Owning a cat can bring unconditional love and companionship to your life. Having a feline friend can also help to relieve stress and improve your heart health.
Owning a cat can be an extremely rewarding relationship. A cat has the ability to both calm your nervous system and provide an immediate outlet for fun and play. Although cats are independent animals who like to scavenge and explore on their own terms, they are also very affectionate with their owners and people they trust.
Why cats make great pets
The versatility of cat ownership is one reason why so many people enjoy feline companionship. Cats make great pets whether you live in a big house or tiny apartment, and they provide all the fun and play of larger animal companions. If you’re thinking of getting a cat, these are some of the key benefits:
Cats are low maintenance. Maybe cats’ most alluring quality is that they are lower maintenance and cost less than dogs, who need walking, training, frequent grooming, and more toys and attention. Cats are also perfect for apartments or city living. They don’t need tons of space to play and explore—nosing their way through the nooks and crannies of your kitchen will keep them occupied for hours.
They’re quiet. Cats tend to meow when they’re hungry, but you rarely have to worry about being woken up or distracted from a task by a cat begging for attention. This makes them an ideal pet if you’re working from home or have youngsters napping during the day, for example.
They’re independent. A cat will be there for you when you need them but they’re also perfectly adept at entertaining themselves. Most don’t need—or want—constant attention and you’ll never have to endure guilt-inducing puppy eyes from a cat.
They keep your house pest-free. You probably already know that cats like to hunt rodents. But they’re also natural insect killers, too, offering the kind of household protection that Venus flytraps promise but rarely deliver. Many cats thoroughly enjoy exterminating bugs such as house flies and spiders, almost like they’re being paid for it.
They have long life spans. The most difficult stage of pet ownership is parting with your beloved companion. While you’re still likely to outlive a cat, their longer lifespans mean you’ll get to have more time with them—up to 20 years, in fact.
The health benefits of cats
While owning any pet can provide a myriad of health benefits, there are some benefits that are specific to cats. They can:
Lower stress and anxiety. Cat owners know how one session of petting or playing with their cat can turn a bad day into a good one. Scientific evidence also shows that a cat’s purr can calm your nervous system and lower your blood pressure.
Improve your cardiovascular health. Cat owners have been reported to carry a lower risk for heart disease and stroke.
Prevent allergies. You always hear about cat hair being one of the most common allergens. However, if a child is exposed to cats within the first few years of life, they are more likely to develop an immune system that combats not only cat allergies but other kinds of allergens as well.
Reduce feelings of loneliness. Cats make great companion animals. They offer an unconditional love that can be equal to (or sometimes even greater than) many human friends and confidants.
Most cats love to curl up in your lap at the end of a long day while you watch television or read a book. The simplicity of this act can cause an automatic release of all the right kinds of chemicals to your brain, allowing you to ease into the evening without the weight of the world on your shoulders. Any cat owner will tell you just how much their furry friend helps them to relax and unwind. While many people enjoy the company of dogs, a cat can be more of an acquired taste—but once acquired, it’s a hard taste to lose.