Having a cat and watching cat videos are good for your heart, your mind and your happiness. By Dawn Chen
Cats are good for your health! Photo: #Maomaogram/Instagram
Whenever I’m having a bad day, I just have to whip out my phone and head to Instagram, or Google “funny cat videos” to instantly feel better. Heading home and petting my own cat also seems to have a magical effect on my mood. Now we finally have the Science to explain this phenomenon: Cats are good for your health, really. And I’m not just talking about your emotional and mental health, but your physical health as well.
Cats lift your mood. Photo: #Maomaogram/Instagram
Watching cat videos boosts your energy levels.
A new Indiana University Media School study of over 7,000 participants has finally justified watching cat videos online – doing so helps to boost your energy, and in turn decreases negative feelings. Those who regularly indulged in watching cat videos also admitted that the pleasure they got from doing so outweighed any guilt they felt about slacking. “Even if they are watching cat videos on YouTube to procrastinate or while they should be working, the emotional pay-off may actually help people take on tough tasks afterward,” says study author Jessica Myrick.
Cat purring is oh-so-therapeutic. Photo: @Maxnmara/Instagram
Cat purrs are therapeutic.
Think of cat purrs as human humming – it’s soothing and calming. A normal cat’s purr is usually around the frequency range of 20 to 140 Hertz, and this is said to be within the frequency range at which bones and muscles are best able to repair themselves. According to the Fauna Communications Research Institute (a US-based institution dedicated to studying animal communication), sounds in these low frequencies help to strengthen one’s bones, promote tendon healing and relieve pain.
Cats even help your heart. Photo: Mew the cat
Cats are good for your heart.
This is based on findings presented in a 2008 American Stroke Association’s (ASA) International Stroke Conference. The study of 4,500 volunteers found that those who never owned a cat were 40 per cent more likely to die of a heart attack than those who had a cat at some point in their lives. What’s worse: the non-cat owners were also 30 per cent likelier to die of any cardiovascular-related disease, such as stroke or heart failure. This was true even after researchers took into account other risk factors.
Cats keep your stress levels down. Photo: #Mollymootitanpoo/Instagram
Cats keep you calm.
In the same study, researchers also found that those with pets had lower stress levels. But if you’ve ever owned a cat, you’ll already know just how relaxing it is to pet a purring kitty that’s curled up in your lap.
Cats are just so much fun. Photo: @Hellobatcat/Instagram
Cats make you happier.
In a survey jointly conducted by the UK Mental Health Foundation and UK Cats Protection (a cat welfare group), 87 per cent of cat owners reported that having their kitties around made a positive impact in their wellbeing, and 76 per cent said that it was easier to cope with everyday life. We couldn’t agree more.