Happy Cat Central

7 Psychological Benefits of Having Cats


Did you know that there are tons of psychological benefits of having cats? Not only do cat owners see improvements in mental health, but they also experience an increase in overall physical health too.

There have been plenty of studies on the benefits of owning cats over the years and we’ve compiled the top 7 reasons why owning a cat can improve your wellbeing.

The main psychological benefits of having cats include increased happiness, improved stress management, the ability to cope, a sense of companionship, and increased creativity. Physically, cat owners may experience improvements in overall health, better allergy management, and improved sleep cycles.

Whether it’s improved physical or mental health, let’s dive into just why your feline friend is making you happier.

1. Cat owners are happier

psychological benefits of having cats - cats make people happier

One of the biggest benefits cat owners get is that they have better physical and mental health which makes them overall happier than a person without a pet.

A study held in Australia compared cat owners versus non-pet owners to determine the relationship between psychological health and pet ownership. What they found was that cat owners “could be considered to have better psychological health than the non-pet subjects.”

It’s not hard to imagine how cats can make you happier when so many people turn to watching cat videos online to raise their spirits.

2. Cats provide stress relief

One of the more tangible psychological benefits of having cats is that they can help reduce stress and blood pressure and therefore may reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

A 2009 study looked at the relationship between cat ownership and fatal cardiovascular diseases and found that “there was a trend for decreased risk for death due to cardiovascular diseases among participants with past cat ownership.”

Having a cat around can help relieve stress and provide emotional support similar. To many cat owners, their cat is a friend, and having a friend present in your everyday life can help people cope with the stress of day-to-day life.

3. Cats help us cope and overcome sadness

There’s a reason that support animals are used to help people cope with tragedies. Animals help provide calming effects to their owners and cats are no different. It’s even been studied that a cat’s purr can provide healing benefits to themselves and those around them.

For those going through a hard time, having a cat can provide a sense of companionship and calmness. And although having a cat doesn’t completely replace the need for therapy or medication, they make great therapy animals for those in need.

4. Cats provide companionship and reduce feelings of loneliness

It’s typically assumed that having a dog provides better companionship than owning a cat. Cats have a reputation for being more independent and less bonded to their owners. However, a recent study on the attachment bonds between domestic cats and humans suggests that “that cats display distinct attachment styles toward human caregivers.”

psychological benefits of having cats - companionship

While dog lovers may assert that having a dog is a better form of companionship, many cat lovers will be quick to defend their own four-legged friends. The truth is that owning either type of pet will provide a boost in companionship and reduce feelings of loneliness.

Not only do cats provide a sense of companionship, but some studies suggest cats will begin to take on the personality traits of their owners. Cats that have more outgoing owners will tend to be more dynamic in their own personalities. Similarly, a more calm cat owner may find their cat reflects that calming attitude.

What does this suggest? Shared personality traits imply that cats are tuned into their owners enough to adopt their mannerisms, and who you are around your cat may impact your relationship.

5. Cats can help prevent allergies

While people can certainly have cat allergies, some research suggests that adopting a cat can reduce the risk of allergies in children. These studies found that children exposed to pets at an early age were less likely to develop strong allergic reactions. Now, if you’re already allergic to cats or cat hair, then getting a cat is not going to cure those allergies. However, you may be able to help prevent younger members of your families from developing such allergies.

6. Cats help us sleep better

psychological benefits of having cats - sleeping better

Many cat owners report sleeping better at night in the presence of their cats. Feline friends help provide a calming influence among their owners, which helps people relax and unwind.

For those that live alone, having a cat nearby while you sleep helps provide a sense of security. Cats by nature are very alert creatures, so many people find comfort in knowing their cats will tip them off if anything is going on in their house or home.

Plus, everyone loves a snuggle buddy.

7. Cats spark creativity

Cats may not be able to read or write, but they can help their owners become more creative. Research has suggested that having a cat present while you work can cause people to think more creatively and come up with different ideas.

Artists may enjoy sharing their studio space with cats because it provides them with an endless source of inspiration. Just look at famous artists like Albert Camus, Andy Warhol, and Frida Kahlo for proof!

Why cats make great pets

If you’re looking for a pet companion, you can’t go wrong with a cat. Not only do cats provide companionship and reduce feelings of loneliness, but they also keep you healthy, help prevent allergies, and spark creativity!

Cats are generally independent animals that don’t need to be constantly monitored, making them a great pet for those that have busy lifestyles. You’ll want to make sure your cat is eating well, getting plenty of exercise, and making it to the litter box on time, but you can leave your furry friend alone for hours at a time without worrying about them being lonely or feeling neglected.

Even though cats are more independent, they still require plenty of love. They are incredibly affectionate creatures, so they continually crave attention from their owners. Make sure you give your cat the time they need to be properly cared for!

Not ready to commit to a cat? Watching cat videos is also beneficial!

If you aren’t ready to take the plunge and become a cat owner, you can still improve your mental health by watching cat videos. Studies indicate that watching videos of cats can help lower stress and produce positive emotions.

If you’re feeling down, check out the latest cat videos on YouTube to raise your spirits.

Do cats make you happier?

Whether it’s their purrs, their cuddles, or simply being around them, there are many psychological benefits to having cats. From helping owners sleep better to acting as a stress reliever, cats provide many mental health benefits. There is tons of scientific research out there detailing the anti-anxiety benefits of having a feline pet.

If you’re looking for a pet companion and are ready for the commitment that comes with cat ownership, consider going to your local shelter and adopting a cat.

Ready to take the plunge and adopt a cat? Check out the new cat essentials guide to prep for your new cat.

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