Would you ever guess your furry best friend could also be your therapist? Yes, you read it right; cats are no longer just cute balls of fluff. They have magical healing powers. No joke! If you are curious to know in exactly what ways cats are health-beneficial creatures in our lives, continue reading this article because in it you will find all the awesome health benefits of owning a cat!
If you do not have a cat and are reading this, I guarantee we will have you running to the shelter to adopt one today. Let’s start with a little infographic that we think you might like! 🙂
In this article:
- Health Benefits of Owning a Cat
- How Cats Improve Your Immune System
- How Cats Support Emotional Health
- How Cats Comfort
- How Cats Heal Bones
- Positive Impact of Cats on Your Health
- Final Thoughts: Health Benefits of Owning a Cat
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The Therapeutic Cat: How Cats Improve Immunity
Cats love sharing. Don’t think so? I beg to differ. Did you know that cats have a natural well being that is extended to their owners? Just having a cat increases your immune system. Thanks to cats, who are (for the most part) joyous and affectionate, humans have the desire to live and feel better.
It’s been proven that a cat’s company gives incredible results when dealing with psychological disorders, but it also helps with cases of hypertension and heart attacks.
Actually, just observing or caressing your kitty can immediately lower your blood pressure. Starting to believe that cats have magical powers now? Good.
But if you want to know the science behind it, the magical mechanism in cats is actually due to a process of emotional affection. Studies have been done by Professor Benson at Harvard University which demonstrates the positive relationship that cats have with human emotions.
The Relaxing Cat: How Cats Support Emotional Health
I’ll have you know that acquiring the state of relaxation not only comes from your yoga workout. It can come from your cat, too! In other words, cats also have the ability to change you physiologically. The muscles relax, the heart rate slows down and regulates, the breathing rate decreases. All of these are thanks to your cat.
The fact that your cat can change your physiological state also explains why scientists and therapists alike have seen improvement of certain diseases of the musculoskeletal system by using animals, such as the cat.
Reaching that state of relaxation (again thanks to your cat) coincides with the production decrease in stress hormones and adrenaline caused by the stress of daily life and moments of crisis.
You know what your kitty can do? He/She can take away all that stress and produce positive emotions!
Yes, your kitty is quite the arouser of good feelings. They can actually stimulate your “happy hormones” (aka endorphins) which, not only makes you happy (cats = chocolate?) but also boosts your immune system allowing you to fight off infectious diseases. Hip hip, hooray! Go kitty go!
It’s often said that cats choose us instead of us choosing them. If you’re lucky enough to be loved and chosen by a cat then you are probably aware that cats are, in fact, animals that can arouse intense emotions such as love, fear, curiosity, and tenderness.
Professor Ballarini at Parma University even defines the cat as “an emotional animal, which charms the one who meets him.” Haven’t you ever heard “Time spent with a cat is never wasted” [Colette] and “What greater gift than the love of a cat?” [Charles Dickens] Okay, I’ll stop. But if you want more awesome quotes like these then check out CatTime.
The Relationship Saver Cat: How Cats Comfort
Cat’s abilities obviously don’t end there. In addition to being super therapeutic, cats have many other characteristics that make you want to pick them up and squeeze them in your arms and caress them on your lap: they’re little, fluffy, soft, and naturally clean!
The fact that cats are basically labor-free means they are specifically helpful for the elderly community or for people or children with certain psychological disabilities who cannot take care of a more demanding animal.
You immediately get the satisfaction of holding a cat because pleasing them results in them pleasing you: the sweet noise and soft vibrations of them purring.
Cats make us happy and put us in a good mood. As you go about your day, you will undoubtedly share that mood with others! As they say, smiles are contagious! Well, so are cats.
Even looking at a cat sleeping or playing produces good feelings. And before I forget, did I mention they are the best conversation starters? I cannot describe how many times Yoda was the target of conversation during get-togethers.
Cats Helping Kids and Our Elders
Caring for a cat can be a very important and useful moment for children with psychophysical problems because it allows them to build up their confidence as they use their own ability to feed and give the cat the care s/he requires.
Cats, just as they help the elderly community, also are very therapeutic and educational for children who suffer from ocular diseases; being able to touch the cat, feel its fluff, smell its odor, hear its purrs, all helps to create visual sensory images in the mind, in addition to all of the other aforementioned therapeutic, stress-relieving, healing capabilities! Bingo!
So basically cats in this context act as positive stimuli to renew relationships and to rediscover emotional relationships between humans. Whoa, now your cat can also be your marriage counselor! Sure is a way to save some $$$.
Moreover, the “calming power” of kitties can lower aggressiveness in inter/intrapersonal relationships. So the next time you really want to run that crazy driver off the road, think about your cat! (cats = zen?).
Cats create happy kids, happy adults, and happy old folks all over the world. Are you one of them?
The Purrfect Healing Cat: How Cats Heal Bones
Cats are noted for their purring, would you agree? If you weren’t totally obsessed with a soft little kitty’s purrs before, then well, check this out. The “power of the purrs” is a legit statement. Why?
The frequency of a cat’s purrs can range between 20 to 140 Hertz. These awesome invisible sound waves that are produced during a cat’s purrs can actually heal broken bones. No need to wonder why cats have nine lives! If that’s the case then this next bit shouldn’t come as a surprise.
Purrs also aid in lowering stress levels as well as blood pressure, they decrease your chance (by about 40%) of having a heart attack, and they can speed up the healing process of infections, swelling, and even injured soft tissues (muscles, ligaments, tendons..)
What does this mean? It means you can work out like crazy, just as long as you have tons of cats to soothe those sore muscles in the morning.
Actually, just have tons of cats anyway (more cats = more happiness = more chocolate? more wine?) Hmm not sure I got that correlation right. Feel the power of the purrs. Rawr.
Conclusions: Cats Keep Us Healthy
Knowing all the above, it’s no surprise why the Egyptians praised cats. Well, our generation does too. After all, cats didn’t earn the title, “King of the internet” without a little help from their slave humans.
If we are honest with ourselves, there is no good reason to not like cats. I mean come on; cats must be the smallest, cutest, softest, and fluffiest therapist/counselor/healer you have ever met. Unless…
In any case, the health benefits of owning a cat are no longer a secret you can keep to yourself. Share with the rest of the world the amazing health benefits of owning a cat! And well, just share your cat with the world anyway; we would love to see pictures.
And most of all, let us know your thoughts and happy emotions about reading this article (reading about cats = happiness?) Hmm, someone should do a new study! 😉
Thank you for following Fluffy Kitty, where we are crazy cat ladies and gentlemen. Hey, who said cat loving had to be gender-specific? I’m a crazy cat lady. He’s a crazy cat..man.
That’s it folks! Don’t forget, just keep calm and love cats! And remember, you’re local animal shelter probably closes around 5:00 p.m. so if I were you, I would stop reading this and get your cat-loving self over there! Better hurry, your purrfect best friend is waiting for YOU.
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