And cats are good for mental health too

I love my cats so much it hurts sometimes. One of them is 18 years old. She is a little old lady—I fear losing her, especially after losing my brother—but she has enriched my life immeasurably. I’ve had her since I could hold her in my hand. They soothe me and I am never annoyed by them. They bring out the best in me.

Study finds health benefits to owning cats

MINNEAPOLIS — Here, kitty kitty. …

A new study suggests cat owners are less likely to die of a heart attack or stroke than people who, well, don’t own cats.

And no, dogs don’t do the same trick.

The study, by researchers at the University of Minnesota, found that feline-less people were 30 to 40 percent more likely to die of cardiovascular disease than those with cats.

Yet dog owners had the same rate as nonowners. “No protective effect of dogs as domestic pets was observed,” said the study, which was presented Thursday at the International Stroke Conference in New Orleans.

Dr. Adnan Qureshi, a stroke expert at the university, said he decided to raise the question because other studies have suggested pets can help reduce stress.

He and his team analyzed a group of 4,435 people who had answered questionnaires about pet ownership and other risk factors.

But the cat-dog differential came as a surprise. “We don’t understand this completely,” he said, but “it’s probably not a coincidence.”

Asked if he owns a cat, Qureshi replied: “No. Maybe I should get one, though. With this new research, I think the time has come to change.”

****And while we’re at it here’s another study on pets in general. I’m mighty happy to have my two kitties living with me at the moment.

13 thoughts on “And cats are good for mental health too

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  1. i couldn’t live with out my “kids”. (3 dogs and a cat.) they are a constant in my life and i couldn’t imagine not having them around.

    i take my little dog, lucy, around with me while she’s a baby and…well it’s animals…people just open up and smile….everything about them just transforms (usually in a positive way) and i love seeing that!

  2. I’ve always wanted a kitten but Bob hates cats. I’m pushing for a small dog instead now.

    Also, I’ve worked with the doctor mentioned in the article. I thought that was kind of cool as well.

  3. Amen to the wonders of cats! I have a brilliant, beautiful, affectionate, kind, sweet, purr par excellence (imo and her’s!) Himalayan cat who is 19 years old. She is a real lap cat and is friendly to everyone. She’s gone into a new phase…not of old age, but of new kittenhood. She’s more needy for affection now, which I am happy to give her. I love her dearly. She has helped both myself and my daughter through bad bouts of depression and anxiety. The latest on pets is that we do not “own” them, but rather are partners with them. I like that concept.

  4. I’ve had a cat or several cats at one time; in my life for 48 years. They’ve always been comforting and humorous as well. One of the key things is that petting a cat or a dog lowers stress and blood pressure, this is why cats and dogs often are taken to nursing homes, and for example, I even took my dog to my daughter in the psych hospital. My oldest daughter has a cat, and due to her being out of state w/out family support, I went through some arm wrestling, but was able to deem her cat a “therapy” cat, so she could have it in any apartment she wants to live. She had a terrible bout of depression at one point, and that’s when i did that. The cat has papers! Also, the cat I know for a fact , has gotten my oldest daughter through very rough times, one day her boss even let her bring the cat to work, and the staff was so happy to have the cat there, they want it to be a regular event!

  5. yes, they are soothing. dogs tend to excite, which can be great fun, but it’s a whole different thing.

    I have a dog too and I love her to death, but my cats have a special place in my heart and it is that valium like spell they cast over me. One of my cats is sitting on my lap as I type right now. They take turns doing this and it bothers me not at all.

    I love that they are with me while I work at the computer.

  6. I have noticed for a long time that when one of my cats comes to lay near me, and is purring…I feel like I’ve taken a valium! I can feel my blood pressure go down, I swear. They are so soothing. I’ve never lived without animals, and hopefully, never will. If I ever dated anyone who doesn’t like them, _they’re_ going, not the pet 🙂

  7. Yea kittehs!

    Especially strange, this, because dogs are considered goo b/c of the health benefits from walking them.

    I guess changing the litter box is good exercise. heh

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