Thursday, February 18, 2010
Our cats make us happy. They calm us when we're stressed, make us feel loved, and entertain us with their antics (except at 2 a.m.). But did you know that their special powers may also extend to improving our health?
It's true. Here's what the research says about how our pets -- including cats -- help watch over our well-being:
TLC for your ticker: People with pets have a lower risk of developing cardiovascular disease than do people without pets, suggests one study. In fact, related research tells us pets can increase
1-year survival rates in people recovering from a heart attack and can lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
Cancer recovery made easier: In a study of women recuperating from breast cancer surgery, most who owned pets reported feeling a greater sense of support and control over their illness and treatment.
Mind and mood boost. In older populations, research suggests that pets may help chase away loneliness and reduce symptoms of dementia. And in a study of men living with AIDS, research revealed that those who owned cats reported fewer symptoms of depression than the men without a pet.
Overall health protection: People in a study who owned either a cat or a dog suffered significantly fewer minor health problems compared with people who were not owners. Similar research found that having pets also meant fewer trips to the doctor.
Return the favor and help keep your kitty young and healthy.