A pet is not only positive emotions. For example, a cat in the house actively affects the well-being of its beloved owner, providing him with a healthy heart and even normalizing cholesterol levels, scientists say.
So it’s time to talk about scientific reasonsfor which you should definitely get a cat. True, there are also some disadvantages for making such a decision. But first about the good.
For the soul and tranquility
Psychologist and Gestalt therapist* Anna Devyatka states:
“Cats are very useful for a person’s mental state. Of course, these animals are very capricious and “walk on their own” (although there are breeds that are more inclined to communicate with a person – for example, an oriental cat). However, any cat requires love and attention, and he himself gives love in return. Naturally, this pleases the owner and makes him happy. “
American scientists conducted an interesting experiment. For several hours, the cats were deprived of several things at once – toys, food and communication with a person. And then they had a choice: get a treat, toys or play with a person. Half of the animals, among which were pets and shelters, chose to communicate. It is worth considering that some cats saw these people for the first time.
Scientists argue that, contrary to popular belief, cats are very social animals – they are able to provide emotional support, remember kindness for a long time and more than return it to their owners. Taking a cat into the house, a person receives a creature that understands him and accepts him with all the advantages and disadvantages. The favorite sometimes makes it possible to speak out and even calm down, find peace of mind under a barely audible purr. After communicating with his pet, a person’s mood rises, there is a motivation to take care of someone other than himself. He becomes emotionally stable and feels much better.
Dog handler and zoo engineer Anastasia Kalinina told how the presence of a cat affects the health of the owner:
“The positive effect of a cat on human health is not a secret for anyone. In 2016, a study was conducted that showed: 90% of respondents are convinced that pets have a positive effect on people, 80% believe that animals have a good effect on a person’s physical condition, 79% are sure in the ability of animals to heal people.”
However, many are familiar with the influence of pets on the psychological state: after all, even videos on the Internet with funny little animals cheer up, and you can watch the games and pranks of pets for hours. Cats are treated for depression and various neurotic diseases, and in the US and the UK, feline therapy (therapy with the participation and help of cats) has been used to treat children with autism, developmental delay, and cerebral palsy in the last century. Numerous studies have convincingly proven other benefits.
Why a cat in the house is great:
- Cat owners live longer. It is scientifically proven that the life expectancy of cat lovers is 5-10 years longer compared to those who do not have pets. Why, you ask? Cats are amazingly able to relieve anxiety and stress from us. Thanks to this, people’s blood pressure returns to normal, blood cholesterol levels decrease, and the risk of heart attack and stroke is reduced by 30% – this was proved by experts from the University of Minnesota in the course of studies.
- Cats improve the health of children. As ironic as it sounds, cats can protect children from asthma and allergies, according to the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Cats at home can reduce sensitivity to wool, pollen and dust, but on one condition – pets must be present in the child’s home from his very birth.
- Cat’s purring heals. Sitting down on a sore spot, a cat can relieve pain with the help of living warmth and low-frequency vibrations during purring. This is a little physiotherapist who heals, plus everything, also with his love for you. The secret is that cats purr at a frequency of 20-120 hertz. This range improves wound healing, strengthens the skeletal system, promotes fracture healing, reduces pain in inflammatory joint diseases, and strengthens the nervous system. And, as scientists have found, purring strengthens the immune system.
Cats and mental health
Psychologist Svetlana Tropmann says:
For adequate self-esteem, any person needs a dog that adores him and a cat that will ignore him.
But seriously, the presence of a cat is very beneficial for the mental health of a person. It calms and helps with sleep disturbance. According to doctors from Arizona, 40% of patients confirm that co-sleeping with a pet provides them with a feeling of reliable security. In addition, a pleasant purr helps to comfortably and quickly fall asleep. And a fluffy purr:
- teaches children to be responsible;
- serves as a grateful interlocutor and friend to the elderly, saving them from the loneliness syndrome;
- become the meaning of life for the lonely;
- and even share their healthy habits with their owners.
Yes, you heard right, a person can learn a lot from his pet for mental health. It demonstrates how you can slow down the hectic pace of life and relax comfortably, just here and right now. She can teach you how to define your personal boundaries and keep outsiders out.
Each of us, probably, faced a situation when a cat categorically rejects attempts to stroke it or pick it up, sometimes even quite aggressively. This is how the cat defends its boundaries, protects the right to autonomy, personal time and territory. What to do – in another way, she is not able to explain the obvious to you, therefore she acts in a way that is accessible to her. Unpleasant? Yes, it is possible, but it allows you to observe and draw conclusions about what is better: to please others, but endure what is unpleasant for you, or inconvenience others, but act in your own interests. We have previously talked about Why does a cat hiss at its owner?
And now a little about the cons
Toxicologist, professor, academician of EAEN Mikhail Kutushov talks about what can harm you if a cat lives in the house:
First of all, you may be allergic to cats. Secondly, if the cat often scratches you, then there is a risk of developing dermatitis. Through small wounds, staphylococci and streptococci are quite capable of getting under the skin of the host. The cat is a potential carrier of infectious and viral diseases. Even if it is domestic, and you bathe it, the animal still rubs against your dirty clothes, in which you just came from the street. So it is important to remember about hygiene. Cats pose a separate danger to pregnant women: these animals are often carriers of the Toxoplasma gondii parasite, which is able to cross the placenta and infect the fetus. In the worst case, miscarriage or intrauterine death of the fetus is possible. In order not to get infected from a cat, pregnant women should not clean the cat tray on their own. You can not let your pet hunt rodents – from them he can pick up a parasite.
However, knowing about the above troubles, it is quite possible to avoid them: forewarned means forearmed. And the benefits of living together with a cute fluffy, as you have now seen, are still much greater.
* Gestalt therapy is a direction in psychology that helps the client to realize and process unlived feelings, his needs, unfinished situations, and also take responsibility for his own life. Great importance in Gestalt therapy is given to awareness of one’s own needs.