Science-backed physical and mental health benefits of pet cats

We have always heard that pet dogs boost physical and mental health of humans, but studies find that cats give us the same benefits.

We've always undermined cats and their health benefits, because dogs have overtaken them with their cuteness. Okay, we will leave cuteness at your discretion. But the fact that there have been numerous studies on benefits of owning a dog, have made us forget about the cats. However, it's time for the cat lovers to rejoice as they too have been found to be positively affecting your physical and mental health.

Better well-being: A recent study from Australia has found that cat owners have better psychological health than people who have no pets. For the study, the researchers got the individuals fill a questionnaire and the answers revealed that those who owned cats felt happier, more confident, less nervous and more focused, as well as faced problems in their lives in a better way. In another survey, conducted in Scotland, involving 2,200 kids aged 11 to 15, it was found that those who have strong bonds with their cats have higher quality lives.

Less stress: For a study that looked at 120 married couples, it was observed that cat owners did a better job at doing a series of stressful tasks. For the study, the participants were asked to subtract three repeatedly from a four-digit number and then hold their hand in the ice water. During the task, their heart rates and blood pressures were monitored. For the tasks, they had four different rooms, one in a room alone, second in a room with their pet cat, third, in a room with their spouse, and fourth, in a room with both their pet and spouse. It was found that cats were the source of their calmness as the cat owners did better in the tasks, looking calmer while making fewer errors.

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Better relationships: A research study published by the American Psychological Association found that those who owned cats were more socially sensitive, trusted others more than those who did not own pets. The research also found that those who identified themselves as cat lovers were more likely to think that other people liked them.

Better heart health: In a study that followed 4,435 people for 13 years, it was found that people who owned cats in the past were less likely to die from a heart attack during that period in comparison to people who had never owned cats. The study also took into account the other risk factors like blood pressure, cholesterol, smoking and BMI.

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