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14 Ways Your Cat Improves Your Health

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.

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Photo credit: iStockphoto/Thinkstock

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2:31PM PDT on Oct 6, 2014

Thank you.

4:02AM PDT on Sep 25, 2014

Pets give as much as their owners.

1:43PM PDT on Sep 24, 2014

Hardly surprises me as well. There's so much more to life if you own a pet.

4:04AM PDT on Sep 23, 2014

I think animals do help calm people as they give unconditional love and affection. They help distract us from unpleasant situations from our day or week and show an interest in what we are doing. Animals that interact with us help promote peace, decreasing stress which helps to decrease blood pressure.

10:38AM PDT on Sep 22, 2014

good to know

2:48AM PDT on Sep 22, 2014

any studies to substantiate?

12:30AM PDT on Sep 22, 2014

Thank you!

11:15PM PDT on Sep 21, 2014

Piper I don't know if any legitimate studies have actually been done to prove that
6. “Male pet owners have less sign of heart disease — lower triglyceride and cholesterol levels — than non-owners.”
My husband and I have had cats for over 35 years, loved each and every one.
We recently adopted Jewel from the HS.
Cats always have been and always will be affectionate calming sweet animals .
My husband was told last Friday by his cardiologist who is one of the leading heart surgeons in North America, that he has only 1 year left to live !
So I really feel that some of this information is misleading at best, if not entirely bogus!

11:06PM PDT on Sep 21, 2014

It hardly surprises me that purrs are therapeutic. The sound of purring brings about purrfect contentment.

10:33PM PDT on Sep 21, 2014

Thank you

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