Living with a cat comes with several perks. Many are cuddle bugs and curl up beside you while watching TV. Cats seek out warm places to sleep and may spend time underneath the bed covers and you benefit from having feet warmers during cold winter nights. What cat owner has not noticed the endless entertaining antics of their feline (chasing the invisibles)? Having a cat simply means better living.
Many pet owners are either dog people or cat people. The next time one of your dog loving friends starts in on dog ownership over cats, let them know that many studies have found cat owners reap several benefits. They provide owners with a sympathetic ear, great listening skills and boundless affection as well as other great benefits. Here are ten reasons that your kitty may be improving your health and life:
Dogs are more loving than cats is just a stereotype. A 2003 Swiss study found that having a cat is the emotional equivalent of having a romantic relationship. Felines provide constant, loving support and will remember kindness and return the favor later. A British poll reports that 82% of women found men more attractive if they liked animals. And 90% of women believe men who own cats are "nicer" than non-cat owners.
After thousands of years of domestication, cats have learned to make a purr/howl noise that sounds much like a human baby's cry. Our genetic makeup is to respond to the sound of a child's cry, making it difficult to ignore a cat making this noise.
According to a study of British pet owners, cat owners were more intelligent (in both IQ and education) than their dog-loving counterparts. The researchers conducting the study did not believe cats were making their owners smarter. Rather, people with a higher education work longer hours and since cats need less attention than dogs, they are a better choice for busy people.
3. Cardiovascular disease
A University of Minnesota study, conducted over a ten-year period, found 30 - 40% of non-cat owners were more likely to die of heart attack or stroke than people owning cats.
4. Allergies & Asthma
Some studies suggest that newborns living in households with cats and dogs are more likely not to develop allergies, have fewer ear infections and respiratory problems. Early exposure to cats and dogs trigger immunity. Evidence suggests that children living with a cat helps in preventing asthma. Early and regular contact between young children and cats may help children avoid several respiratory problems.
5. Reduced Blood Pressure
According to a State University of New York at Buffalo study, people who have pets have lower blood pressure than non-pet owners.
6. Cholesterol and Triglycerides
A 2006 Canadian study found owning a cat was more effective in lowering cholesterol than cholesterol reducing medications. Also, cat owners have lower triglycerides, which boosts their health.
7. Depression and Mood
In general, owning and interacting with a cat can improve mood and help in easing depression. While cats do not cure depression, they can take your mind off your problems and focus on something else. Feline owners recover from loss more quickly and show fewer physical symptoms of pain, like crying.
8. Overall Health
Cat owners make fewer visits to health care providers, doctors and hospitals. Nursing homes studies found that allowing felines as a patient therapy program have lower medication costs than places that do not allow cats.
If preserving our environment and being eco-friendly is for you, then get a cat. A 2009 study, found the resources needed to feed a dog over its lifetime has the same eco-footprint as a Hummer. Conversely, cats have a footprint comparable to a Volkswagen Golf.
Most dog owners are extroverts and the life of the party. Cat owners are quieter, less outgoing, less manipulative and more modest.
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