“Why would you ever get a pet cat?” This is a question that many people will ask. “What are the benefits of having a pet cat? Are there even any?”
Indeed, these questions are the most common ones that I received from non-pet owners, especially those that can’t stand furry animals around them. Now, I am going to answer these questions.
There are many benefits that a pet -and more specifically, a cat- will bring to you, but here are the 3 main benefits that you’ll get.
1. Cats can improve your health (physically and mentally).
There has been scientific research done that had proven that cats improving the health of humans is a fact, not a myth. The University of Minnesota, for an instance, conducted a 10-year study on over 4,000 subjects ranging from 30 to 75 years old. Results had shown that cat owners experience 40% less chance of experiencing heart attacks and have 30% lesser risk from heart disease-related deaths. It was speculated that this may be related to a decrease in average stress levels experienced by the owners due to the cats being a stress-reliever. (It was also stated that in this study, those who owned dogs did not seem to have these benefits brought about by cats!)
Another study is related to cats’ purr and how they aid in healing. Felids (inclusive of both domestic cats and wild cats such as cheetahs) emit purrs that are between 25 and 150 Hz; domestic cats are found to produce purrs at exactly 25 Hz and 50 Hz, which are the frequencies that promote bone strength. Vibrations and electrical frequencies that hospitals use to treat injuries such as bone fractures and muscle strains are also around these two frequencies. As such, having cats at home and listening to them purr is almost equivalent to taking medication to keep your bones and muscles strong and healthy!
2. Cats provide emotional support.
Cats can recognize their owner’s voice and responds through moving their heads or flickering their ears. With or without this study, I will say the same thing from my own experience:
- Jaguar and Monkey will turn their heads towards our direction when we call their names (or even mention their names in conversations not directed towards them).
- Whenever we stroke Jaguar and Monkey (usually from neck to belly) while talking to them, their ears will flicker. If they stopped flickering their ears and their heads turned somewhere else, we know that they’re going to leave soon.
- Jaguar and Monkey will meow at us whenever we walk towards them deliberately (and they are aware of it).
- Jaguar and Monkey knows when a family member arrives home and when a visitor is here – if it’s a family member, they will walk towards the door; if not, Jaguar will run somewhere to hide while Monkey will jump up to somewhere that is above head level (around 2 meters or higher).
Whenever they respond to my actions, I feel a surge of joy. I know that they’re listening to me, and I know that they will not judge me, no matter what I share with them. Whenever they rub their necks around my feet or jump up and meow straight in my face, their very presence gave me the comfort and peace I need in this busy world.
3. Cats help us to develop into better human beings.
There’s a lot of things that we can learn when we have a pet, and you can find them all over the net, such as being responsible or getting enough exercise ’cause you have to bring them for a walk.
One thing that is exclusive to cats, though, is their solitary nature as compared to other pets (eg. dogs, hamsters, rabbits etc.). Sometimes, they just want to be alone, and if you bother them (especially if they are sound asleep) they won’t hesitate to give you a bite. I’ve been on the receiving end for quite a few times! Fortunately, Jaguar and Monkey don’t bite that hard.
The two major lessons I’ve learnt from them is as written:
- Be patient when it comes to approaching another person (or cat), especially if it is a stranger that you are approaching for the first time. Some people (and some cats) take more time to open up to others that they are not that familiar with.
- Respect the fact that everyone has their own solitary/private time and they do not like to be disturbed during this time. And yes, respect is not limited to humans only; animals are entitled to such respect too.
Back to the original questions……
“Why would you ever get a pet cat?”
“What are the benefits of having a pet cat? Are there even any?”
The answer is definitely YES! There are many benefits when it comes to owning a cat, and the three major reasons are improving our health, providing emotional support, and developing ourselves.
As for why I adopted Jaguar in the first place……my first cat left, and my dog was depressed. The vet that we took her to said that she was suffering from the loss of a close companion, so we decided to get another cat for her.
But that’s a story for another day.
If you have any questions that you want to ask, anything you wish to clarify, or simply want to express your thoughts and feelings, feel free to leave a comment!