Cats are soft, warm and adorably playful. It’s no wonder they are the most popular pets in the United States. 88 million kitties are currently shacking up with American humans, as compared to 74 million dogs.
If you are in the market for a new furry friend, here are 15 excellent reasons to choose a fashionable feline companion – or two!
1. They are good for the heart.
Owning a cat could reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease, according to the University of Minnesota. A 2008 study found that cats reduce stress and anxiety, lowering your chances of having a heart attack by as much as 40%!
Cats’ purrs have been found to lower blood pressure, promote bone strength, heal muscle and ligament injuries, and decrease dyspnea in humans. Next time you overdo it at the gym, skip the ice packs and drape yourself in cats!
3. They are low maintenance.
Cats are naturally lower maintenance than dogs, requiring very little training. They innately know to use their litterbox, scratch their post, and avoid eating your favorite items.
4. They are independent.
Unlike dogs, cats often prefer to keep to themselves. While they certainly love their humans and appreciate their time together, they do not require walks or constant attention as many dogs do. This natural independence makes the cat the preferred pet of busy professionals.
5. They provide emotional support.
Cats provide a quiet, soothing presence when we need it the most. In fact, many cat parents are opting to have their feline friends established as emotional support animals to help them cope with anxiety, depression, and panic attacks.
6. Most require little grooming.
Cats are meticulous about grooming themselves and staying clean. Your average, healthy, shorthaired kitty requires very little grooming on your part. The exceptions are long-haired cats who require brushing and may benefit from professional grooming services; and obese, senior, or handicapped kitties who are unable to adequately groom themselves.
7. They are very clean.
While cats definitely shed, they tend to be quite clean otherwise. We have already covered their meticulous grooming and bathroom habits. In addition, they are far less likely to shred your garbage or track mud throughout your home than their canine counterparts.
8. They help deter pests.
Cats instinctively prey on rats, mice, bugs, etc. Basically, if it is small and it moves, cats will pounce on it! Many Humane Societies are using this trait to help feral kitties find homes. The Working Cats program places otherwise “unadoptable” cats with farm and business owners in need of pest control.
9. Cats leave a smaller carbon footprint – or pawprint – than dogs.
The biggest impact our pets make on the environment is through the food they eat. Since cats eat far less than dogs on average, they win the honor of smallest carbon pawprint.
10. They promote a strong immune system in children.
According to The Journal of Pediatrics, children are less likely to develop allergies and respiratory issues if they grow up with cats.
11. They are selective, but loyal.
Cats may not freely give their affection to every human they meet, but once they deem you worthy, you find yourself with a loyal furry friend for life.
12. The more the merrier.
Adopting two or more cats not only doubles the above benefits, it also saves two or more lives! Plus, with an additional pal or two, your cat will always have a playmate to keep her company when you can’t be at home.
13. Some are hypoallergenic.
While there are no completely hypoallergenic cat breeds, some are considered “allergy friendly,” including Oriental Shorthairs, Russian Blues, Siamese and Sphynx.
14. They love to nap.
Enjoy being lazy on the weekends? Cats sleep anywhere from 16-20 hours a day, making them perfect companions for Netflix binging and naps on the sofa.
15. Just watching videos of them fights negative emotions.
Indiana University’s Media School found that people who watched cat videos were “more energetic, felt more positive and had fewer negative emotions, such as anxiety, annoyance and sadness after watching cat videos online.” So even if you cannot have a kitty of your own, you can still reep some of the benefits just by logging onto YouTube.
H/T to MSN.com