Cats: our catnip loving, trouble causing, sassy feline friends. We love them as if they were a member of the family and for many of us, they truly are. But have you ever wondered if owning a cat has any real benefit? If so, continue reading. We’re going to cover the most interesting, creative, and scientific benefits of owning a cat.
Top 32 Benefits of Owning a Cat
If you’ve ever watched any of those viral Internet videos of DJ-ing cats, then you know that they’re very lovable pets.
In fact, research shows that seeing images of kittens can instantly improve your mood and lead to positive emotions. That’s why it comes as no surprise to find that owning a cat has a number of amazing benefits for your mental, emotional and social health.
Read on to find out more.
Benefits of owning a cat are:
- Will help you find a partner
- You will be smarter
- They’re eco-friendly
- You’ll have a healthier heart
- Others will learn more about you
- You’ll sleep better
- They’re great companions
- You’ll have fewer allergies
- Cats help you make new friends
- You’ll recover faster from trauma
- You’ll have a better immune system
- You can skip out on all the allergies
- Your cholesterol is lower with a cat
- Cats prevent asthma in children
- A cat could save your life
- You’ll learn more about yourself
- You’ll live longer
Will Help You Find a Partner
Are you struggling to get a date? Well, getting a cat can actually improve your chances of landing that dream girl.
According to a British study, more than 80% of the nation’s single women said they find men with pets more appealing.
Now, you might think of yourself as a dog person but consider this; 90% of the women interviewed for the poll said that they prefer men who’re cat owners over dog owners.
You Will Become Smarter
The University of Bristol did a survey back in 2010 to determine the IQ of different pet owners. The study found that cat owners are more likely to be college-educated than dog lovers.
Researchers in Wisconsin did another study in 2014 which showed the same results. The latter study examined the responses of over 60 college students.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that owning a cat will automatically make you smart. Just that cats are self-reliant animals that don’t need as much attention as dogs.
Cats are so low maintenance that you’ll spend less time grooming, feeding and giving them attention so you can spend that time developing yourself.
If you care about living an eco-friendly life, then you’ll be glad to know that owning a cat can significantly reduce your carbon footprint compared to owning a dog.
According to a 2009 study, owning a single dog means that you’ll have the same eco-footprint as someone that drives a Land Cruiser their whole life. On the other hand, owning a cat means that you’ll have the same footprint as someone who drives a small hatchback. That’s because cats eat less and they don’t need as much grooming.
Apparently, cat owners have better cardiac health as well. That’s because cats are less stressful to deal with. They don’t require as much attention and effort as a dog and petting a cat is an effortless and soothing activity that doesn’t necessarily have to lead to chasing it or playing catch.
A 10-year study shows that if you own a cat then you’re 30% less likely to suffer from a stroke or a heart attack. Perhaps that’s because cats are chilled, laid-back animals as well.
Other People Will Learn More About Your Personality
Here’s an interesting thing; the type of pet you have has some bearing on your personality. As you may have noticed, dog owners are typically boisterous people whereas cat owners are introverts who enjoy their own company over being a social butterfly.
Not only that, but cat owners are typically more compassionate, modest and trustworthy while being less calculating.
A Great Companion
There’s a common stereotype that compared to cats, dogs are more affectionate. However, this isn’t necessarily true. That’s why most women prefer cats as companions as opposed to dogs unless they’re looking for a pet for protection purposes.
A 2003 Austrian study discovered that owning a cat is similar to having the presence of a romantic partner in your house. Studies further show that cats tend to return kindness and compassion that you show to them and they’re known for their ability to gently initiate contact.
Keep in mind that humans have domesticated cats for millions of years, so it makes sense that they’ve managed to perfect their noises to mimic those of a crying baby. Considering that it’s really difficult to ignore the sounds of a crying baby, humans are basically wired to respond to cats when they exhibit signs of distress.
Whether you have allergies or not, if you plan on having children then it might be a good idea to opt for a cat instead of a dog. That’s because the National Institute of Health did a study in 2009 which showed that exposure to cats before the age of one can actually reduce one’s chances of developing allergies later on in life.
