Cat owners often say that it is the cat that chooses us, not the other way around — and there is indeed some truth to this claim. Believe it or not, researchers have found that ancient DNA suggests that cats domesticated themselves. In other words, we never really needed to force cats into cages for them to stick around. For thousands of years, cats have been living side by side humans out of their own volition. Perhaps it’s precisely why so many of us love cats so much. Maybe it’s evolution at work, but our relationship with cats has gotten to a point where simply being with one can even vastly improve our health. Here’s how cats make our lives better.


Petting A Cat Can Be A Powerful Way To Destress

You can’t argue with science here. Studies have shown that simply petting a cat triggers the release of oxytocin, a hormone that’s commonly associated with love and social bonding. It’s the same hormone that is responsible for making you feel so good whenever you spend time with your loved ones. Oxytocin is so powerful that it can effectively reduce stress, which not only makes you feel awful but can also manifest physically through confidence-crushing acne and visceral fat around your abdomen.

Stress is also perhaps the most underestimated health hazard yet. It’s a silent killer, often attributed as a cause of a whole host of health concerns including high blood pressure and high bad cholesterol levels. Research has shown that petting a cat can help with this by releasing more oxytocin that may then lower levels of the stress hormone known as cortisol. In fact, cat owners are found to be less prone to cardiovascular disease than people who don’t own one. Owning a cat can be such a powerful preventative treatment that one study even found that cat owners reported fewer minor health complaints such as colds within a month.

Sure, you can certainly drop by a cat café to reap the same benefits, but cat owners can pretty enjoy this any time they want! Owning a cat means you would get access to a total 24/7 stress reliever, provided you genuinely love them, of course. So, cat owners, the next time you feel yourself overwhelmed by stress? Just offer your feline companion an extra tuna snack in exchange for a petting session. It’s a small price to pay for your daily dose of oxytocin.


A Cat Can Give You The Companionship You Need

Above all others, humans crave companionship — and cats are excellent companions. Maybe that’s why the crazy cat lady image is so deeply rooted in our consciousness. At the heart of it, single women seek companionship, and there’s nothing wrong with looking for it in a cat. We, humans, are such intensely social creatures that we could stick to the most well-balanced diets and follow the strictest fitness regimes but still suffer if we feel lonely. Left unchecked, loneliness makes us much more prone to poor mental health and certain health conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease. Plenty of cat owners who form strong bonds with their cats have even reported that their pets seem to be able to sense whenever their humans feel sad. Plus, unlike humans, cats can’t disappoint or hurt you as long as you give them what they need. All they do is eat, sleep, play with us, and look cute all the time! Nothing compares to the little feline head-butts against our leg whenever they want to say hello to us cat owners as they pass by. It’s always a great comfort to know that you’re not completely alone in this world either way.


Cats Can Give You An Instant Mood-Lift

Feeling a little down? Don’t just brush it aside. We should never dismiss the importance of our own happiness. Research has shown a strong correlation between positive emotions and our health. In other words, our moods are intricately tied to our health in more ways than you think. It makes sense. Happier people are certainly more likely to care about themselves. For cat owners, all they would have to do is take a single glance at their little furry friend to feel infinitely happier, thus bring them that much closer to optimal health. What else could possibly make you feel instantly happier than a silly little cat jumping into an empty cardboard box?

One study even suggests that cat owners tend to feel negative emotions less often than those who don’t own any cats. You can certainly feel the same effect by watching cat videos on the internet, but what happens when your internet service provider falls apart? Being a cat owner means that constant access to an instant adorable mood-lift, regardless of internet connectivity! If you’re strongly considering becoming one, certainly look into adoption. There are so many cats out there just waiting for a forever home.