Personal health isn't typically the first thing people consider when they decide they want a cat. However, as long as the person in question isn't allergic, owning a cat can do wonders for both physical and mental well-being. Cat owners have known about the therapeutic benefits of cats for a long time, but the medical advantages of cat ownership are now a matter of scientific fact.
Lower Risk Of Having A Heart Attack
Most studies which examine the link between cat ownership and human health have either been relatively short or lacking in sample size. However, a recent piece of research carried out by the University of Minnesota's Stroke Institute in Minneapolis managed to study well over 4000 people over a period of ten years, and they found an incredible link between cat ownership and health.
It had long been suspected that owning a cat reduced the likelihood of heart attack, but researchers were still shocked to find that cat owners showed a 30% lower risk than non-cat owners—a highly significant association.
The Healing Purr
Sitting with a purring cat in your lap is always a pleasant experience, but it can also be a healthy one. Cats purr in a frequency ranging between 20-140 Hz, a range which has been shown to be medically therapeutic. As well as lowering stress, purring has been demonstrated during numerous studies to help reduce blood pressure.
However, lower blood pressure is just the tip of the iceberg. Purrs have even been shown to reduce the healing time of infections, muscle injuries, and even broken bones! Cats often purr when they have been injured, and it is thought that this is the reason why. It's also why cats who know their owner is ill will often lie by their side and start purring.
Reduced Feelings of Loneliness
Of course, the best reason to buy or adopt a cat is the companionship which it provides. This does more than improve your physical health—it also helps your mental health. Many people are okay by themselves, but a cat can still be beneficial, helping people feel a connection which they might not be able to find elsewhere. This is why cats are used so widely as therapy pets. They can sense when you're depressed or unwell, and will do their best to cheer you up.
Owning a cat will make you feel better, both mentally and physically. Of course, you should always consider whether you're going to give them a loving home in return. If you are interested in holistic pet therapy treatments for your cat, contact a local veterinarian.