8 Scientific Benefits Of Being A Cat Owner

Written by: Adri Sandoval
Adri Sandoval is the Special Projects Manager for iHeartDogs and iHeartCats. Her work has deepened her love for animals, fostering a strong passion for rescue and animal advocacy.Read more
| Published on June 6, 2017

You already know that cats improve your life. But did you know there are actually many scientific benefits to being a cat owner? For example, multiple surveys and studies have shown that cat owners tend to be smarter and more educated than dog owners. Here are 8 scientific benefits of being a cat owner.

#1 – They fulfill a need for companionship

This may seem obvious to cat owners, but studies show that having a cat in the house is can be as fulfilling as having a romantic partner, especially for women. Cats will initiate contact much of the time and will remember kindness, returning the favor later.

#2 – You’ll sleep better

Multiple studies and polls have found that people would rather sleep with their cats than with their partners. They also report sleeping better with a cat than with a human. 41% of people in a recent study by the Mayo Clinic Center for Sleep Medicine indicated that they slept better because of their pet. Only 20% of people said sleeping with a pet disturbed their sleep.

#3 – They say a lot about your personality

Dog lovers tend to be more extroverted, while cat owners tend to be quieter and more introverted. Cat owners also tend to be more trustworthy and more trusting of others. They’re less manipulative and more modest than people who don’t own cats.

#4 – Cats help you cope

Cats have been shown to help people get over loss more quickly. People will also show less physical symptoms of pain, such as crying. People report that talking to their cat to work out their feelings is often easier than talking to a person because the cat won’t judge you.

#5 – They can help you find love

In a British poll, 82% of women agreed that they’re more attracted to men who like animals, and 90% of single women that said that men who own cats are nicer than other men. Just remember that a cat is for life and not just until you find a human companion.

#6 – They can prevent babies from developing allergies

Children under year old who are exposed to a cat are less likely to develop allergies. That’s not just limited to cat allergies, either. Exposure to pets early in life can protect against other common allergies such as dust mites, ragweed, and grass.

#7 – You’ll have a healthier heart

Cats can lower your stress level and reduce the amount of anxiety in your life. Petting a cat has a positive, calming effect, and one study found that over a 10-year period, cat owners were 30% less likely to die from a heart attack or a stroke than non-cat owners.

#8 – They may save your life

Even though you are more likely to hear about dogs saving people’s lives, there are several documented cases of cats saving humans’ lives. At least one cat is known to detect seizures in her epileptic human, and at least one cat has woken up its humans when a gas pipe started leaking. One cat even received the highest medal available to military animals, UK’s Dickin Medal for “behaviour of the highest order.” He’d continued to catch rats who were eating their food while providing moral support for sailors, despite being injured during the 101-day siege of the HMS Amethyst on the Yangtze in 1949.

(H/T: Mental Floss)