For those among us who have cats, it’s a fairly common belief that we may have improved mental health but what does the data say?
After all, our pets can have a significant impact on our mood. For those with cats, we treasure how they are always around, ready to give affection or at least some attention.
Cozy evenings curled up with a cat can be a great joy in life.
That doesn’t mean that it’s always easy to have a cat. They may wake us up at the early hours of the day or keep us up with their shenanigans.
Why exactly do we choose to have cats in our lives then? The simplest answer may be that cats do help us with mental resilience and overall satisfaction.
The more objective answer is that studies have shown there may be benefits to having a furry companion around.
One study out of Australia found that cat owners do have improved psychological health compared to people who don’t have pets.
In self-reported questionnaires, cat owners said that they felt happier, more confident, and less nervous.
They were able to sleep and focus better.
Cats may be a benefit to people who have young kids. One study out of Scotland found that 2,200 kids studied who had a strong bond with their cats reported a higher quality of life.
The more attached they were, the more that they felt fit and attentive at school.
When having a stressful day, very few people can say that having a cat on their lap doesn’t provide some benefit.
A group of researchers wanted to know more about this. A study about married couples looked at how they responded to stress.
They were hooked up to heart rate and blood pressure monitors. People were then put through a series of challenging tasks.
They either sat alone or were in a room with their pet in the same room.
The good news is that cat owners had a lower resting heart rate and blood pressure before even starting and during the stressful tasks, they also fared better.
Why exactly are our cats contributing to a possible improved mental health?
The simplest answer may be that while cats are often affectionate, they don’t judge people.
They don’t know if you’re making bad decisions and won’t necessarily care if you make a mistake. Having a non-judgmental animal with us can have a mediating effect.
Finally, studies also show the benefits when it comes to relationships and physical health.
Cat owners tend to be more socially sensitive and trusting than those that don’t own pets.
After all, a pet can’t tell you what’s wrong so pet owners likely learn non-verbal cues from their pets.
Physical health may also be improved as a result of having pets.
They rely on us for so much but we may reap significantly more benefits than you would think.
These are just a few of the many ways that cats provide benefits to our mental health.
My Final Thoughts
Living with a cat has proven to be a very rewarding experience for my wife and I.
We often share cute and funny moments together and it’s all centered around our cat called Coco.
I firmly believe that smiles and laughter improve mental health and Coco brings smiles, laughter, and cuddles to our home in abundance.
If I’m unwell or feeling stressed, Coco seems to appear from nowhere and flops himself down onto my lap.
He always purrs instantly and very loud too!
This purr is so relaxing and soothing and my troubles seem to dissipate very quickly…
What a lovely sound and I can always feel the deep vibrations of his purr.
I also believe that you are never alone when living with a cat. At times when my wife is out, the house can feel empty, however, I never feel alone as Coco is great company.
Do cat owners have a higher IQ too? Read an article on this by clicking here…
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