If you’re reading this, you’re likely an animal lover who already knows that life is better with pets! In fact, research to understand the ways pets can impact their owners’ health and well-being, has identified one group of pet owners who are happier and healthier than all others—cat owners. But that’s not all. Of these cat owners, those who adopted their cats from shelters have additional health benefits exclusive to them. Adopting shelter cats is so good for us that Public Health departments have devoted the entire month of June to raising awareness about it. (Well, no one can be sure who really made June Adopt a Shelter Cat Month, but health agencies would be wise to claim responsibility.)
If you want to be a happier and healthier version of yourself, here are some reasons why you should consider adopting a shelter cat:
You will sleep better. Studies have shown that people (especially women) who share their beds with their cats get a better night’s sleep than people who don’t. Sleeping well at night can improve your memory, productivity, and performance during the day.
Stress will be more manageable. When you’re dealing with a daunting task or a tight deadline, cats tend to provide a calming and reassuring influence. In the presence of a cat, you’re more likely to stay focused on the task and make fewer errors than if you were alone.
It’s good for your heart. A cat companion can lower your risk for heart disease; on average, cat owners have lower blood pressure and a lower resting heart rate than people who don’t own a cat. This could be attributed, in part, to the stress relief benefits cats provide.
Your children will develop fewer allergies. Children exposed to cats in their first year of life are less likely to develop allergies. This doesn’t just mean allergies to cats; they are less likely to become allergic to animals as well as to common allergens like dust mites, grass, and ragweed.
Clearly, owning a cat is just as important as eating a balanced diet and getting regular exercise. But as mentioned earlier, there is one significant benefit exclusive to those who adopt their cat from a shelter rather than purchase from a store or breeder:
Improves general well-being. Helping a feline in need is an incredible act of kindness that has been shown to improve an adopter’s overall sense of well-being. Providing a family and home for a shelter cat is associated with boosts in serotonin and dopamine, the neurotransmitters in the brain that deliver feelings of satisfaction, pleasure, and reward. This act of kindness can also release endorphins, the body’s very own natural pain killer.
Are you convinced to adopt a shelter cat yet? There is no shortage of precious kitties in need of a loving family and forever home. If you decide to help one, she will definitely return the favor!