For those of us who have opened our hearts and homes to cats, we already know how happy they make us. Loads of cuddles. Adorable antics. But did you know they can also have a positive impact on our health? Here are five ways cats improve our health.
Lowered Risk of Heart Disease
Scientists claim that owning a cat can reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes by more than one third. These little purr balls help relieve stress and anxiety, which in turn lowers blood pressure and reduces the heart rate. That’s a pretty good reason to increase cuddle time, wouldn’t you say?
It sounds crazy, but studies show that a cat’s purr may be therapeutically beneficial to humans. With a frequency range of 20-140 Hertz, the vibration from purring has been linked to lowering stress, reducing symptoms of Dyspnoea, and strengthening bones.
Multiple studies in the UK have found that people prefer to sleep with their cats vs their partners (this is especially true for women). The Mayo Clinic Center for Sleep Medicine confirmed those findings stating that 41 percent of people in the study claimed they slept better because of their pet. However, if your cat can’t sleep unless they’re laying on your face or you have a cat that loves to play at night, this probably isn’t true for you.
Reduced Stress and Anxiety
Cats mellow us out. Studies show that just 15 to 30 minutes of cuddle time with a cat can calm our nerves and boost our mood. Spending time with a cat can increase your serotonin levels (feel-good chemicals) and lower cortisone levels (stress chemicals). All of this can help lower your stress levels. As if we needed another reason to hang out with our cat.
Sounds crazy, right? Less allergies with cats? Researchers have found that having young adults that had cats in the home as kids were only half as likely to develop an allergic reaction to cats as an adult. In fact, Marshall Plaut, M.D, chief of allergic mechanisms unit at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases stated that, “high pet exposure early in life appears to protect you from pet allergens as well as allergy to dust mites, ragweed, and grass.”
Enjoy your cuddles and the benefits they offer. Check out our blog for more pet-friendly reads!