Guest post written by Melissa L. Kauffman
“You are a crazy cat lady.” Anyone, male or female, that loves cats has probably heard this phrase. Now, we have a response to this accusation: Being a “crazy cat lady” is good for your health!
Scientists have found evidence that all those benefits cat people cite are really true. Science is just catching up to what we cat people have always known: cats are amazing - and they really do make us feel much better and enrich our lives.
Finally, it’s cool to be a “crazy cat lady” - and here’s why.
The benefits of owning cats
Here are a few of the science - backed benefits of being a “crazy cat lady”:
1) Cats lower your risk of heart disease
We’ve always thought it, now it’s scientifically proven: cats lower our stress levels. And better still, reducing stress levels reduces the risk of heart disease by around 30% !
2) Cat people are happier
Another benefit of a cat’s ability to lower our stress levels is the increase in happiness. Cat owners are happy. That’s why we all post so many pictures and videos of our cats online. We want others to share in our happiness. Studies have even shown that cats may make children happier and less stressed as well.
3) Cats help you feel less lonely
Although cats are more roommates than subordinates, they can make singles, and even those with partners, feel less lonely. In fact, it’s a cat’s nature to make people less lonely. As “crazy cat ladies” have known for a long time, cats can be your best friend.
4) A cat’s smell can keep rodents away!
Of course, your cat has to be a hunter for this benefit to occur. But if you have a cat that can hunt, you will likely have fewer rodents around the house. You don’t even need to have a barn cat. Cats in apartments and homes can significantly reduce your rodent population. Some research even suggests that a cat’s smell will keep rodents at bay.
5) You will be more social and active
Cats do not require walks like dogs - although some cat owners enjoy taking their cats for a walk. However, your cat will still want to play. Cats get bored very easily and need a lot of mental stimulation. You will likely need to think up new and interesting ways to play with them. Staying active with your cat can help keep you in great shape, even if it’s just in your home!
6) They could actually prevent allergies
About 65% of people in the U.S. have a pet allergy; many of these are allergies to cats. Yet, the research shows that exposure to cats in childhood and young adulthood may actually lower your risk of getting a cat allergy. Exposure to potential allergens allows our immune system to develop normally and become strong.
7) They are cheaper to own and care for than dogs
Dogs are great. We highly recommend dogs. However, cats are typically much cheaper to care for. Experts suggest you can care for cats for as little as $162 per year. They do have some health issues and need to be neutered and spayed, but most often they will be healthier than dogs. They are also smaller than many dog breeds, which makes them less expensive to feed and house.
8) Their purring may even help heal
The frequency of a cat’s purr could potentially help heal broken bones, tendons, and muscles. This benefit needs more research. However, if you end up with a broken bone or hurt muscle, it can’t hurt to allow your furry friend to lay on you and purr for a while!
9) Shelter cats allow you to give back while finding a forever friend
Any cat will give you the benefits described throughout this article, but shelter cats are the best. When you adopt a cat or a kitten, you are saving a life and providing yourself the ability to love another being. That is huge for confidence and well - being.
There are too many cats without a home in the world. Why not adopt your next best friend today. Although if you are a “crazy cat lady”, make sure to determine if you can fit another cat in your house before heading to the shelter. You know we can’t resist those purring, lovable animals!
Cats are awesome and so are “crazy cat ladies.” If you are a cat - lover, don’t let anyone put you down. Science is proving that cats can improve your health, mood, love - life, and so much more. The naysayers are just jealous. Love your cat, adopt another, and enjoy having these great animals in your life.
Covering the pet world for more than 25 years, Melissa L. Kauffman has been an editor/writer for a wide variety of pet magazines and websites from the small critters to parrots to cats and dogs to rabbits. Her advisory team of rescued pets - dogs Tampa Bay and Justice and parrots Deacon and Pi-Pi - help keep her on top of the latest and greatest pet health research, training and products, anything to keep them in the high life they are accustomed to.