The Special Bond We Have With Cats
Cats are misunderstood
Maybe it’s because people expect cats to act like a small dog, being able to do tricks or play fetch. If you’ve owned both a dog and a cat, you know they have different personalities. Cats are unlike dogs in some ways and are often viewed as solitary creatures, aloof and mysterious. But it’s time to forget the old stereotypes and myths; they also thrive on love, attention and pampering just like their canine counterparts. They, too, crave companionship and need interaction and exercise. They have been known to bring out the softer side of people, and when you look into their eyes there’s a certain soulfulness and depth of spirit there that is unique only to cats.
Since hunting is instinctive to cats, they can teach us many important lessons about courage, independence, self-reliance, life and death. When people are ill, their cats often give them the push they need to hang on and get better. Pain becomes more bearable. Cats have been known to have insight into a person’s physical or mental pain and can provide great therapy. They are very laid-back and transmit that vibe.
A study done by the University of Minnesota Stroke Research Center found that cats were more protective against cardiovascular diseases in people than dogs were. Cat owners had a lower risk of dying from a heart attack or other cardiovascular disease, researchers suggested. “It is possible that cat ownership at an early age in life may be more protective than at a later age when sub clinical cardiovascular disease has already occurred. Acquisition of cats as domestic pets may represent a novel strategy for reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases in high-risk individuals,” the study stated.*
Cats can be a distraction to your problems
When you’re stressed and you pet your cat, your heart rate slows down, the tenseness in your shoulders and neck muscles relax. A cat’s purr is truly comforting. You can talk to them and tell them your troubles and they patiently listen. They are there for you day-in and day-out and seem to know when you need extra loving. Cats, too, want their lap times, to be played with and to be in the same room as you. They’ll greet you at the door and cuddle with you and will even forcefully put their faces in your hand for attention and scratches.
*Source: Qureshi A, Fareed M, Suri K, et al. Cats as domestic pets reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases: results from the Second National Health and Nutrition Examination Study Mortality Follow-up Study. In abstracts from the 2008 International Stroke Conference. Stroke. 2008;39:642-643.