14 Ways Your Cat Improves Your Health

Editor’s note: This post is a Care2 Favorite. It was originally published on July 26, 2013. Enjoy!

Do yourself a favor: rev up your cat’s purr motor. You will both feel great.

It is already well-established fact that having cats or dogs (or bunnies, etc.) in the family is good for your health. Even the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) acknowledges it. Many studies have found a variety of health benefits we derive from petting and interacting with companion animals.

But purring in particular? A new study has discovered that purrs aren’t just adorable, they are also therapeutic. Daily Infographic illustrates:

 

Infographic courtesy of Daily Infographic

 

(For those of you who, like me, hadn’t a clue, “dysponea,” usually spelled “dyspnea,” means difficulty or pain with breathing.)

Cuddling up with your cat is good for you and for her. Scratch her favorite spot (try her cheeks!) and get a good purr going. She’ll be ecstatic, and you will get healthier. (Good news for those who cannot take advantage of this feline-based health regimen because of cat allergies: an effective treatment may be only five years away.)

Even if she doesn’t get her purr on, time with your cat (or other animal) is still good for you. Here are just a few of the many ways they take care of you.

Pets Help Sick People Feel Better

WebMD describes a number of benefits ill people derive from living with companion animals.

1. “Alzheimer’s patients have fewer anxious outbursts” if they live with a companion animal.

2. “Pet owners with AIDS are far less likely to suffer from depression than those without pets.”

3. People who suffer from high blood pressure, then adopt a cat or dog, navigate stressful situations with lower blood pressure than people who don’t have pets.

4. “Heart attack patients who have pets survive longer than those without.”

Pets Also Help Prevent Health Problems

5. Taking care of a pet provides elderly people with “exercise and companionship,” with such a positive effect that one company gives bonus points to elderly life insurance applicants for having a pet.

6. “Male pet owners have less sign of heart disease — lower triglyceride and cholesterol levels — than non-owners.”

7. Want your kids to breathe easy? Make sure they have furry family members. That lowers the risk that they will have allergies, asthma and even eczema, plus it strengthens their immune systems.

If you have quadripeds in the house, go play or snuggle with them at once. If you don’t, get thee to the local animal shelter and save the life of a homeless animal who will pay you back with years of good health.

Photo credit: iStockphoto/Thinkstock

628 comments

Sophie T.
Sophie T.2 months ago

Our cat, my husband's buddy, began sleeping on the bed with me. After my chemotherapy and unrelated other surgery, he started purring close to me. I told my friend, and she send me this email. Awesome information.

Carole R.
Carole R.3 months ago

I believe it's true.

Magdalena C.
Alice L.7 months ago

Thank you!

Lisa Zarafonetis
Lisa Zarafonetisabout a year ago

Ive always had pets, all my life! They're great! :)

Jim Ven
Jim Venabout a year ago

thanks for the article.

Margarita G.
Margarita G.about a year ago

Thanks!

Sarah Hill
Sarah Hillabout a year ago

I love my kitties!

Diana Hudspeth
Diana Hudspethabout a year ago

A BIG AMEN to this article...would NOT want to live without my cats!!!! They are awesome.

Olimpia Marina
olimpia Marinaabout a year ago

Thank you
Thank you for respecting animals.

Angela K.
Angela K.about a year ago

Thanks for sharing