How Being a Cat Owner is Good for Your Health?
Pets are important to people, especially in improving their health and mood. Cats have evolved to become deeply attuned to human beings, their emotions and behavior. Owning a cat is an interesting experience since cats often understand most of the words used by people. They are also good at deducing the tone of a person’s voice, gestures, and body language. A cat can evaluate individuals’ emotional state by looking into their eyes and are determined to understand thoughts and feelings. Health experts and researchers have discovered that owning a cat is beneficial to a person’s health. The present essay discusses different health benefits of owning a cat, which include reducing stress, anxiety, depression, boosting immunity, lowering blood pressure, decreasing the risk of heart disease and heart attacks, and lessening triglycerides and cholesterol levels.
Minimizes Stress and Anxiety
Owning a cat is comforting and activates calming chemicals in the body, which reduce stress and anxiety levels. Due to its low maintenance, a cat helps the owner to relax and be distracted from fears. Researchers at California’s Loma Linda University discovered that watching funny films for 20 minutes minimized the participants’ cortisol levels and helped the short-term memory of older participants. Also, petting a purring cat calms down nerves, which reduces stress (Carter).
The restful effect of owning a cat activates the production of oxytocin, the hormone responsible for stimulating feelings of love and trust. Individuals experiencing difficult periods of grief or mourning assert that they can work out their feelings when they talk to a cat. Additionally, some researches indicate that kids with autism are more likely to be less anxious and calm while petting a cat. For example, a French research was conducted in 2012 to study autistic kids and their family cats and established that the kids became calmer and socialized more easily than those who did not have cats. Such a change was linked to the high production of the oxytocin hormone, which can be сaused by petting a cat (Hall).
Individuals develop a higher resistance to allergens, such as dander and fur, when they are exposed to pet, which reduces the risk of allergies and asthma. A study issued by the National Institute of Health in 2002 revealed that kids below one year who were exposed to a cat were less likely to have allergies. Additionally, Marshall Plaut, M.D., chief of the allergic mechanisms unit at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases stated that increased contact with pets early in life protects against allergy and assists in the prevention of respiratory problems among children. Although the cat parasite Toxoplasma gondii is dangerous to young ones, specialists affirm that one can stay safe and allergy free by changing a cat’s trash box each day and keeping the cat indoors (Hoffman). A cat also creates purr vibrations from 20 to 140 Hertz, a frequency believed to be therapeutically effective in healing several illnesses, infections, and swellings. Moreover, 100 and 200 Hertz are frequencies recommended for enhancing the strength of bones.
Lowers Blood Pressure
Cat owners often have lower blood pressure compared to those who do not own cats. Low levels of the stress hormone, cortisol, in a body result in a relaxed approach to life that positively impacts the blood pressure. A study that was carried out in a room with several cat owners indicated that when the owners shouted, their blood pressure levels naturally raised. However, when the owners spoke with their cats, their blood pressure remained constant. Therefore, interrelating with a cat and listening to the purring sound lowers the blood pressure (FutureMedica).
Reduces the Risk of Heart Disease and Heart Attacks
Research carried out by the University of Minnesota’s Stroke Institute in Minneapolis indicated that individuals who do not own cats are 30-40% more likely to die of heart attacks than their cat-owning counterparts. Furthermore, for more than a 10-year period, cat owners were 30% less likely to die of a heart attack or stroke than non-cat owners (Carter).
Lowers Triglycerides and Cholesterol Levels
Increased triglyceride and cholesterol levels lead to a heart disease and show symptoms of type 2 diabetes as well as stroke, liver, and kidney problems. Normally, reduced levels result in a low risk for such diseases. Research conducted in Canada in 2006 indicated that owning a cat was more efficient at reducing cholesterol than other medications (Health Fitness Revolution).
I learned that a cat could save a life when my cat woke me up one night to leadto my sick mother. My mother, who was diabetic, collapsed in the kitchen after her blood sugar dropped suddenly. Realizing that something was wrong, the cat came into my bedroom and jumped on the bed. It started touching my leg with its paw and licking my face. When I woke up, it ran to the kitchen where I followed it only to realize that my mother had fainted.
Owning a cat can assist a person to avoid depression and other problems of high pressure when under stress. Being with a cat as a pet can be relaxing and removes anxiety from the body during scary moments. Keeping a cat has continually been a joy to people who have welcomed the practice, and it is still becoming popular across the world.
Carter, Marie. “Why Having a Pet is Good for Your Health.” Independent, www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/features/how-having-a-pet-can-make-us-healthier-a6792126.html. Accessed 15 Feb. 2017.
Hall, Alena. “11 Reasons Your Crazy Cat Obsession Makes you Happier and Healthier.” The Huffington Post, 15 Mar. 2015, www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/03/15/how-cats-help-us_n_6809820.html. Accessed 15 Feb. 2017.
Hoffman, Piper. “14 Ways Your Cat Improves Your Health.” Care2.com, 16 Feb. 2015,www.care2.com/causes/14-ways-your-cat-improves-your-health.html. Accessed 15 Feb. 2017.
“17 Health Benefits of Owning a Cat.” FutureMedica, 17 Jun. 2010, mritechnicianschools.net/2010/17-health-benefits-of-owning-a-cat/. Accessed 15 Feb. 2017.
“Top 10 Health Benefits of Owning a Cat.” Health Fitness Revolution, 24 Apr. 2015, www.healthfitnessrevolution.com/top-10-health-benefits-owning-cat/. Accessed 15 Feb. 2017.