What are the benefits of living with a cat?
When it comes to pets, some people just don’t understand cat people. There is an assumption that they can be aloof, unloving and are angry little goblins that just scream to be fed at all hours of the night. While there might well be some cats that are like that, they are very far and few between. Cats can be the most loving companions that don’t require the same level of commitment as a dog and they can also be kept as indoor pets, if you so wish. If you are thinking of getting a cat, here are 10 immense benefits of living with a cat in your home.
Good for small spaces
If you don’t have a lot of room in your apartment, thankfully most cats are relatively pint-sized (unless you are thinking of getting a Maine-coon) which makes their litter box or cat cave ideal for small spaces. You don’t need to have a sprawling garden for a cat, usually, house cats are happy just living their lives in a few rooms. So don’t worry if your apartment isn’t huge, as long as you can provide entertainment for your cat, they will be fine.
Reduction in anxiety and stress
If you find that work gives you anxiety and stress, cats can help. There have been an array of studies conducted that show having a cat in your home that you can look after and pet can help reduce cortisol (the stress hormone) and reduce blood pressure. So, really you need a cat for your health.
More people are living on their own than ever before and a lot of people are feeling very isolated, especially with COVID-19 still raging on. Having a cat gives you a level of companionship that you may not have realized that you wanted or needed. Cats enjoy being with their owners and receiving attention from them, it also gives the owner someone else to focus on and look after, which can create a purpose.
Cats can improve your immune system
We appreciate that this is a pretty brazen statement to make, but if you have a cat that spends their time outdoors exploring the big wide world and then comes in to relax, this can actually help your immune system. When cats are wandering around, they can get covered in an array of germs, viruses, and bacteria and when they bring this into the home in small quantities, you build up your immunity to it. There have been studies conducted that showed people with pets that went outside were less likely to get an infection that those that don’t due to the increased immunity they have, thanks to their outside pets.
If you are at the stage where you are trying to teach your kids responsibility without having to get a dog that you don’t want to end up walking, a cat is a very good middle ground. You won’t have to get up at 5 am before work to walk it in the freezing rain and it can be left to its own devices. But you can teach your children about the responsibility of looking after a cat, such as feeding time, cleaning of water bowls, grooming and claw trimming. Not only will it give them management skills, but it will also allow them to develop their emotional skills such as empathy and kindness. All of these things can be easily taught with a cute cat as a backdrop.
You might sleep better
If you struggle to drift off, a cat may be the answer for you (don’t rush into this though). Because stroking pets reduces stress and anxiety, it can also prompt our body to go into a state of relaxation and sleep. A study conducted in the UK found that women preferred sleeping with their cat on the bed over their partners and slept better when it was just them and the cat. This may be to do with the reduced stress, but they also don’t take up anywhere near as much space or make as much noise.
Over the last 20 years, there has been a vast increase in allergies seen in children and one of the reasons for that is over cleaning of homes. This overcleaning doesn’t allow their immune system to develop effectively, so when they come into contact with something new it can trigger an allergic reaction. If you have a cat, you’ll never have to worry about over cleaning your home as it simply won’t be possible. Your children will be exposed to dander, dirt, pollen, and other allergens on a regular basis, thus reducing the chance of developing allergies later.
Positive impact on your mental health
Cats have been shown to help patients who are suffering from mental health difficulties. There are a variety of ways this happens, from reduction of stress and anxiety to companionship and responsibility.
Cats boost your energy levels
Have you ever wondered why you like watching cat videos so much? Well, as it turns out, just watching cat videos can help boost your energy and make you feel good. This also happens when you pet a cat, your brain responds in the same way which can actually help you achieve tasks and stop you from procrastinating. So if you are forever putting things off to the last minute, maybe getting a cat can help.
Whether you like getting up early or not, your cat isn’t going to let you sleep in. Cats are creatures of routine and if they are used to you getting up and feeding them at 6 am during the week, you will be woken up every day at that time to make sure it happens. Cat is so routine-oriented, that once you have one established, you will no longer need an alarm clock, just your furry pal letting you know that it’s time to eat.
There is a reason that cats are one of the most popular pets in the world and we are only really just beginning to understand the benefits they can have on us, our health, and that of our families. Cats can help us feel less stressed, more proactive, and energetic and even help boost our immune systems. What’s not to love about our furry little feline friends?