We've all heard the "crazy cat lady" trope. In today's day and age, it doesn't matter your gender, either. If you're cat-obsessed, then you're the neighborhood crazy cat person. People have weird ideas about your purr-sonality. When I was a kid in Chicago there was a crazy cat old man in our neighborhood. Newspapers piled up for years outside his two-story house and if you got close enough the faint smell of cat urine would waft in the wind. Cats were everywhere and occasionally the old bugger would be outside and the neighborhood kids wondered all sorts of wild things about what went on behind those eerie walls.
Why do cat people get a bad reputation anyway? According to NBC:
Besides medieval hysteria about witches and their trusty black sidekicks, some of this fear may have stemmed from the notion that toxoplasmosis — an infection caused by a parasite found in cat feces (along with undercooked meat and contaminated water) could cause people to lose their minds. People like cat ladies.
Alas, in a recent study published by the Journal of Psychological Medicine, there is "no evidence of an association between cat ownership and psychotic symptoms."
Furthermore, David Haworth, DVM, Ph.D, says:
The Centers for Disease Control estimates that more than 60 million people in the United States may be infected with the Toxoplasma parasite through all means, including cats but very few people show symptoms because a healthy person’s immune system usually keeps the parasite from causing illness.
Today those of us who are bonafide cat enthusiasts have taken back the stigma and made an endearing world of being besties with our furry, feline friends. Being a cat person today isn't negative but in case you meet someone who disagrees, I've got great news. Cats actually improve our lives, and it's been proven with science!
Here are 10 reasons it's actually good to be a "crazy cat person!"
In 2014 a survey found that when compared to dog owners, cat owners were more intelligent and more sensitive! Psychoanalyst Steve McKeown said, "Cat people are more likely to possess university degrees than dog owners. Educated people tend to work longer hours and opt for pets that compliment their personal circumstances and lifestyle."
In 2008 a study was published by researchers at the University of Minnesota’s Stroke Institute. The study followed 4,500 people, of which 3 out of 5 people owned a cat for 10 years. The astonishing results revealed that the cat owners were 30% less likely to die from a heart attack than people who didn’t own cats!
According to Scientific American:
“Scientists have demonstrated that cats produce the purr through intermittent signaling of the laryngeal and diaphragmatic muscles. Cats purr during both inhalation and exhalation with a consistent pattern and frequency between 25 and 150 Hertz. Various investigators have shown that sound frequencies in this range can improve bone density and promote healing.”
Additionally, according to a report by Mother Nature Network, cats are superior to all other animals at reducing stress and even lowering blood pressure... and it's probably got a lot to do with that effective purring.
If you've ever let a cat into your heart and home then you're well aware they make you laugh daily. Laughter has been proven to have many benefits. In fact, one study showed that watching funny videos for 20 minutes significantly reduced people’s levels of cortisol and helped them perform better on a memory recall test. Even better, Another study showed that a sense of humor can protect against heart disease!
I don't think anyone could keep a straight face and tell you that cats don't make us laugh.
In 2012, French researchers studied 40 children with autism and their families. The study revealed that children with autism who were introduced to a family pet specifically at the age of 4 or 5 showed major improvement in two social skills that are not only difficult for autistic people, but are also critical in sustaining human relationships: sharing with others and comforting people in distress.
Having cats leads to feeling less lonely, which may sound contradictory to the concept that cats are loners. Instead,cats are independent! They are very much social creature companions though.
A study in 2011 concluded that our fuzzy friends can erase the same amount of loneliness that hanging out with our human friends can, and if you've ever owned a cat there's a chance you believe they do an even better job since they listen without interrupting, are always down for evening snuggle sessions, and are cheerful and perky when you get home, even when they're grumpy.
In a study first published in 2011, it was concluded that exposure to cats in the first year of life significantly decreased an allergy to pet dander later in life. The theory is that giving the young, developing immune system something natural to work on actually helps it develop normally instead of reacting to things that aren’t actually dangerous.
According to research by the ASPCA, owning a cat instead of a dog could save you anywhere from $300-800 annually! Food, toys, and even vaccines cost less than what is typical for a dog.
According to nap.org naps:
- Boost alertness and improve motor performance, leaving you feeling energized.
- Eradicate Stress, help lower tension, and decreases your risk of heart disease.
- Boost your mood.
Let's face the truth, cats are experts at napping. Having your furry little buddy lead the game in nap tactics is only improved by the fact that a 20 minute snooze and snuggle is the optimal way to nap in style.
Pets in general have a reputation for distracting us from our own emotional conundrums by both offering unconditional love and acceptance and giving us an important sense of responsibility. The love they offer and the duties we perform can help get us through tough times!
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