petting your cats causes “love hormones” to be released in humans. This neurochemical is technically known as oxytocin, and it is mainly released when people fall in love.
So as your body releases oxytocin while petting your cat, it increases your emotional perception. This reduces anxiety and helps you connect better with people. You can as well call this “cat therapy.”
7. They increase our social connections
You would have observed how strangers are more apt to say hello, smile, and even strike up a conversation when you go out with your cat. And most times when you share a funny story about Fido or Fluffy, people immediately share their own experiences.
Those brief social interactions leave us feeling less isolated and more in connection with our community.
There you have it, these are some of the main reasons why cats make us better people. They are generally beneficial for our health, and if you really want to enjoy all these benefits and more, you had better get a feline companion and show them with a lot of love and care. They will surely offer you a lot of benefits in return- physically, emotionally, socially, and mentally.