Cats, you either love ’em or hate ‘em. Regardless of the extent to which they control us, making us get up out of bed too early so they can eat, or even when we find ourselves bending over the ‘box’ and scooping out their poop – cats have an uncanny ability to make us happy.
Cats are nature’s most natural ‘high’.
Admit it, you too have snuck a look at cute cat videos online of cats annoying their humans, or getting gift wrapped for Christmas… and you felt better for the guilty pleasure of doing so. People who watch cat videos online say that they feel less negative emotion afterward (less anxiety, annoyance, and sadness) and more positive feelings (more hope, happiness, and contentment).
According to an Australian study of cat owners, they have better psychological health than people without pets. On questionnaires, they claim to feel more happy, more confident, and less nervous, and to sleep, focus, and face problems in their lives better.
These beautiful creatures have a rare quality that humans would do well to cultivate: a large capacity to receive affection. Delighting in our physical presence, they may begin to purr and perhaps roll on their backs, exposing their vulnerability. My little fat girl cat loves to play ‘kitty belly rub’, she will roll onto her back, and purr incessantly as I vigorously rub her belly from stem to stern. I swear she is smiling the entire time. And the entire time I feel a calming sense of contentment.
Did you know cat owners were less likely to die of heart attacks, have lower blood pressure and cats help our brains release dopamine and serotonin? Cat lovers, compared to dog lovers at least, also tend to be more open to new experiences (even if our skittish cats aren’t).
Your Mr. Fluffy Pants or Miss Little Meowmaid is keeping you happy and healthy.