This is a jaw-dropping fact: Cats can reduce the likelihood of having a heart attack by 40%! And it’s backed up by a University of Minnesota research study. I guess it’s all about reducing stress to the point where having a heart attack or stroke or developing heart disease is much reduced. We know cats reduce stress but I don’t think we knew the benefits were this great.
4,435 Americans aged between 30 and 75 took part in the study. Those that did not have a cat had a 40% higher risk of heart attack and a 30% higher risk of dying from other heart diseases compared to those who looked after a cat or had looked after a cat. This is a bona fide study and it was presented at the American Stroke Association meeting in New Orleans. Note: this is not a current news story. I believe it relates to 2008.
It should be said that owning a dog did not have the same sort of health benefits, which is not to say there aren’t benefits associated with dog ownership, there are, but I think cat lovers can brag about this particular fact!
Owning a cat is like taking naturally occurring medication 24/7 without any side effects (unless you are allergic to cats!). Other studies have confirmed that owning a cat reduces depression, blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
The excellent infographic on this page, covers these topics in a nice image while focusing on the famous cat purr. Note: I can’t vouch for the authenticity of the information provided in the infographic except to say that the health benefits are generally accepted and well-known.
The infographic is by Gemma Busquets. Her website is here. Gemma is a freelance graphic designer living in Barcelona. Thanks Gemma.