Getting a cat

5 reasons why having a cat is good for your health

Discover 5 science-backed reasons why having a cat as part of your life is good for your health!

5 reasons why having a cat is good for your health
Barbara August 27, 2023 • 2 minutes read

Imagine coming home after a tough day at work. As you open the door, a little ball of fur comes rushing to greet you with a gentle meow and a nudge. Suddenly, your worries seem to melt away as you scoop up your furry friend.

This is the magic of having a cat in your life. But apart from the emotional comfort cats offer, there are also physical and mental health benefits associated with having these furry creatures around. From stress reduction to heart health, cats have a lot to offer.

In this article, we’ll delve into five fascinating reasons why sharing your home with a cat might just be your secret ingredient to a healthier, happier life.

1. Cats can reduce feelings of loneliness

We all need companionship — no matter how independent or introverted we may be. Having a pet around can be an invaluable source of comfort, companionship, and joy in life.

A study conducted during the times of the COVID-19 pandemic investigated the experiences of those with companion cats. The findings revealed that cats can reduce feelings of loneliness and serve as a strong source of comfort and connection when people feel isolated. 1

Another paper also concluded that cats can reduce loneliness and improve the general well-being of their owners. Possible reasons for their positive impact include cats providing nonjudgmental support, unconditional love, and constant availability. 2

2. Owning a cat can give you purpose

Having a cat in your life can provide you with a sense of purpose. You may find joy in taking care of and nurturing your pet, from feeding and grooming them to playing with them.

Having structured activities such as these can help you keep a routine, which is especially beneficial if your day-to-day life has become unstructured or overwhelming.

A study supported this notion, showing that cats can provide many owners with a sense of purpose and meaning during difficult times when things feel out of their control. 1

3. Cats can calm you down

Caring for a pet can be an effective way to reduce stress levels, and cats are no exception. With their unique behaviors and calming presence, cats seem to have stress-reducing effects on us humans.

Research has shown that stroking animals or even just looking at them can decrease physiological stress reactions. This includes reductions in heart rate and blood pressure. 3

So, next time you’re feeling frazzled or stressed, try taking a few minutes to just cuddle with your cat.

4. Just watching cat videos reduces stress

Man smiling and watching cat videos

Turns out, you don’t have to own a cat to reap the benefits of feline companionship. Believe it or not, even just watching cats on YouTube can reduce your stress levels! Some studies have shown that even watching videos of animals can have stress-reducing effects. 3

So, don’t feel bad if you find yourself scrolling through TikTok or YouTube for hours watching cat videos. It could be just what you need to de-stress!

5. Cats can improve your heart’s health

Research has shown that spending time with a cat can lead to a reduction in heart rate and blood pressure. Interestingly, these effects tend to be more pronounced in cat owners than in non-owners. 4

But the story doesn’t end here. There are studies suggesting that pet ownership can have a positive impact on the survival rates of individuals who have faced cardiovascular-related health problems. In one of the earliest studies in this field, it was discovered that pet owners were significantly more likely to still be alive one year after experiencing a heart attack compared to non-pet owners.

However, it’s important to note that while pets, including cats, may have a role in reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease, research in this area is still inconclusive.3 So, getting a pet should not be solely for this purpose.


There’s no denying that cats can have a positive effect on our lives. From reducing loneliness to calming us down and even possibly improving our heart health, these adorable creatures offer an array of emotional, mental, and physical benefits.

Apart from all the benefits mentioned above, your number one reason to get a cat should simply be because you love them! And luckily, all the health benefits come as an added bonus.

  1. Currin-McCulloch, J., Bussolari, C., Packman, W., Kogan, L. R., & Erdman, P. (2021). Grounded by Purrs and Petting: Experiences with Companion Cats during COVID-19. Human-animal Interaction Bulletin, 2021. ↩︎ ↩︎

  2. O’Haire, M. E. (2010). Companion animals and human health: Benefits, challenges, and the road ahead. Journal of Veterinary Behavior, 5(5), 226–234. ↩︎

  3. Wells, D. L. (2019). The State of Research on Human–Animal Relations: Implications for Human Health. Anthrozoos, 32(2), 169–181. ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎

  4. Da Silva Garcia Dinis, F. a. B., & Martins, T. L. F. (2016). Does cat attachment have an effect on human health? A comparison between owners and volunteers. Pet Behaviour Science, 1, 1–12. ↩︎

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