Today is International cat day. As it turns out, having a cat as a pet can provide numerous benefits for their owners. Below are some evidence-based benefits of having cats as pets:
- Lowered Stress and Anxiety: Studies have shown that interacting with cats can reduce stress and anxiety levels. A 2002 study published in the Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease found that owning a cat could reduce stress and anxiety levels and promote calmness. Similarly, a 2019 study published in the International Journal of Workplace Health Management found that interacting with cats during breaks at work can reduce stress levels and increase productivity.
- Lowered Blood Pressure: Several studies have shown that owning a cat can lower blood pressure. A 2007 study published in the Journal of Vascular and Interventional Neurology found that petting a cat could lower blood pressure in hypertensive patients. Similarly, a 2011 study published in the Journal of Behavioral Medicine found that owning a cat was associated with lower systolic blood pressure in older adults.
- Improved Mental Health: Studies have also shown that owning a cat can improve mental health. A 2015 study published in the Journal of Psychiatric Research found that owning a cat was associated with lower levels of depression, anxiety, and stress. Similarly, a 2020 study published in the Journal of Affective Disorders found that owning a cat was associated with better mental health outcomes in people with bipolar disorder.
- Enhanced Social Support: Owning a cat can also provide social support. A 2018 study published in the Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology found that children with pets, including cats, had higher levels of social support than children without pets. Similarly, a 2020 study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health found that owning a cat was associated with higher levels of social support in older adults.
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