Not only that, but frequent exposure to pets during the formative years can protect your child not only from allergies to pets but from allergies to grass, ragweed , and dust mites. Of course, there’s no denying that exposure to Toxoplasma gondii cat parasite can be detrimental to a young child’s health.
But it’s equally true that you can prevent this condition from occurring and spreading by changing your cat’s litter box once per day and containing your pet to the house.
Will Help You Make New Friends
Research data from the “Pet Factor” study indicates that owning a pet can serve as the catalyst that some adults need to break the ice and make connections with others. That’s why you’ll find that pet owners tend to make friends with other pet owners.
The goal of this study was to determine the relation between pets and social bonding in humans. Basically, the study found that birds of a feather flock together when it comes to pet lovers, as cat owners tend to stick with other cat owners and the same goes for dog lovers.
Either way, owning a pet can make it that much easier to approach others and start a conversation with strangers. Most of the time, pet owners find that they share similar personality traits with other pet owners and combined with a shared love for cats, this makes it easier to make a genuine connection.
Fast Recovery from Trauma
There are numerous studies which support the idea that the mere presence of a cat can have marvelous effects on one’s overall wellbeing. Not only that, but cats can be helpful at helping you overcome traumatic events.
For instance, studies have shown that PTSD sufferers and post-surgery patients found that having cats around made them feel better and might even have accelerated their recovery.
Getting a cat can be a literal lifeline for people who don’t have communal or family support for whatever reason.
Improves the Immune System
Okay, so you’re probably wondering how this is possible considering that cats can cause allergies, but the truth is that pet dander can significantly boost your immune system. That’s because it stimulates immunity to build up resistance against irritants that may lead to asthma and other types of allergic reactions.
The best part is that kids that grow up around pets are less likely to experience allergies compared to kids who only have pets introduced later on their lives.
You Won’t Develop Allergies
According to a 2002 study by the National Institutes of Health, regular exposure to cats from an early age can help prevent the development of pet and other allergies when children grow up.
Interestingly, the same doesn’t apply to older children, teens, and adults. The current data indicates that infants that are exposed to pet bacteria and allergens have a better chance of developing a strong immune system, thanks to the presence of Fido or Fluffy’s allergens.
Researchers also claim that babies that are regularly exposed to cats tend to exhibit strong immune resistance to common allergens such as dust mites, grass, and ragweed.
We all know that high levels of triglycerides and cholesterol can increase your risk of experiencing a heart attack, and they’re usually a precursor to strokes, kidney disease, liver disease, and type 2 diabetes.
Interestingly enough, cats can actually help you keep your cholesterol and triglyceride levels balanced. A study from the Medical Journal of Australia shows that pet owners have lower blood pressure, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels when compared to people that don’t own pets.
Of course, there’s no direct scientific and established a correlation between pet ownership and better health but there’s enough evidence to suggest that owning a pet encourages a healthier lifestyle overall.
Perhaps having a heightened awareness of your pet’s health has something to do with a desire to keep in shape so that you can be around for your pet for as long as possible.
Prevent Asthma in Children
One of the leading causes of asthma are pet allergies. That’s why it’s often recommended to increase exposure to pets while children are still in their infancy. Research shows that exposure to cats can even help children who have a predisposition to asthma.
Having pets around can help to prevent the onset of pet allergies and asthma by fortifying the child’s immune system against such conditions.
The only exception to the rule was found in studies that examined the children of mothers who were specifically allergic to cats. Unfortunately, kids in this category actually had an increased chance of being asthmatic due to exposure to cats.
Can Save Your Life
One of the most distinguishing characteristics of cat behavior is that they’re often seen as aloof and unconcerned. That’s because most people expect cats to slobber all over them like dogs but your feline friend is more likely to leave you alone most of the time.
This doesn’t make cats any less compassionate, caring or supportive of their owners. In fact, there’s plenty of evidence to suggest that cats are highly emotionally intelligent, devoted and selfless animals.
They’ve also been shown to exhibit heroic qualities. If you look online, you’ll find plenty of stories of cats who’ve saved their owners from seizures or epileptic attacks.
Cats Teach You a Lot About Yourself
There’s no denying that your pet preferences say a lot about your personality. As we mentioned, cat lovers tend to be introverted and quiet people who prefer to be alone.
