A declaration of love to: The cat

It’s the little things that sweeten our dull everyday lives and make life a little better. Whether it’s pretty daisies growing by the side of the road or a scoop of your favorite ice cream – we all have little pick-me-ups in our everyday lives that we rarely say a word about. That’s about to change! We offer you a declaration of love to the little things that save us in stressful situations, motivate us on sluggish days or sweeten the good days!

When you open the front door after a stressful day, the cat awaits you beaming with joy and begging for petting. Feet on the chair, the cat on your lap, and the stress of the day recedes into the distance. The purring has something soothing and homely, the soft fur caresses the skin. But even the mere observation of the cat, when it lazes comfortably or roams the area, reduces stress in humans.

Cats are stress catchers

Stress is nasty, sneaky, mean and strikes when we least need it. Forgetfulness, restlessness, sleepless nights, irritability, headaches and heart and circulatory problems. These are just a few disorders among many others. Here’s the clue – you guessed it! Having a cat reduces the risk of dying from a heart attack or other cardiovascular problems. The U.S. scientist Karen Allen and the US scientist Adnan Quereshi conducted independent studies with their teams and succeeded in showing that people with cats have significantly lower blood pressure as well as a slower resting pulse. In stressful situations, they also remain considerably calmer than people without pets. To be fair, however, it must be admitted that it is not yet entirely clear whether pet owners have these Features simply already carry in themselves, or whether they are really triggered by cats.

Cats are comforters of souls

During grief, depression and life crises, cats are empathetic comforters of the soul. They sense the pain and sadness and take care of people by cuddling them and demanding interactions. Reinhold Bergler of the University of Bonn shows in an extensive study that people with a cat are less likely to need a psychotherapist during life crises. Cats provide comfort and share their joy of life, causing crisis-stricken people to actively process and think positive thoughts after the initial negative feelings. Although people are alone, they are not lonely due to the existence of cats – cats offer a help to self-help.

Cats are bone healers

Cats not only soothe, they are also bone healers. The deep humming sound is technically a pulsating tone of about 25 hertz. Cats purr not only when they feel comfortable or want to maintain contact, but also when they are in pain. Science experiments have proven that vibration triggers higher bone density, faster bone growth and shorter healing times. A team of doctors from Graz has taken advantage of these benefits and developed a device that mimics the healing purr of cats. Originally intended for the treatment of arthritis and back pain, it is now also being used for respiratory diseases because the vibrating stimulates circulation and loosens stuck mucus. But who needs a device when you have a cat?

Cats are painkillers on four paws

Cats are also good healers of abdominal pain. British researchers around psychologist Brian King gave grandma’s wisdom the scientific touch. In the case of abdominal pain, triggered by abdominal cramps, cystitis or menstruation, simply put the cat on your belly and stroke it: the warmth acts like a painkiller and the stroking releases happiness hormones in the brain, reducing the sensation of pain.

Cats not only trigger happiness hormones, but also the cuddle hormone oxytocin. The cuddle hormone promises stronger trust, more empathy, and thus better relationships and better sex. It is normally released when people get closer to each other: During a hug between friends, when holding hands or cuddling, and even by petting cats. The journal “Frontiers of Psychology” published a study on this and attributes great importance to the interaction between humans and animals. The German psychologist Markus Heinrich from the Albert-Ludwigs University of Freiburg has already successfully used oxytocin in couple therapy and in the treatment of social anxiety. However, it is not a panacea and can also trigger maximum aggression when the familiar, family or friends are in danger. The researches are not finished yet, therefore fingers away from obscure means on the Internet, rather trust the cat, hug friends or disappear under the comforter for two…

Because of the many positive effects of the cat on humans, it is not surprising that in the USA the trend has developed to train cats as psychotherapists and also in Germany the house tigers are increasingly used in psychotherapy. However, if you already have a cat as a roommate, you are guaranteed a cocktail to treat any aches and pains. In the package insert is written, however: You have to like cats, otherwise the effect can not unfold properly.

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Image source: Pexels under CC0 license

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