Cats can make great friends and companions. And they’re hilarious. You can laugh endlessly at some of the cat videos on YouTube. They seem to have almost taken over the internet in the last few years, especially with the rise of Grumpy Cat. We tend to think of cats as cute little furry things, often unaware of the fact that cats are some of the most powerful healers out there.
Scientific studies have shown time and time again that cats are more than just good pets. They are extremely therapeutic, and may actually be a good form of medicine for people suffering from heart conditions.
Did you know that owning a cat can reduce your risk of a heart attack? The finding was the main result of a 10 year study of more than 4,000 Americans by researchers at the University of Minnesota’s Stroke Institute in Minneapolis.
After a 10 year follow up period, cat owners showed a 30% lower risk of death from heart attack compared to non cat owners.
This was due to a lower heart rate, lower stress levels, and lower blood pressure. Lowering your risk of a heart attack by 30% is no joke. This number gives holistic healers and even heart medications a run for their money.
In addition to the improved heart health, cats also cause a release of oxytocin in the brain. Oxytocin is the feel-good chemical associated with the feeling of love, and is extremely healing to the body. Serotonin and dopamine are also released in the brain as you are playing with your cat, which reduces stress and puts the body into a harmonious state and stabilizes your immune system.
Studies have also found that:
– Pet owners are less likely to suffer from depression than those without pets.
– People with pets have lower blood pressure in stressful situations than those without pets.
– Pet owners have lower triglyceride and cholesterol levels (indicators of heart disease) than those without pets.
– Heart attack patients with pets survive longer than those without.
– Pet owners over age 65 make 30 percent fewer visits to their doctors than those without pets.
– While people with dogs often experience the greatest health benefits, a pet doesn’t necessarily have to be a dog or a cat. Even watching fish in an aquarium can help reduce muscle tension and lower pulse rate.
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