However, cat owners are also typically trustworthy and open-minded. They’re modest and not as manipulative as non-pet owners. Similar to their feline pets, cat owners are also known for their emotional intelligence, creativity, and love for the solitary life.
Not only that, but they’re also unconventional thinkers, creatives and imaginative people that like going on adventures because they enjoy being in nature. Another characteristic that cat owners share with their pets is a free spirit and a strong sense of independence.
You Will Live Longer
As a cat owner, you won’t have to do much in the way of maintenance. Cats are pretty much self-cleaning, they’re neat and they’re quick learners. However, there’s still a lot of work that you need to do as a pet owner regardless of how low maintenance cats are.
This gives most pet owners a sense of purpose knowing that you have another being that relies on you for their sustenance and well-being. This creates a beautiful symphony of health and wellness where you feel a sense of purpose and meaning due to your ability to take care of your pet.
Let’s not forget that numerous studies show that owning a cat can have several health benefits including increased immunity, improved mood, lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels, a decrease in blood pressure and stress levels and a lengthier lifespan.
They Provide Top Notch Pest Control
Do you have a mouse problem? How about a summer cockroach invasion? No problem! Cats are usually a pretty good way to control pests. Whether it be from an unsatiated, always-hungry appetite or their love of hunting, cats find all sorts of enjoyment in chasing a mouse or large bug.
Even if your cat can’t (or won’t) catch the pests, he or she will likely alert you that you have a pest problem by paying close attention to certain areas of the home. If you think you have a pest, focus on the areas that your cat seems particularly interested in such as corners, closets, cupboards, and underneath of doors.
They’ll Help You Learn About Yourself
The simple decision of whether to get a cat or a dog can actually tell others a lot about you. As a general rule of thumb, many cat owners are introverted and quiet, with high levels of patience and a modest lifestyle.
If you tend to choose the same breed of cat or cats with the same personality time and time again, it may say something about your character.
You’ll Benefit From Better Sleep
Unsurprisingly, cats take up less space in your bed then dogs or other humans do. Perhaps this is part of the reason that various studies conducted across the UK found that female cat owners actually prefer to sleep with their cat rather than their dog, partner, or children.
The same women also reported sleeping better when sleeping with their cat, with only 20% claiming that their cat caused them a disturbance during the night.
You Have A Forever Companion
With a lifespan of anywhere from 6-12 years (and sometimes longer), cats are a great option if you want to grow a long term friendship and connection with your pet. Once a bond is established, your cat will be loyal, truly becoming a member of the family.
In fact, it’s a common stereotype that cats lack affection. This is anything but true, though, as it turns out that cats are great companions (studies conducted across the UK). A 2003 study out of Austria found that for many people, having a cat living with them serves as the equivalent of having a romantic partner residing within the household.
How does this work? Cats often initiate contact such as petting or belly rubs, and when showed a kindness, will remember it and return the affection later on.
Coping Is Easier When You Have A Cat
For thousands of years, pets have been used for emotional healing. Something about them promotes growth and helps us cope. This is especially true when it comes to cats who tend to enjoy simply relaxing much more than dogs, birds, or any other household pet. Cats will be more than happy to just sit in your lap or beside you as you lay in bed, lending you their calming energy and companionship.
Cats, despite not understanding the full spectrum that is the English language, are also great listeners. They never interrupt and we usually feel more comfortable speaking to them than we do other humans who can judge us.
Additionally, reports show that cat owners spend less time showing signs of emotional pain such as crying and over/under-eating than those who do not own a cat.
I mean really, who could be sad with these guys and gals around?
Your Feel-Good Chemicals May Flow More Freely
As cats are incredibly calming beings, they may have a therapeutic effect on their owners. One such effect is the increased levels of oxytocin that the brain releases. Oxytocin is the hormone responsible for good feelings like love and trust.
Studies on this subject have found inconsistent results, with some claiming that everyone they studied had an increase in oxytocin when owning and/or petting a cat. However, other studies, such as signs of emotional pain out of Claremont Graduate University, found that only 30% of participants had an increase after spending time with a cat.
