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5 Benefits of Owning a Cat

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VeterinarianSince as far back as I can remember, I have had a cat (or two) in my life. As Puff and Ming-Ming got older and the real possibility of them leaving the world soon approached, I knew that I would want need to get another cat. I just can’t imagine life without one.

I am thankful that we got Ariel (our newly adopted cat) when we did since it wasn’t long after Puff’s death that Ming-Ming died too. While she far from replaces my cats, she does bring me comfort when I am struck with a real sense of missing my long-time cat loves. I can’t imagine having to grief them without the comfort of another cat.

As it turns out, there are many (surprising) medical benefits from owning a cat. From mood enhancement to heart-health benefits, according to FutureMedica, there are at least 17 medical benefits from owning a cat and here are 5 that I find especially interesting:

1) Reduce risk of heart attack: Your entire cardiovascular system gets a giant boost from owning a cat and specifically  you’re less likely to have a heart attack if you own a cat.

2) Decreases chances of developing allergies: Seems totally backwards, doesn’t it? Studies have shown that children who grow up with a dog or cat in their life from early on, are less likely to develop allergies — more if you get a dog and a cat.

3) Reduce stress: I know this one first hand and when I am feeling stressed out, nothing calms me faster than a good cat cuddle while they purr. Apparently, it’s a person-wide benefit and if you’re feeling anxious, depressed or stressed out, a cat may do you a world of good.

4) Longer life: Apparently, owning a cat can also increase your life expectancy. I have a feeling it’s a result of all the other benefits including lowered risk of heart attack and stress.

5) Fewer health care visitsLikely a result of the cardiovascular benefits of cat ownership, overall you’re less likely to need the care of a doctor as often when you have a cat. Studies have also shown the benefits for people with ADHD, autism and seniors in nursing homes when they’re around cats.

Check out the rest of the medical benefits from owning a cat on FutureMedica.

Photo credit: istockphoto

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