The calming effect of owning a cat triggers the release of oxytocin, the hormone known for inducing feelings of love and trust. People going through difficult times of grief or mourning report that talking to their pet helpswork out their feelings, since it is often easier to talk to something that won’t respond and can’t judge than toanother human being. In addition, a study found that children with autism were more likely to be less anxious and calm while petting a cat.
Exposure to pet dander and fur in the house results in increased resistance to allergens, decreasing risk for allergies and asthma.
Lowers blood pressure
Cat owners are known to have lower blood pressure than non-cat owners due to the calming presence cats provide. One study was conducted with a room full of cat owners. In the study, the owners would speak aloud, which naturally elevated blood pressure levels, but when the owners were observed speaking with their cats, their blood pressure remained constant.
Decreases risk of heart disease and heart attacks
A study conducted by the University of Minnesota’s Stroke Institute in Minneapolishave shown that those who do not own cats are 30-40% more likely to die of heart attacks than their cat-owning counterparts.
Lowers triglycerides and cholesterol levels
High triglyceride and cholesterol levels contribute to heart disease and are symptomatic of type 2 diabetes as well as strokes, liver and kidney disease. Naturally, reductions in these levels lead to a decreased risk in these diseases.
Cat ownership provides a natural conversation starter and can enhance the owner’s ability to socialize. One study revealed that women were more attracted to men who owned cats because cat ownership often suggests sensitivity and intelligence.
Owning a cat reduces feelings of loneliness. Though cats are often known for their independence, the bond between a cat and itsowner reinforces companionship. A Swiss study conducted in 2003 revealed that owning a cat is similar to having a romantic partner.