Your Chances of Suffering From A Stroke Or Heart Attack Will Lower
A great health benefit of cat ownership is that your chances of signs of emotional pain. In Minneapolis, the University of Minnesota Stroke Institute found that over a 10 year period, cat owners were 30% less likely to have a cardiac event or stroke.
The reasoning behind this, according to researchers, is unclear. However, everyone involved agrees that it could be due to the decreased stress and anxiety levels of cat owners.
They’re A Great Conversation Starter
There’s nothing quite like cats to liven up a conversation; animal lovers are everywhere and bringing up your furry friend is bound to get any animal lover engaged in conversation. In this way, cats can act as fantastic wing men when trying to get the attention of a potential love interest.
They offer a neutral, but exciting topic to lead a conversation with. Additionally, from there, you can take the conversation in a number of different directions.
Cats Are Easy To Care For
Compared to other popular pets, cats are extremely low maintenance and easy to care for. Taking care of a cat is simple: provide it with food and water, change its litter box when it gets dirty, and offer it a few toys and the occasional scratch on the head.
Pets like reptiles, small animals and rodents, and even fish can prove to be both difficult and time consuming, as they are prone to a variety of diseases and often need specific living conditions. In addition, their large cages and enclosures take up much more space than a scratching post and/or cat bed does, not to mention tons of extra time to clean.
Continuing with this point is that when your cat falls ill, there’s likely a veterinarian in your area that can treat him or her. This isn’t always the case with more exotic pets. In addition, veterinarians have plenty of experience with cats so treating your pet is easier, putting them on the road to recovery more quickly.
Their Purrs Boast Healing Power
The satisfying sound of a cat purring as it snoozes on your lap is enough to bring a smile to your face. But what if it was also enough to kickstart your body into healing its ailments? According to Leslie A. Lyons of the School of Veterinary Medicine, UC Davis, this might not be too far from reality.
She suggests that the tone and pitch of a cat’s purr can have varying effects on the feline body and its healing process. For example, signs of emotional pain. This is beneficial to humans because, as a technology-driven population, we may be able to utilize this knowledge to kickstart our own healing.
Cats Are Fun
You may have never dressed your cat up and shown him or her off to all your friends (though some people do). But cats are pretty fun to watch.
They are perfect candidates for videos and recordings, as they can often be caught engaging in strange behaviors, making messes, and falling off of various surfaces around the home.
Cats Are Great Pets For Children
Although many children have a dog as a first pet, nearly as many have a cat or a cat in addition to a dog. This is because like dogs, cats are great family-friendly pets. Not only are they soft and cuddly and relatively easy to train, but they also prove to be fantastic stepping stones for children learning responsibilities.
For children who lack empathy, such as those who suffer from anything on the autism spectrum, cats can be highly beneficial. Your child will be more likely to want to get involved in the animal’s life. In doing so, he or she will learn how to be empathetic, patient, and kind.
They’re Some of the Quietest Pets Around
Dogs are known for their barking – early morning, all day long, and late at night. Cats, however, are known for being virtually silent. In addition to making them ideal for households with babies, it also makes them good for apartment living.
Cat Friendly Rentals Are Abundant
When it comes to renting a home, all pet owners know how hard it can be to find a suitable rental that will accept pets. Finding a place to live with a cat is much easier than with many other types of pets. It isn’t to say, though, that finding cat-friendly rentals is a piece of cake. It isn’t.
But it is to say that the ordeal is slightly less stressful and there are a few more options. Many cat-friendly rentals are apartment buildings, as they require their tenant’s pets to be quiet and nondisruptive.
Your Awesome Cat
Thanks for reading our post on the benefits of owning a cat!
Owning a pet is a blessing because animals bring joy and a sense of wonder into your life that you simply can’t get anywhere else. But, I’m sure we can all agree at this point that cats are very special pets that can brighten your life, reduce your stress levels and even help you live longer.
There are many other health benefits of owning a cat besides that, and you can start experiencing them today by adopting your very own kitten.
Even if you already have a cat, you could always use one more. The best part is that cats are low maintenance so no matter how many you have, you’ll never feel stressed or overwhelmed – quite the opposite!
Let me know in the comments below: what’s your favorite perk of being a cat owner?