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How Cat Ownership Can Be Good for Your Health as You Age

There are more benefits than you may think!

spinner image a woman sitting on her couch petting her cat as it sits on her lap
Photo credit: Getty Images

If you ask cat owners what they love about their pets, the list will be long. Cats are cuddly and adorable; fun and playful. They offer unconditional love, making it easy to bond with them. They don’t need a ton of space. They’re easy to take care of and house-train, especially when you have the right products. But did you know that having a cat may also have health benefits? Read on to learn more.

Your kitty greets you purring at the front door, and suddenly your day feels brighter. There’s no denying that having a cat is a good thing, but our furry companions can actually improve our mental and physical health as well.

spinner image man using a laptop on the sofa at home next to his cat
Photo credit: Getty Images

Cats can boost our mental health because…

  1. Your cat keeps you from feeling lonely. A little feline friend in the house who curls up on your lap while you’re watching TV or at the foot of your bed at night is an excellent antidote to loneliness. According to the National Poll on Healthy Aging, sponsored by AARP and Michigan Medicinei, nearly 9 out of 10 pet owners say that pets contribute to their overall enjoyment of life and feeling loved.
  2. Your cat helps you feel less stressed. Their goofy antics make you laugh out loud, but there’s science involved too. In fact, recent studies found that petting cats and dogs reduced subjects’ levels of cortisolii, the stress hormone. Having a pet has also been shown to improve owners’ mental well-being. The Healthy Agingi poll found that nearly 8 in 10 pet owners report that their furry friends help cut down on their stress.
  3. Cats are low maintenance. Keeping a feline healthy doesn’t take much – food, water, attention, and a good, lightweight cat litter. If you’re worried about the responsibilities of training a boisterous kitten, consider adopting a senior cat. Adult cats are calmer, already house-trained, and generally have well-established routines (eat, wash face, find sunbeam, nap, repeat).
spinner image woman doing a yoga pose on the floor with a cat sitting under her arm
Photo credit: Getty Images

Cats can boost our physical health because…

  1. Cats may strengthen your immune system. Studies indicate having a cat or dog may heighten some of the body’s immune responses, making us less likely to develop allergies or certain conditionsiv. Also, cat owners may have a reduced risk of experiencing a heart attackv. And, since high levels of stress are known to contribute to cardiovascular trouble, your kitty’s calming effect (see #2 above) is good for your heart, too.
  2. Cats may help you sleep better. One study from the Mayo Clinic found that owners who slept with their pets, including cats, felt more relaxed and secure. Their furry friends were also beneficial to their zzz’svi. And 72% of pet owners surveyed in the National Poll on Healthy Agingcredited their pets with helping them cope with physical or emotional symptoms.
  3. Caring for your cat doesn’t need to be backbreaking work. Bending over to clean out your kitty’s litter box and lifting the heavy garbage bag can do a number on your back. So, look for litter made of lighter material. Cat’s Pride® Lightweight litter is up to 40% lighter than traditional scoopable brands, making cat care easier on your body. Plus, it offers 10-day odor control, no-mess clumps, and is 99% dust-free.

The results are in. Owning a cat may help you live a happier and healthier life. Whether it’s by reducing your stress, keeping you company, or helping you get better rest, your pet is a good influence on you (just don’t let it go to your kitty’s head.) And now you can pass on the benefits – Cat’s Pride Litter for Good® program donates a pound of litter for every jug sold, saving shelters money so they can focus their resources on helping cats find their forever homes. Now that’s a purr-fect plan!

Click here to find the ideal litter for your cat.


[ii] “Study Demonstrates Stress Reduction Benefits from Petting Dogs, Cats,” by Scott Weybright, WSU Insider
[iv] The Allergy and Asthma Protective Effects of Farm Environment and Pet Animals,” study by Heidi Kääriö, University of Eastern Finland
[v] “Cat Owners Have Lower Heart Attack Risk,” study” by Catharine Paddock, Ph.D., MedicalNewsToday.
[vi] “Are Pets in the Bedroom a Problem?”, study by Lois E. Krahn, M.D., Mayo Clinic Proceedings.




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