There’s no doubt about it, cats are super popular pets (if not the most!) – we all know it. But besides the love and companionship they offer, did you know that for owners, there are actual physical and mental benefits of having a cat?
They’re cute, they’re quirky, they’re fun to watch and play with, and they’re just a joy to have around. Having a feline friend can do wonders for your wellbeing, so if you’ve ever thought about adding a cat to your family, there’s no time like the present. Check out some of the reasons why owning a cat can be a life-changing experience!
Having a cat can improve your physical health
If you’re someone who’s not very big on being active, a cat might be great for getting you off the couch and moving in a manageable way. They love chasing things and climbing, love to have simulated hunting and pouncing opportunities, so they’ll really appreciate you playing with them.
It also seems that spending time engaging with cats can reduce your stress levels and boost your immunity! This in turn may significantly minimise the risk of heart disease and stroke.
Psychological benefits of having cats
Cats can be amazing companions and provide lots of emotional support. When you’re feeling down or lonely, your cat can be there to help overcome it. You’ve probably noticed feeling better emotionally around your cat – it’s not a coincidence! It appears that, in general, having a cat translates to a better overall psychological state score for the individual. Having someone waiting at home for you who is pleased to see you (even if they may pretend otherwise!), and relies on you, can give you a sense of responsibility and routine – as well as company and companionship - that can reduce loneliness and depression.
A cat can also help you unwind and relax. Some studies show that petting a cat could be associated with a greater release of oxytocin and serotonin in individuals. While the results are slightly inconclusive, we’re prepared to believe it. Other studies have indicated that the sound of a cat’s purr has therapeutic and stress-relieving effects – and may even have healing properties.
Owning a cat comes with lifestyle perks
Compared to other pets, cats are pretty low maintenance. No walks required, no training classes – just let them do their thing and remember to play with them to give them an outlet for their predatory behaviours. Also give them an interesting environment complete with different heights and places to sleep, so they can watch the world go by and supervise from.
And they’re super affordable too. Perfect for anyone on a budget or living in a small space like an apartment or a studio. Cats don’t need lots of space; they will be happy with pretty much anything. Remember, for cats, the quality of the space is more important than quantity. Your efforts should be directed towards providing good environmental enrichment (both structural and social) and spending quality time with them.
Vacations are also easier with cats. They have no problem staying at home by themselves for longer periods of time. However, they will need to be checked up on daily, so it would be a good idea to have a cat sitter if you are going on holiday or likely to be away for longer.
Cats are great for growing your social circle
Making more friends is one of the best benefits of having a cat. The furry felines just have a way of bringing people together, whether it’s through their adorable looks or their playful personalities. There are probably more social media groups and local forums for cat lovers than anything else!
Having a cat can also be great for finding people with shared interests. Many cat owners are passionate about animal welfare and enjoy getting involved in their local communities, so this will make it easier to meet likeminded people.
Other benefits of having a cat
Need more reasons for expanding your family with a furry friend? We’ve got you covered. Here are more benefits of having a cat:
- Cats’ quirky personalities and unique behaviours can provide inspiration for creative thinking. Watching their different ways of behaving or interacting with their environment can stimulate imagination and creativity.
- A cat’s calming presence can promote relaxation and make you fall asleep more easily. Think about the rhythmic sound of their purring, there’s just something very soothing about it.
- Taking care of a cat can provide a sense of purpose and responsibility. This is especially beneficial for people who feel lonely or disconnected from others. Having a cat to look after can give people a sense of accomplishment and fulfilment.
- Cats are excellent attention seekers so they can provide hours of entertainment with their playful and curious nature.
- You’ll have as much peace and quiet as you want since most cats barely make any noise – although there are some much more vocal breeds.
- There’s no need to clean a lot after a cat as they keep themselves very tidy and trained indoor cats only go to the bathroom on their litter trays.
If you’re thinking about adopting a feline friend, go for it! As you now know, they’re excellent companions that have lots to offer. Unsure what type of cat is the best match for you? Check out our cat breed selector and this article on the benefits of getting a cat or a kitten.