Blessed be the home that welcomes a cat - Emotional Benefits

EMOTIONAL/SOCIAL

Enhances sleep quality

Once upon a time, single homeowners might not have had a regularly ‘satisfying romantic sleepover’ with someone who keeps them warm at night. However, single cat owners fare better in terms of experiencing quality rest than their completely solitary peers.

According to a 2015 research by Mayo Clinic, more than half the surveyed pet owners who sleep with their pets did not report any complaints. In fact, they even find their bedside animal companions comforting. Their purring could even be a potent sleep-inducing factor.

Teaches patience

Disturbed slumber is (arguably) child’s play compared to other disadvantages of having a cat as a household member. Apart from putting up with their non-compliant nature, cat ownership also entails responsibilities that are ‘fundamentally unfeasible’ for germaphobes.

Such unsavory tasks include cleaning the litter box, picking puked hairballs, and combing off ticks. In terms of accomplishing these chores: patience = time + familiarity. No one understands this better than parents who change baby diapers on a daily basis.

Provides companionship

No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of a continent, a part of the main.” These words were immortalized by a 16th Century English cleric named John Donne. Even to aloof individuals, such quote can still make a lot of sense. After all, by virtue of analogy, our planet has more than one continent. The figurative “Cat Continent” is where solitary people likely belong.

Residents of senior homes embody one of the most apparent (if not the most obvious) definition of loneliness – enough to be a subject of a well-known 2002 study by the UCLA that elevated the noble profession of all emotional-support pets. The results of this research have confirmed that animal-assisted therapy (AAT) greatly reduces loneliness in residents of long-term care facilities.

Reduces stress and anxiety

In case you’re skeptical of all the four spiritual/psychic benefits of owning a cat, you can at least validate these experiences strictly within the realm of human emotions. Most pragmatists simply accept that having an indoor cat just makes us feel good, especially without metaphysical justifications. When it comes to every positive emotion enjoyed by cat owners, a set of simple scientific principles has a lot to say about this fact.

An article published by the UK-based Pet Health Council features a study conducted by Cats Protection – the country’s largest feline welfare charity. Among 500 cat owners aged 55 and above, 82% of the respondents reported that their pets help them overcome stress and anxiety. A relatively extensive petting session can elevate serotonin (also known as feel-good hormones).

Promotes positive mood

Speaking of feel-good hormones, one of the craziest ways of attaining this chemical reaction in our brain is through our sense of sight. Images and videos of cats are among the most widely viewed online content since the dawn of video streaming.

Within nearly a decade (9 years) since Youtube was launched in 2005, there were over 2 million cat videos featured in the cyberspace. There is little doubt that people find cats very entertaining. Having a cat in your home is like getting your own free access to entertainment 24/7 in the absence of internet and/or electricity. 

Helps cope with sorrow

It is common knowledge that bringing a cat into your home can help you cope with multiple stages of sorrow. Apart from keeping you company and occasionally giving you small doses of laughter, having a pet cat gives you things to do. Your regular chores of feeding, grooming, and cleaning after them not only keep you distracted – it also gives you a purpose.

By the time you become quite better at looking after your fur baby’s welfare, you’d be thinking of ways to upgrade its needs like doing more homework (e.g. researching feline-safe cleaning products) or projects (e.g. building play tunnels, cat trees, etc). With cats keeping you productive, you will have little time and/or reason for self-pity.

Help raise social awareness

Having pets can make a person more sympathetic to all creatures in general. In fact, pet owners in North America have been championing the safety and welfare of all domestic animal companions since before there was a United States – specifically embodied in the 1641 Massachusetts Body of Liberties. Despite how far Americans have come, a 2016 study published in the Scientific World Journal revealed that conventional household setups are often ill-equipped to handle the proper confinement of cats.

A great deal of improvement, especially in the mindset of potential cat owners, is still needed in order to address this ongoing inadequacy. Affecting social changes for the benefit of our animal companions is a continuously bourgeoning movement. In New York alone, there are over 130 organizations that champion all aspects of the domestic cat’s welfare.

Widens community/social network

Apart from knowing the different federal associations behind pet welfare (e.g. ASPCA and APPA), being a passionate cat owner gets you connected with the people behind these groups. Just like children that find kinship with fellow likeminded peers, adults can find productive circles that are run by remarkable individuals. These social awareness lobbyists may include veterinarians, social workers, rescuers, business owners, philanthropists and even internet celebrities. 

Enhances sexual/romantic appeal (males)

If you’re a single guy and you’re still hung-up about the earlier mentioned ‘satisfying romantic sleepover,’ you may thank your cat for possibly increasing your chances of becoming more sexually attractive. A survey conducted by UK-based charity Cats Protection revealed that up to 90% of all single female respondents consider male cat owners to be more attractive.

The research did not reveal any prevalent reason behind it. However, a curious online article somehow provided an interesting insight into the feminine eye for ‘the male keeper.’ Women can’t help but swoon over ‘a gentle giant that loves small delicate creatures.’ In the dating world, having a cat as a wingman is as good as cheating!   

                          

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