Looking to improve your health? Consider getting a cat

A woman holds a bottle of Nutrilite Balanced Health Omega while her black and white cat rubs up against it. She is fighting the winter blues.

Cats are much more than a funny video waiting to happen or an unwanted alarm clock as they nudge you each morning letting you know that they have decided it’s time to get up.

A fuzzy feline can actually make you healthier and happier among their many other positive effects. Check out these benefits of welcoming a purring furball into your home.

Cats can make you happier

Research shows that cats make people happier. In one study, 87 percent of cat owners reported that their kitties had a positive impact on their wellbeing, while 76 percent reported being better able to cope with daily life because of their cat.

People also feel less depressed and lonely when they have a cat. One reason may be that petting a cat has been shown to trigger your body to release oxytocin, which can make you feel less stressed.

A young child looks adoringly at a fluffy, gray cat.

Cats can help you heal

Cats can also help with your physical health. Studies show that pet owners in general are healthier than non-pet owners.

But cats specifically have been linked to a decreased risk of dying from a heart attack or stroke. Research showed that over a 10-year period cat owners were 30 percent less likely to die of a heart attack or stroke than non-cat owners.

You can get some extra benefit when you make your cat purr. That powerful purr has been proven to help heal bones, tendons, muscles, swelling and infections because it creates vibrations at a frequency of 20-140 Hertz, which is medically therapeutic for humans.

Petting and interacting with a purring cat also helps lower blood pressure and stress levels.

A cat walks with a child his mother in a blueberry field.

Cats are good for your kids

A kid cuddling with a cat can warm the cockles of your heart. It also teaches children responsibility when they feed it, clean the litter box and groom it.

Other important life lessons learned include sticking to habits, having pride in their work and patience.

Several studies report felines build up a child’s immune system, which can mean fewer allergies and being less likely to develop asthma. In 2002, the National Institutes of Health released one that found children under a year old exposed to a cat to be less likely to develop all kinds of allergies.

Cats can help you get a date

Cats also have the potential to improve your dating life. In one study, 90 percent of single women said they see men with cats as nicer and more caring than those without and a researcher found that men with pets were more likely to be attractive to women.

However, people might want to be careful putting a picture of them and their cat in their dating profile. A recent study using two pictures of the same man – one with him posting with a cat, one without – revealed that the women were less likely to be interested when presented with the cat picture.

Cat videos are funny

Have you ever gone down a rabbit hole of cat videos, clicking on the next suggested video the instant your current one ends? If you didn’t raise your hand, you’re missing out on some therapeutic benefits.

Indiana University research showed watching cat videos can boost your energy and positive emotions while decreasing negative feelings.

A cat lays on an outdoor chair by a pool.

Cat people are smarter than dog people

If an anti-cat acquaintance doesn’t agree cats are better than dogs, let them know Caroll University did a study that showed cat people are more intelligent than dog people. (Side note: Cat people and dog people scored higher on the tests than those who said they were neither.)

Cats are less expensive, better for the environment

Owning a cat won’t empty your bank account as fast as a dog or some other pets will. According to the ASPCA, owning a cat can save you $300 to $800 a year over owning a dog. Think about it: You don’t send cats to obedience training or pay for a cat walker.

Cats are also better for the environment. Research found that feeding a dog over its lifetime creates the eco-footprint of a large SUV. The carbon footprint of a cat, on the other hand, is about the size of a small hatchback.

So, if you were considering adding a small, furry feline companion to your household, this should be more than enough evidence to convince any skeptical holdouts. Check out your local shelters and enjoy the purrs.

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