A new study shows that owning a cat improves health, lowers blood pressure and cholesterol levels. This from a recently completed 10 year study of the effect of cats at the University of Minnesota Stroke center. Cat owners were 40% less likely to have heart attacks than non-cat owners.
It has been well known that pet owners have lower blood pressure, cholesterol and triglyceride levels. With dogs, the obvious benefits are that you go out and move around more, taking the dog for a walk and getting outdoors.
However, with cats, the reason is not so obvious. Putting real numbers on the benefits of cats is truly interesting. I’ve heard the arguments that cats don’t do anything. But cats are full of fun, make us laugh with their antics, and they love to cuddle with us, purring.
It’s the purr that is the focus of other studies, that the frequency and vibration of the purr has a calming effect not only on the cat but on people. It is clear that reduction of stress brought about by pet ownership has a huge positive effect on on our health.
It seems ironic to me that we spend thousands of dollars and risk side effects on medications to reduce inflammation and stress, but a small animal could do more.
We know that pets are beneficial to our health — they can lower a person’s blood pressure, cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and provide opportunities for exercise and socialization. In some cases, the source of the benefits is obvious.
Owning a cat clearly reduces stress and improves health and cholesterol levels. Cats are not for everyone, but any small pet, such as a small dog, even rat (which are great pets), can relieve stress and put us in better moods. There are many more stress reducing activities that can be beneficial, but pets seem to touch our hearts and improve our moods.