The Healing Power of the Cat - PetHelpful - By fellow animal lovers and experts
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The Healing Power of the Cat

My adopted cat, Mowgli, is very affectionate and loving. He purrs loudly when his cat chow bowl is replenished.

The Purr

My Adopted Cat, Mowgli

Before I adopted Mowgli, he was partially feral, as he lived outdoors and was not allowed in the house. He was owned by a couple who gave him access only to the garage, where they kept his food and water. When the couple got divorced, neither husband nor wife could take the cat—which is how Mowgli eventually came to me.

My brother was a friend of the couple's, and initially he brought Mowgli to me for emergency shelter. When I first picked up Mowgli, he bit me because he was scared. I put him on my bed and petted him. He jumped off right away. But after some coaching, he soon took to sleeping on my bed.

Since he had been an outdoor cat, all of this was new to him. He adapted quickly. His purr is very loud and he shows a deep appreciation for a warm lap to sit on, a warm house, and a bowl that is always full of food. He really purrs loudly when his cat chow bowl is replenished. He soon became very affectionate and loving. We bonded.

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Cats May Help Guard Against Cardiovascular Disease

People who own cats are less likely to die of cardiovascular disease. Non-cat owners are 30-40 percent more likely to die of cardiovascular disease than cat owners, according to a study done by Igor Purlantov. Having a cat also reduces the risk of a heart attack. The same study shows that owning a cat will likely lower your blood pressure and that just petting a cat or having one by your side calms a person. Also, cat owners have shown to have lower cholesterol than non-cat owners. It was revealed by one study that owning a cat was more effective than taking medication.

The Cat Purr

Cats May Improve Mental Health and Immunity

Petting a cat can reduce anxiety. It also helps with loneliness, especially for widows or other people living alone. Studies have suggested that cat owners make fewer visits to the doctor. In nursing homes that allow cats as therapy for the patients, there were fewer costs for medications than nursing homes without cats. The study done by Igor Purlantov also showed that owning a cat boosts the immune system while improving how it functions. Some believe cats have a good sense of detecting illness in a person and comforting them so that the person feels better faster.

Oscar and the Nursing Home

Spending time with an animal can increase the hormone oxytocin (a hormone that increases the feeling of wellbeing of a person), according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information. Serotonin and dopamine levels are increased. These two chemicals are instrumental in regulating mood disorders. Being with a pet like a cat and taking care of that pet is a way of distracting you from your problems. They also help with loneliness, as they serve as a companion. They alleviate the feeling of isolation. A pet can be a good conversation starter with other people in addition to providing companionship. A pet to take care of gives a person a sense of purpose in his/her life.

Cats and Mental Health

Why You Should Adopt From a Shelter

Some animal shelters are financed by the local government and the money comes from the tax dollars of the local people. The estimation is that 4 to 6 million cats and dogs are euthanized each year in the United States. If you adopt from a shelter, you won't be supporting a puppy mill or cat mill and backyard breeders who continuously impregnate females in order to sell the offspring without providing veterinary care or companionship for the mother or her offspring. Once the mother cannot have any more litters, she is killed.

If you are specifically looking for a kitten, there are tons of them in shelters. My cat was originally from a shelter when he was adopted by his first owners. The shelters also have older cats. When you get a shelter cat they are typically spayed, neutered, immunized, dewormed, microchipped, assessed for behavioral issues, and very often housetrained, as well. Not every shelter has the funds to do the microchipping, but it is becoming more and more commonplace.

Shelter Cats

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, a cat is a great pet and good for one's health at the same time. My cat is very affectionate, loyal, and a good pet even though he was partially feral as he was an outdoor only cat with his second family. He originally came from a shelter as a kitten. When the first family decided they couldn't keep him, he was turned over to relatives who did the best they could for him until their divorce made it mandatory to make other arrangements for him. This was his second family. I am his third family. Some people have suggested he has some abandonment issues. Cats adapt well usually. This one seems to be doing fine with his new adjustments. Adopting a cat has medicinal values to it along with taking care of an animal and supporting your community. Cats live typically long lives if they are taken care of and provide people with companionship, affection, and other medicinal things.

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