People who don’t love animals associate cats with fleas,fur and kitty fumes! However,as any animal lover will tell you,cats are adorable little fluff balls that bring instant joy and cheer.It’s impossible to be sad or angry with a purring kitten curled up in your lap. But cats are not just good for your mental state,they are also great for your overall health. Researchers now have conclusive evidence supporting the health benefits of having a cat.
Boost your immune system
“Researchers theorize that by stroking a cat,your stress levels are lowered and this could be the reason for the immune-boosting effects of cats.”
A review of 69 original studies on human-animal interactions showed definite links between animals and several health benefits for humans,including a better immune response. So instead of popping an Echinacea capsule to fight off a viral fever or the flu,perhaps all you need to do is play with a cat!
Lower your blood pressure
A test conducted by researchers at the University at Buffalo assessed the effect of animals on people with high blood pressure,who had stressful jobs. The findings of the study showed that a pet cat (or dog) was more effective at controlling blood pressure than one of the most common blood pressure medications. Now,this does not mean that you should substitute your BP medications for a cat but instead,playing with your neighbor’s cat for a few minutes at the end of a long and stressful workday may not be all that bad an idea.
Protect your heart
researchers at the University of Minnesota discovered a link between cat ownership & the risk of fatal cardiovascular diseases. They found that people who did not own a cat were 30-40% more likely to die of cardiovascular disease as compared to cat owners. Cat owners also have a lower risk of death from a sudden heart attack. While the reasons for the cardio-protective benefits of felines is unknown, it is believed that pet owners are more likely to have lower levels of stress hormones such as adrenalin and norepinephrine which improves heart health.