The Benefits of Owning a Cat

Cat lovers will never be swayed by the many arguments of superiority put forward by dog owners. After all, who wants to be compelled to go out walking in all weathers, every day of the year? Who wants to put up with sudden, unexplained bouts of barking? Who wants to have to rush back from a fun social event just to ensure their pet relieves itself outside the house rather than in?

The fact that cats provide companionship and affection, and that they can proving a calming influence in your lives is well known, but there are some other benefits to owning a cat that are less well publicized. Some of the key benefits of being a dog owner – the additional exercise that comes from having to take your pet out for walks daily and this social interaction that this can bring, do not apply to cat owners, but there are many other factors that compensate.

A special bond

Researchers have discovered that, given the choice, turns out that cats are more likely to approach women than men, more likely to jump up on to their laps to initiate contact.

Within the scientific community, there is growing evidence to suggest that the bond between cats and their owners if far more complex than has previously been thought. Cats bond to humans – and to human women in particular – as a form of social partner. It’s not just about finding someone who will feed them on a regular basis.

Rather than simple food-seeking behavior, cats develop real attachment to their owners. Scientists have observed that both cats and their female owners are able to signal one another when they want to be petted. Cats were also found to keep track in that they were more likely to respond positively to a request from their owner if the owner had fulfilled their own request last time round.

Assess the risks

Some studies suggest it’s not owning a cat itself that makes you happier and healthier but rather the ability to own a cat, as in having the financial wherewithal and the necessary free time to devote to looking after another creature that make the difference. Ultimately the difference is academic, as only those who can actually afford to own a cat will do so and they will receive the same benefits regardless.

Before you buy a cat as a companion for yourself or an elderly relative, make sure that you or they are mentally and physically able to care for it. Although cats require far less in the way of daily physical activity than dogs, you may still require a fair degree of mobility to reach down to a feeding and water bowl as well as the catch the cat and place it into a carry basket for trips to the vet.

There are some potential risks to cat ownership, especially for older adults. If you are not completely steady on your feet, cats can easily trip you over thanks to their single-minded way of making their way across your home, regardless of where you are in relation to them.

There are other potential hazards too. At some point in their lives most cats carry a bacterium that can be transmitted through a scratch of a bite. Although harmless to the cats themselves the condition, known as cat scratch disease, can cause discomfort and pain in humans.

One easy way to make sure you always get the most out of your pet to ensure your feline companion is always in the very best of health. Vet-recommended supplements from the likes of PawsIQ can help with everything from oral hygiene and general wellness to effective treatments for ticks or fleas.

There are only a handful of medical conditions that can be transferred from cats to humans but taking your pet to the vet for regular check-ups will dramatically reduce the chances of you becoming a victim.

Environmentally friendly

If you are keen to do everything you can to reduce your carbon footprint and impact on the environment, cats are the way to go. It has been calculated that the resources needed to produce the feed consumed by an average dog over the course of its lifetime amount to the same quantity of carbon emissions as someone driving a mid-sized SUV.

Being smaller, cats eat considerably less which means they have a smaller impact to start off with, but cats also consume more fish which is also a more environmentally friendly food, especially when compared to the meat and grain products that make up the majority of dog feeds.

Dog owners are also more likely to transport their pets from one place to another with a considerable proportion choosing to drive daily to the place where they go walking. This all has an impact on the environment which simply does not occur with cat owners.

The company of cats

Although they are notoriously far more independent than dogs and generally only come when they are called if they think they are about to be fed, cats are still excellent companions. When a furry feline jumps up onto your lap and starts purring, it produces a definite physiological effect on your body, reducing stress and lowering your blood pressure.

Cats can also be a source of great comfort during difficult times. Many owners who have been bereaved report feeling much better after speaking to their cats about their feelings. They have also been shown to suffer fewer symptoms of pain and to get over their loss more quickly.

Despite having no real ability to understand human language, the connection between cats and their owners is close enough for owners to feel that their pets emphasize with their plight.

Another reason it can be easier to speak to your cat than it is to speak to another person is that you know that, no matter what you say, you will never be judged or made to feel bad about your actions. The fact that a cat will never respond, just listen, can also be a great source of comfort in difficult times.

Thanks to Eleonora

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