It seems that not only does the presence of a cat in the home help cheer up the general mood of the household: it could also protect the hearts of its masters. In fact, cat owners seem to have a lower risk of dying from a heart attack than people who do not have the advantage of having a feline in their life. A group of researchers who conducted a study among nearly 4,500 adults observed that the ownership of a cat was associated with a 40% lower risk of dying from a heart attack. During this study, 3.4% of the individuals who owned a cat perished from a heart attack, compared to a mortality rate of 5.8% for those who were not cat owners.
Researchers have suggested that the presence of a cat in the home can lower stress and decrease anxiety, which are two of the factors known to contribute to the onset of various heart diseases. Previous studies have also demonstrated that owning a dog could provide health benefits that go far beyond the simple fact of having to take them out for a walk.
The health benefits gained by having pets could be attributed to the fact that people who adopt them are generally of a calmer and less nervous nature. But beware! You should not run to the nearest shelter to adopt an animal if you do not particularly enjoy their company. Cats and dogs require a long-term engagement on the part of their owners. However, if you rejoice at the thought of having a little fur ball of affection to pet and care for, you can tell yourself that this new life companion could also be good for your health!