With the support of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, animal welfare advocate Colleen Paige founded National Cat Day. The day is celebrated on October 29th every year and, according to its dedicated website, strives to ‘galvanize the public to recognize the number of cats that need to be rescued each year and also to encourage cat lovers to celebrate the cat(s) in their life for the unconditional love and companionship they bestow upon us.’
How do cats benefit us?
Cats benefit our lives by showing us compassion and warmth (when they feel like it), and they do seem to understand our moods and eccentricities. But exactly how do cats show that unconditional love and companionship, and by, why is their presence in our lives something to shout about? Here are 5 benefits of having a cat at home:
1. The coping mechanism
Despite their independence and lack of need of human company cats can be, when they choose to be, affectionate. Researchers from the University of Vienna concluded that cats ‘are clearly capable of attaching socially to “their” humans,’ although they also mentioned that this was also, ‘dependant on but not caused by the provision of food.’
2. The defence against illness
According to some research the presence of a cat in your home can decrease the likelihood of stress-related diseases. In 2008 The Daily Telegraph reported on a study conducted by scientists at Minnesota University.
The lead researcher concluded, ‘cat ownership relieves stress and anxiety and subsequently reduces the risk of heart disease.’ This affect is also thought to prevent the onset of other acute illnesses such as a stroke.
3 The sleeping ‘pill’
While some research has shown that to have your cat (or dog) in the bed with you at night is not beneficial to your quality of sleep, other bodies of work prove otherwise.
Dr. Lois Krahn, a sleep medicine specialist at Mayo Clinic Center for Sleep Medicine in Arizona concluded from a study in 2015 that some people feel as though, ‘sleeping with their animal actually helps them feel cozy. Another person felt her cat who was touching her during the night was comforting and soothing’.
4 The power of the purr
According to Scientific American, the sound of a cat’s purr vibrates in the air at between 25 and 150 Hertz (vibrations per second), and research carried out by Klyscz T et al. revealed that bone health and mobility can be improved by subjecting a patient to sounds of 18 to 35 Hertz.
Thus it is likely that the bottom end of a cat’s vocalisation may accrue similar benefits for patients with bone and muscle illnesses.
5 The rat-catcher
A cat’s instinctive hunger for rodents hasn’t diminished through the centuries although today we are less inclined to buy a cat just for the sake of pest control. It is safe to say though that the mere presence of a cat in your home is enough to deter even a rogue mouse who is considering your home for its new nest.