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How Your Health can Benefit from Owning a Cat

22 April 2018
Helping your cat cope with a serious health complaint can end up being both an emotional and financial drain. Yet seeing the positive effect of its treatment can be very rewarding, and make the continued expense seem every bit worthwhile. This is our conscious contribution to our cats, yet in times of need, without knowing it themselves, it is our cats that contribute best to the welfare of us.

Research has been carried out on the human benefits of owning a pet, and suggests it is our four-legged friends that offer the most ongoing health benefit, both on a physical and emotional level. Although evidence centres primarily on the positive effects of owning a dog, there is evidence to suggest that any pet, from a cat to a bird to a rabbit, provides a degree of emotional healing in the home.

Besides helping with stress disorders, depression and anxiety, owning a cat is believed to reduce the risk of serious health conditions such as heart attacks and strokes. Reduced blood pressure and lowered cholesterol can be achieved with a pet in the home, whilst some pets have been found to alter their behaviour when their owner's health has become unstable.

The benefits of owning a cat can Decrease Stress; it is reported that people feel much more relaxed in the company of their cats, as opposed to either friends or family members. Surprised? A study carried out found that feelings of acute stress were observed less in those that had their pets accompany them during a stressful task than those in the presence of familiar figures.

It seems the value of animals knows no bounds, and research is constantly being carried out to expand our understanding of how our cats can support us by Improving Mood and Easing Pain.

The benefit of cat ownership to emotional disorders such as anxiety, low self-esteem and depression is well documented. Many sufferers have described the responsibility and purpose they feel in caring for a cat, and the unconditional love given by them helps to boost confidence, inner contentment and self-esteem. Having a companion cat also removes feelings of isolation and loneliness, thus alleviating a key cause of depression.

Children are also helped through the remarkable power of animals, whether in their emotional development, assisted therapy, or in learning. Many studies have been conducted to address the effect of animal companionship on children during their early development, and the results have consolidated years of theory about the benefits to emotional progression. Children who are brought up with animals in the home are thought to display kinder, more patient and affectionate behaviours than children who have been brought up without them.

Helping Children To Develop also extends to those with autism and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, as these children may struggle relating to others or expressing themselves, and pets have an incredible capacity for fulfilling this need to communicate.

Introducing pets to your children early on has an additional benefit. Doctors have studied the relationship between allergies and the presence of pets in the childhood home and concluded that living with animals can significantly reduce your chances of developing allergies or having a weakened immune system when young. So you get to enjoy the company of your beloved cats and grow up free from any uncomfortable allergies in adulthood – always a bonus!