More than just a ball of fluff, it turns out that cats can make our lives happier and healthier; cat people may not be crazy after all!
It is no secret that pets make you feel good, but not everyone can always get one. With our busy lives in metro cities, space and time is a big constraint. However, unlike dogs, cats don’t take up much space and are considerably more independent. They clean themselves, are self-sufficient and low maintenance. While cleaning the litter box is no bed of roses, it’s more convenient than having to take them out for a walk to do their business, like dogs. Moreover, they prefer to stay indoors and like their own space. Live and let live is the philosophy most cats live by.
Since we have established that cats are great roommates, let’s talk about how they can improve your health. Apart from lifting your mood, cats are also known to have a positive impact on your physical health. Here are 7 ways your cat can help you lead a happier and healthier life.
- They Help Relieve Stress And Anxiety
Having a cat sitting in your lap, purring, has a calming effect. Cuddling or petting a cat releases oxytocin or the ‘cuddle chemical’, which has a soothing effect and helps you relax. Caring for your cat, petting and cuddling with them also helps you feel less stressed and lifts your mood.
- They Keep Your Heart Healthy
Studies  suggest that owning a cat can reduce the risk of a fatal heart attack or stroke by 30 percent. Considering their generally calm and quiet nature, it is no surprise that cats help lower stress levels, which in turn keeps your heart healthy. The fact that they are low maintenance also helps lower the stress that comes with being a pet parent.
- They Help You Sleep Better
Snuggling up with your cat can help you sleep better. Sleeping with a cat offers a sense of security, helps you wind down and relax. According to a study conducted by the Mayo Clinic , 41% of people said that their pet’s presence in bed helps them sleep better.
- They Have A Positive Impact On Your Mood And Mental Health
It only takes a few minutes with a cat to feel calmer and less tense. Being around a cat lowers the level of cortisol, the stress hormone, and boosts the production of the feel-good hormone, serotonin. A cat’s companionship can provide emotional support and help ease depression and other mental health problems. Their playful nature helps take your mind off things and makes you feel less lonely or isolated.
- They Lower Your Blood Pressure
If you are struggling with high blood pressure, just petting your cat can help calm you down and lower your blood pressure. Studies show that cat owners have lower blood pressure than those who don’t .
- Their Purring Heals Bones And Muscles
A cat’s purring has therapeutic properties. Studies  show that cat purrs, within a frequency range of 18-35 Hertz, promote muscle and bone health. The vibrations strengthen the bone and help fractures heal cleaner and faster. They are also known to alleviate stress.
- They Help Prevent Allergies In Children
Studies  show that children, under a year, who are exposed to a cat are less likely to develop allergies. Being around a cat in the first year of his/her life helps boost their immune system against respiratory problems such as asthma, and other infections .