The Joys of Being Owned by a Cat

Picture of woman holding a hairy cat

Do you think of yourself as being a cat owner? Or are you owned by your cat? Many of us might start out thinking we are cat owners, only to discover that we are the ones being owned by our feline friends. It’s not bad being owned by a cat, however. In fact, it’s one of the best feelings in the world!

Being Owned by a Cat Is Good for Your Psychological and Physical Health

A study conducted by Australian researchers found that the psychological health of cat owners is far superior to the psychological health of those who own no pets. Those who are owned by at least one cat tend to be happier, have more confidence, have less anxiety, and sleep better.

Being owned by a cat is good for our children, too.  Scottish researchers found that kids ages 11 to 15 who had a strong bond with cats had a greater quality of life. Their attachment to cats provided them with more energy and enjoyment of life.

But what happens when we who are owned by cats do have low moods, because we all know that will inevitably happen sometimes, no matter how well our cats take care of us? This is when our cats really help. Researchers have found that people who are in low moods and are owned by cats tend to recover from their low moods more quickly than those who are not owned by cats. Additionally, they report feeling generally blue for less time than those without cats in their lives do. This is not to say that cats are a cure for depression, by any means, but rather, that they might ease depression a bit.

Those who are owned by cats also have better physical health than those without cats in their lives. People who are owned by cats are less likely to die of heart attack than those who have never been owned by cats, one study has found. Another study discovered that having a cat in your life reduces your risk of stroke. Having a relationship with a cat (whether you feel that you own it or it owns you) has proven beneficial effects in humans. Those who own cats/are owned by cats tend to have fewer colds, less back pain and fewer headaches than those who do not have cats in their lives.

Being Owned by a Cat Reduces Your Stress Levels

Have you ever felt that while your cat is kneading your lap (or back, or whatever part of your body she has decided to perch on), she is actually kneading away your stress? Cats have been proven to reduce our levels of stress, and not just when they’re physically sitting with us. In studies, those who are owned by cats have lower resting levels of blood pressure and heart rate than those who are not owned by cats. When subjected to stressful situations, those owned by cats experience less elevation of heart rate and blood pressure as well. This goes hand-in-hand with the improved health benefits of being owned by a cat.

Cats are naturally calming creatures who don’t judge us and love us unconditionally. They are even better than people at reducing our stress, as cats won’t become distressed when we are stressed like our loved ones and friends can tend to do. Their constant calming presence can’t help but reduce our stress, even if we are just watching them.

Being Owned by a Cat Improves Your Other Relationships

Those who are owned by cats have been found to be more trusting of others and more sensitive to others. This means that if you are owned by a cat, your human relationships tend to be better than those of people who don’t have any pets. People who are owned by cats feel more supported by other humans in their lives, studies have found.

Researchers believe that this occurs because having positive feelings about cats carries over to our other relationships, as those who have positive feelings about cats are more apt to have positive feelings about other human beings.

Cats can act as a social catalyst to those humans they own, creating more contact between people in our lives. The cat’s basic characteristics of loyalty, affection, honesty and openness are believed to translate over to its human’s feelings and be represented in them when they pursue relationships with other humans. It is definitely not true to say that all cat owners or humans who are owned by cats are introverts who don’t enjoy the company of other human beings!



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