Cat and Person in Harmony
photo by zebra.paperclip
People and cats make a wonderful combination because both parties gain immeasurably, or should. There are so many benefits for people but one of the outstanding ones is health. Medical research has established that keeping a pet (cat or dog or I guess anyone of the other pets) can:
- Reduce the risk of cancer. Research published in Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention concuded that keeping pets can cut the risk of developing cancer of the immune system, non-Hodgkins lymphoma, by about one-third. The theory is that exposure to allergens from cats and dogs can boost our immune system. Apparently childrens' immune systems are improved when they are raised with pets.
- Lower blood pressure and lower cholesterol - this reduces the risk of a heart attack
- 40% less likely to have a fatal heart attack than people who don't keep a cat - probably due to a lowering of stress
- Studies suggest that pet owners are more likely to have higher self-esteem and are less prone to suffering from loneliness and depression.
- Pets can act like therapists to adults and particularly children and they are used in hospitals sometimes to aid recovery.
- People with cats and dogs to look after tend to adjust better after the death of a close person than those who don't have pets.
- A dog's sense of smell can be used to effectively detect illness such as cancer or Type 1 diabetes - the smell of the person's breath changes apparently although it is not completely clear how dogs can do this.
This pretty much says it all
There are many tens of thousands of elderly men and women who are living alone with their cat for company, a kind of life line. I think we sometimes forget how people and cats (and dogs) make a great symbiotic union. After all that is why we agreed to live with each other thousands of years ago.
Source: American Pet Products Association