The Health Benefits Of Living With A Cat

Are you a pet lover, or perhaps a little wary of the potential health risks they might pose?

The word 'zoonotic' might send a shiver down your spine, referring as it does to diseases that can jump from animals to humans.

But before you shoo away your furry friend, consider this: your pet, particularly if it's a cat, might just be your secret weapon in the battle for better health.

woman hugging her cute long hair kitty

Intrigued? You should be. Recent scientific discoveries have revealed a surprising truth: our feline companions are not just sources of joy and comfort.

They're also powerful allies in maintaining and enhancing our health.

From the purring ball of fur that curls up in your lap to the playful kitten chasing a piece of string, your cat is providing you with a host of health benefits.

Let's journey together into the captivating realm of feline-assisted wellness.

1. Cats Lower Stress Levels

We don't really need research to tell us that, do we? Any cat lover that takes the time to spend a few minutes with his or her cat, just petting and feeling that purr, can feel the effect right away.

woman stroking hand grip at cat

It's the ailurophile's version of "stopping to smell the flowers."

Interestingly, research shows that cats can help fight depression: Owning a cat can distinctly help alleviate negative feelings.

In fact, according to one study published, cats had the same positive effect on a person as the presence of a spouse. In other words, why get married when you can get a cat?

2. Cats Lower the Risk of Heart Attacks and Stroke

Researchers at the University of Minnesota's Stroke Research Center showed that cat owners are at a considerably lower risk for cardiovascular disease, heart attacks, and strokes.

Man with heart attack

A large-scale study showed that people without cats had a 40 percent greater risk of death due to heart attack and a 30 percent higher risk of death caused by any sort of cardiovascular disease.

Nobody knows for sure why cats have that effect on our cardiovascular systems. Very possibly, the lowered blood pressure and the reduced stress have something to do with the results.


3. Cats' Purr Helps Strengthen Bones

Did you know that the soothing hum of your cat's purr could be a secret recipe for stronger bones?

Studies have unveiled an astonishing fact: the unique frequency of a cat's purr can actually stimulate bone growth.

Ginger tabby young cat sitting on a wooden floor looks up and meows -  health benefits of living with a cat

In the world of medical science, this discovery has sparked a wave of innovative research.

Scientists are now exploring the potential of harnessing these purr-frequencies and vibrations as a novel approach to treating conditions like osteoporosis and aiding in the healing of bone fractures.

While the scientific community is busy unlocking the full potential of this feline secret, you don't have to wait for their findings.

Every time your cat settles down and purrs, remember, it's not just a comforting sound, but a symphony of wellness being played just for you.

4. Cats Help Children Develop Resistance to Asthma

Research shows that living with a cat actually helps build a child's immune system. Some children develop a healthy resistance to asthma following significant exposure to cats.

cute child embraces with tenderness and love a red cat - health benefits of living with a cat

We link a child's ability or lack thereof to develop immunity to their mother's history of cat allergies.

You may want to get more specific information from your doctor regarding your own family.

Still, if you're concerned about the health implications of a cat interacting with a baby, the odds are that they're highly beneficial. Another good reason to keep the cat when planning a baby.

Concluding with Cat Lore!

As we wrap up, let's take a light-hearted look back at some historical beliefs about cats and health, as shared in the book 'Planet Cat.' Remember, these are old tales and are not to be tried at home!

People in the Middle Ages believed that they could get rid of an eyelid sty by gently stroking a black cat's tail.

To combat fever, people would carry a pouch with a rather unusual mix: the dung of a female cat and an owl's claw.

Here's a bit of lore encouraging kindness to cats: People believed that kicking a cat might result in that leg developing rheumatism.

So, let's appreciate our cats for their companionship, their health benefits, and the interesting stories they've inspired over the centuries.


Comments? Leave them using the form below. Questions? Please use the cat forums for those!

How about expanding your knowledge of feline health? Take a look at the informative articles we’ve gathered for you below.

The Healthy Cat: Eight Things You Should Check

Tackling Feline Obesity: Your Guide to a Healthier Cat

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10 comments on “The Health Benefits Of Living With A Cat

tarasgirl06 February 6, 2024
Conceived, born, and raised "with cat." My mom and dad both loved cats and shared life with many. So have I; and I credit living with cats and being raised by compassionate, caring, responsible parents who supervised me carefully when I was around our beloved cats for being healthier, happier, more grounded and (usually) serene. Very grateful my parents knew better than to fall for that ignorant old saw that babies and cats don't mix. They definitely DO, and SHOULD, for all of the above reasons, as long as kids have responsible, compassionate, loving parents who are well educated in cat behavior and coexistence for cats and kids!
Hobiflowery September 15, 2023
I have diagnosed PTSD and my two boys are one of the only things that help when I'm going through an episode.They, especially my oldest, Sammy, have always taken care of me. They are always coming to comfort me. Sammy is the most affectionate and loving cat I ever owned and I definitely can tell it helps against my Depression and PTSD, he brings so much joy to our Household, makes me laugh and smile on my worst days. Our youngest, Milo, is also following his footsteps and is so sweet and loving. And he purrs so loud even if you're just near him. Such two loving cats. Cats are a blessing I'm thankful for every day ♥️
bobkater August 22, 2023
Also, cats can sense when their humans are depressed or unhappy, and they will try to cheer them up by cuddling up to them and rubbing cheeks. They have even been known to bring their toys to their unhappy humans.
tiggerwillow August 15, 2023
My mental health gets really bad when I don't have cats. True fact.
Lori Mcwilliams Stewart July 8, 2023
Have always had a cat since I was born!!! Sometimes multiples up to 15-20 in our barns!!!
Mango 10/18/21 July 6, 2023
I have had fur babies for over 20 years always rescue or strays with in weeks old brought them back to health what a huge part of my life
Haidur Shah February 23, 2021
Coming back to this article for the first time since 2018 when I first bought my beloved Simba ( Cream Marbled Bengal crossed kitten). I still have my Simba in 2021 and long may that continue. Amen!🙏🏻
kntrygrl256 June 11, 2015
Mine have really helped me with my anxiety and depression. I don't function very well without them around.
Boris Diamond June 8, 2015
Another reason to cherish my cats!
raysmyheart June 8, 2015
The best and happiest part of every day for me is the time I spend with Speedy!

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