Therapeutic Health Benefits of Cat Ownership
There is no denying that pet ownership can have a hugely positive impact on people’s mental and physical wellbeing. Although dogs are most commonly the preferred choice of pet across much of the world, cats are close behind and it is becoming clearer why this is the case. There are far more to cats than meets the eye.
Often there are various pros and cons between which is the better pet – dogs versus cats – but in reality, they both offer substantial, yet different benefits. It really comes down to personal preference rather than which is better than the other.
The bond created between cat and owner can be as strong and significant as the one you would have with a dog. There are even a surprising number of cat owners who travel with their feline friends wherever they go. Thankfully, cat travel companies make this an easy process for both cats and their owners.
For those of you actively looking to improve your health and wellbeing, perhaps getting a cat might be a good choice for you? Here are some of the specific benefits of owning a cat for you to consider.
Researchers have found that cats not only purr when they are content but also when they are unwell. This is because the vibrational frequency of the purring sound is thought to be a way of self-healing.
Sound frequency has long been used as a therapeutic healing approach and the low-frequency vibration of a cats purr leans towards a natural healing mechanism. So simply having a cat purring around you, might just boost your own internal healing too.
Physical Health Benefits
Numerous studies conducted, place cat owners at decreased risks of some of the world’s most prevalent diseases – stroke, heart disease and hypertension.
It is thought that cats, in particular, lower our levels of stress and anxiety. As having a snuggle with your kitty often triggers an instant calming state, this may explain why cat owners are generally more relaxed, healthier and happier.
According to research, bringing up children in an environment with cats can decrease the chances of developing allergies. This actually applies to any allergies and not just an allergy to animal fur!
A National Institute of Health study found that if children were exposed to a cat during their first year of life, they would be far less likely to be affected by allergies.
Enhanced Health for Children
For families, adding a cat may help improve your children’s immune response. Similarly to allergy prevention, another specific study looking at the health benefits of pet contact during early infancy revealed interesting results.
The study showed that cat ownership was likely to improve a child’s immune defence, decreasing the episodes of illness experienced.
Moreover, respiratory diseases were also found to be significantly reduced in children exposed to cats early in life.
Positive Mental Health
Pet therapy is widely used in areas of the health and wellbeing industry for good reason – pets can make us feel happier and help us cope better with stressful situations. Cat’s are a popular choice as a therapy pet, as they can peacefully relax in the lap of a patient.
Petting the soft fur of a cat instantly releases feel-good chemicals in your body – endorphins – which are responsible for elevating your mood.
The therapeutic benefits of cats aren’t specific to physical contact either. Apparently, just watching cat videos online can ignite positive emotions and increase the energy levels of the viewer.
By igniting these positive states through our daily interactions, for example with cats, the higher the chance of reducing the negative effects of mental health problems.