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Science Reveals Cats Are More Awesome Than We Thought

Science is verifying that cats help people.

As a cat owner, you already know that having a feline friend around can help brighten your days. But you might be surprised about the ways and extent to which science is proving the benefits of having a cat. Check out some of the studies we've found.

Cats Lower the Risk of Heart Disease in People

Petting cats can lower people's blood pressure, which can decrease the risk of stroke and heart disease. Having a cat lowers stress and anxiety, which is good for heart health. In fact, a study at the University of Minnesota looking at 20 years of data found that people with cats or who had owned cats at some point were less likely to die of heart disease than people without cats (Adnan I Qureshi, 2009).

Train your kitty to scratch what you want them to when they are young.

Cat Purrs Might Help Heal People

Cats purr at a frequency of between 25 and 150 hertz. Amazingly, this is the same sound frequency range that scientists have found can help heal bones and muscles faster. This could explain why cats seem to suffer from fewer joint problems than dogs and why they are known for having fast bone healing times.

Some scientists believe that cats purring in proximity to humans can help their muscles and bones heal faster too.

There's room for two atop the Command Center

Kids Can Benefit From Having Cats

Some studies indicate that having cats in a home with children can decrease the kids' risk of developing allergies and asthma (Can Cat Exposure Reduce Asthma Risk in Genetic Susceptible Children, 2017). More studies are necessary to determine the nuances involved with this.

Kids with autism may benefit from living with cats, too. A study was done on children with autism and their families, and it concluded that those with cats that were brought into the home after the child turned 5 showed greater improvements in prosocial skills like sharing and comforting others than those without cats (Marine Grandgeorge, 2012).

People with Dementia Benefit from Cats

In a small study, women with dementia who were given cats had improved communication over those who were given toy cats (Kari Greer, 2008). Animals, in general, have been found in many settings to help those with Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia to be calmer and appear happier.

So if you were thinking of getting a cat but needed a final nudge, just know that science is pro-cat ownership.

Works Cited

Adnan I Qureshi, M. M. (2009, Jan. 2). Cat ownership and the Risk of Fatal Cardiovascular Diseases. Results from the Second National Health and Nutrition Examination Study Mortality Follow-up Study. Retrieved from ncbi.nlm.nih.gov: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3317329/

Can Cat Exposure Reduce Asthma Risk in Genetic Susceptible Children. (2017, Oct.). Retrieved from American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology: https://www.aaaai.org/global/latest-research-summaries/Current-JACI-Research/cat-exposure

Kari Greer, K. P. (2008, Sept. 23). A Comparison of the Effects of Toys versus Live Animals on the Communication of Patients with Dementia of the Alzheimer's Type. Retrieved from Taylor and Francis Online: DOI: 10.1300/J018v24n03_13 https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1300/J018v24n03_13

Marine Grandgeorge, S. T. (2012, Aug. 1). Does Pet Arrival Trigger Prosocial Behaviors in Individuals with Autism? Retrieved from Plos One: DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0041739 http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0041739

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