Have A Cat? Here Are 10 Scientific Reasons Why It's Good For You

Jayson Beck

Journalist

Cats vs. dogs is a debate for the ages that will only stop once advanced space cats conquer the Earth with their magic and technology. However, for the meantime, we're stuck in a deadlock where people preferring either kind of pet will never be caught dead saying something nice about the other.

But here comes in science to say that having a kitty is good for you – and maybe even the environment! Yes, here we have 10 reasons why having a cat is actually good for you – all verified by science. So read on and submit to your feline overlords.

It's good for the environment As far as carbon footprint is concerned, a 2009 study found that the resources devoted to feeding a dog over its life have the same eco-footprint as a Land Cruiser, which is not a small, ecological vehicle. Meanwhile, kitties eat less and are more likely to eat fish-derived foods rather than corn or beef products. Therefore, a cat has the carbon footprint of a small hatchback.

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Cats help you cope It's super painful to lose a loved one. However, pets help you to get over the loss. Cats help people get over their loss much faster - and even show less physical symptoms of pain. Cats really do act a social support!

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Cats help you find love Single guys should get a cat. Besides now having a cat, you're now more likely to find a date – a British poll showed that 82% of women are more attracted to men who like animals. 90% of single women think that cat owning guys are "nicer" than other dudes. Just add some pictures of your feline bud on the dating profile and you're good to go. And if it doesn't pan out, you still have your cat to listen to you grieve.

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Cat owners are smart A 2010 University of Bristol survey of British pet owners showed that cat owners are more likely to have collage degrees than dog owners. Meanwhile a researcher in Wisconsin surveyed 600 college students in 2014 – and found out that cat owners are more intelligent! However, having a cat doesn't exactly make you smarter - it's just that smart people are likely to work long hours and cats can cope better without your attention.

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Your heart will be healthier Owning any pet is good for your heart. Cats in particular lower your stress level since you don't need to care for them that much and lower your anxiety (through allowing you to pet them). A study over a 10-year period showed cat owners to be 30% less likely to die of a heart attack or stroke than others.

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Cats fulfill your need for companionship Just because cats aren't slavishly dedicated to fulfilling your whim doesn't mean they're not your friends! A 2003 Austrian study showed that having a cat at the house is the emotional equivalent of having a romantic partner. Cats love initiating contact (to get that body warmth and scritches), and they remember kindness well. Cats still hold the upper hand, though: they have evolved a half-purr/half-meow sound that sounds like the cry of a human baby, and since we are wired to help babies, we have a harder time ignoring the cat.

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Cats can reveal your personality Dog owners are the life of the party. Meanwhile, cat owners tend to be quieter and more introverted. However, they're more trustworthy as well as trusting, while also being more modest and less manipulative.

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Cat owners sleep better UK studies and polls have shown that people – especially women – like to sleep with their cats rather than their partners, and that the sleep is better when with a cat. Maybe it's because they don't snore? A Mayo Clinic Center for Sleep Medicine study has shown that 41 percent of the people slept better because of their pet, but only 20 percent claimed that it led to disturbances.

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You have fewer allergies A 2002 study by the National Institutes of Health claims that children under a year old who were exposed to cats were less likely to develop allergies. Marshall Plaut, M.D., chief of the allergic mechanisms section at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, wrote: "high pet exposure early in life appears to protect against not only pet allergy but also other types of common allergies, such as allergy to dust mites, ragweed, and grass." And while you might be afraid of Toxoplasmosis - caused by parasite Toxoplasma gondii, experts say that changing your cat’s litter box every day and keeping the animal indoors is all you need to protect them.

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Cats can save your life Cats have a reputation of being aloof and not caring. However, that's only because they're saving their energy for when they need to save you. One UK cat warns her owner when he's about to have an epileptic seizure. A cat in Montana woke up it's owners when there was a gas leak - the house would have exploded if not for the cat.

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Felines even work on the front. Back in 1949, Simon was the cat onboard the HMS Amethyst, which was sailing up the Yangtze. The ship was hit by a shell, which killed several marines and severely injured Simon. Thus started the 101-day siege of the ship, usually known as the Yangtze Incident. However, when Simon was patched up, he got back to catching rats that were threatening the food supply as well as working as moral support.

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Simon died not long after the ship returned to the UK, but he was posthumously awarded the Dickin Medal, the animal version of the Victoria Cross, for "behaviour [of] the highest order, although the blast was capable of making a hole over a foot in diameter in a steel plate."

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