There’s something primal about the relationship that we have with our cats. We are drawn to our furry, purring buddies; and we can’t wait for the moment when we can scoop them up at the end of a long day and cuddle with them on the couch. Seemingly, our cats enjoy this bonding time as much as we do. It’s easy to spend hours upon hours together, soaking up the time. >^..^<
As it turns out, there’s a reason that cat parents as well as cats themselves seem to love cuddling. There are physical, emotional and social benefits that humans and cats experience as a result of this bonding time.
Here’s a look at a few of the shared benefits of cat cuddling:
Cuddling Creates Calm
Most cat parents have to leave the house every day, either to fulfill personal obligations or head to work. These days can be long and stressful, leaving you exhausted at the end of the day. Really, there’s nothing better than getting back home and spending some time on the couch with a cat that is purring with excitement and love. This is one of the perfect ways to unwind. It can trigger a physical reaction in the body that allows you to relax and be distracted from what is plaguing your mind.
Similarly, cats enjoy this same calming sensation. As their human companions leave for the day, they have no concept as to where they are going and if they will return. Once you come home, they are happy and relieved that you returned. When you begin to show them affection, their stress melts away, as well.
Snuggles Help Boost Your Immune Strength
Believe it or not, the closer you get to your cat physically, the better your immune system can be. This is because you are regularly exposing yourself to small amounts of pet dander and other common allergens, which can help prevent you from experiencing seasonal allergies, asthma or pet-related allergies.
For your cat, cuddling also provides immune-boosting super powers. This is because spending time with you makes your cat happier, which naturally leads to a longer, healthier life for your four-legged family member. By making time for your cat every day, you are doing wonders for its health and vitality.
Being Together Provides Companionship
Sometimes it might feel like there is no one else in the world who understands you, but when you have a cat, you are never truly alone. For many people, life can be lonely. Cats can provide you with companionship, which can ultimately reduce your risk for mental illnesses such as depression or anxiety. With a cat by your side, you won’t feel alone.
Similar to humans, cats are social creatures. Your cat craves company and attention. By taking time to simply sit down and pet your cat, you are giving it what it needs (in part) to survive. Companionship is critical to your cat’s mental health. A cat that feels loved as well as wanted is more likely to live a longer, happier life.
Cats in the Home Can Lower Your Blood Pressure
For many cat owners, it’s not surprising to find out that having a cat in their home reduces their anxiety and improves their general demeanor. Though the reality is, it can also improve your physical health. According to online publication Health Fitness Revolution, those who have cats in the home are more likely to have lower blood pressure than those who do not. This is attributed to the fact that cats create a calm and relaxing atmosphere in a home, which can naturally reduce blood pressure in an individual who is experiencing stress or anxiety.
At the same time, cats will likely be less stressed when their humans are around. Minimizing stress levels in pets can naturally protect them from some of the physical complications that can arise from distress or anxiety.
Petting Your Cat Can be Therapeutic
Studies have found that the act of simply petting or cuddling with a cat can release oxytocin in the body, which is the hormone responsible for making people feel happy and loved. Cats also can be the perfect nonjudgmental being to pour your heart out to, since they will still be there to love you and cuddle with you no matter what. Whether you are going through a tough time personally or professionally, or you want to have a pet to rely on throughout your daily struggles, now could be the perfect time to get a cat to cuddle with every day.
Bonding Can Lower Your Risk for Heart Attack and Stroke
In addition to lowering your blood pressure, owning a sweet and adorable kitten can reduce your risk for heart attack and stroke. The calming presence of your cat may lower your cholesterol levels as well as your triglycerides, which can in turn decrease your risk for heart disease. In fact, a recent study by the University of Minnesota’s Stroke Institute found that cat owners are 30-40 percent less likely to die of heart attacks than those who do not have cats in their homes.
For your cat, a good cuddle session and a bit of playtime provides it with the just right amount of exercise that it needs. This keeps your cat feeling fit and healthy, and can reduce its risk for heart disease or stroke. By providing your cat with loving care and attention, you both reap physical rewards.
It seems that felines have had the reputation of not caring about their human counterparts, but cat owners know that this couldn’t be further from the truth. While common knowledge among cat parents, it’s now being recognized by science. A recent study by researchers at Oregon State University revealed that cats are more likely to choose human companionship over food, when given the option. This proves that there is a biological need and desire for cats to be with humans, which means that there must be significant mutual benefits to cat cuddling.
Author Credit: This guest post was contributed by Stephanie N. Blahut who is Director of Marketing for Figo Pet Insurance. Figo Pet Insurance is committed to helping pets and their families enjoy their lives together by fusing innovative technology — the first-of-its-kind Figo Pet Cloud — and the industry’s best pet insurance plans.
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Need any more reasons to hug your cat? We thought not! But do check out a post we did last year called The Magic Healing Power of Cat Purrs
Now go hug your kitty – purrrlease!