Do you ever get the feeling that your cat is pampering you, rather than vice versa? You may not be too far off. Research demonstrates that owning a pet can provide numerous benefits to you, enriching both your physical and emotional life.
Cats pamper their humans in many different ways, even if they don’t know they’re doing it. We’re not saying your cat intentionally loves on you – there’s no proof of that. But here are 5 ways you can benefit from owning a cat, through them just being them.
In a study of cat owners vs non-cat owners, the cat owners were proven to have better psychological health than the non-pet subjects. While it’s not a sure thing that getting a cat will immediately lift your mood, there are enough purported benefits to make it worthwhile.
There are many ways that cats can affect your happiness and improve your mood, some you definitely know about and maybe a few you haven’t realized before. Here are five ways that cats pamper their humans.
» Read about these 25 Typical Cat Behaviors
How Cats Pamper Their Humans
1. They Help You Get a Better Night’s Sleep
Your cat may just help you get a better night’s sleep. Researchers have been measuring the sleep patterns of individuals who sleep with their pets by their sides. It appears that sleeping near your pet can provide significant benefits. This isn’t exactly a new phenomenon, however.
In earlier times, humans have slept near their animals in order to create and sustain warmth. Even now, with our space heaters and air conditioning units, nothing quite beats the warmth and comfort of having a loving pet at your bedside.
The emotional and psychological benefits of allowing your cat to share your bed can also be substantial. Knowing that your pet is there beside you can create a relaxing environment that is conducive to a good night’s rest. Also, the time you spend together each night can strengthen your bond with your cat and nourish your relationship.
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2. They’re Great For Massages
You may not realize it, but your cat may also be pampering you with their busy paws. Cat lovers are very familiar with the kneading action that many cats make with their paws when they are in a relaxed state. As many cat lovers’ can testify, this kneading paw action can give quite a massage!
Petting and brushing your cat’s fur can also be a relaxing and bonding experience for you and your cat. If you already have a cat, I’m sure you’ve felt the calming effect when you’re sitting with your cat, stroking his fur. It’s relaxing, tension relieving, and a very low stress activity that can bring you back to a more grounded feeling.
3. The Allure of the Sweet Purr
What cat lover hasn’t enjoyed the calming chatter of a cat’s purr? The sound and vibration of a cat’s purr is beginning to be scientifically studied. It is believed that the sound can lower your heart rate, blood pressure, and aid your ability to fall asleep.
The cat purr phenomenon has begun to grow in popularity, with researchers taking an interest and investigating the so-called curative and sedative effects of a cat’s purr. You might find that more time around that running cat motor is good for you!
Companionship is one of the biggest reason people get cats in the first place. Cats provide a type of companionship that is marked by loyalty and affection. Just having them around can make you feel less lonely and more connected and sociable.
It can be difficult to describe the allure of having a feline companion at your side, because of – not inspite of- their independence. A cat doesn’t rely on its human the way dogs do, for things like being let out and grooming. Since cats are so self-reliant, they don’t strictly “need” you. This independence more closely parallels a human relationship that’s built on mutual desire to be together.
5. Teaching You a Life Philosophy
It has been argued in the past that animals often experience life more richly than humans. Cats pamper their owners by teaching them a better life philosophy. Your cat’s philosophy may include:
- Taking frequent naps. They don’t call it a ‘cat nap’ for nothing! Cat’s famously fall asleep quickly, then awaken refreshed and ready to play at a moments notice. Taking a moment in your day to rest can ease even the most difficult day. So do as your cat does, and take a nap.
- Basking in your solitude. Even the most outgoing person needs a few minutes each day to recharge and refresh. Cats wisely know that solitude feeds the soul and distresses your mind and body. So take a cue from your cat and take some time out for yourself.
- Stretching the tension out of your tired body. What do cats do best, besides sleeping and eating? Stretching! When a cat rises from a long nap, note the moments of luxurious stretching. Not rushed or harried, but simply a long, slow stretch to slowly reawaken the body. Human beings, too, would benefit from frequent stretching.
Do Cats Actually Care About Their Owners?
The skeptics out there might not believe that cats pamper their humans at all. In fact, many people are probably asking if cats actually care about their owners at all.
Scientists have found that “cats don’t seem to have the same sort of emotional attachment to their owners” as dogs do. They don’t seem to care when you come and go, and seem to give much of a care when they hear your voice. Their attachment to you is different than your attachment to them. They care about you in so far as it suits them – for feeding, for being let out, for being played with.
However, humans are greatly affected by their cats. The benefits you derive from your cat (all the things we discussed above) are all very real reactions to your own relationship with your cat.
You may not have taken the time to think about it this way before, that cats are very good at subtly pampering you, from hopping up on your lap to offer a cuddle, to teaching you how to be more calm and joyful about your life. If you have any other ways your cat helps pamper you, share them in the comments.
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