10 Benefits of Owning a Cat: Scientifically Proven

The Top 10 Benefits of Owning a Cat

Research suggests that cats may make our lives happier and healthier.

Owning a cat has been scientifically proven to have various positive effects on human health. One of the most significant benefits is the reduction in stress and anxiety levels. Studies have shown that petting a cat releases endorphins in the brain, which are natural chemicals that promote feelings of happiness and relaxation.

The act of petting a cat can lower cortisol levels, the hormone associated with stress. Additionally, the rhythmic motion and soothing texture of a cat’s fur can have a calming effect, helping to alleviate feelings of tension and anxiety. This can be particularly beneficial for individuals dealing with chronic stress or anxiety disorders.

Most cats love to curl up in your lap at the end of a long day while you watch television or read a book. The simplicity of this act can cause an automatic release of all the right kinds of chemicals to your brain, allowing you to ease into the evening without the weight of the world on your shoulders. Any cat owner will tell you just how much their furry friend helps them to relax and unwind. While many people enjoy the company of dogs, a cat can be more of an acquired taste—but once acquired, it’s a hard taste to lose.

Why Cats Make Great Pets?

Why Cats Make Great Pets?

The versatility of cat ownership is one reason why so many people enjoy feline companionship. Cats make great pets whether you live in a big house or tiny apartment, and they provide all the fun and play of larger animal companions. If you’re thinking of owning a cat, these are some of the key benefits:

  • Cats are Low Maintenance: Maybe cats’ most alluring quality is that they are lower maintenance and tend to cost less than dogs, who need walking, training, frequent grooming, and more toys and attention. Even though cat hair sheds, these animals self-groom and take that task off your to-do list. Cats are also perfect for apartments or city living. They don’t need tons of space to play and explore—nosing their way through the nooks and crannies of your kitchen will keep them occupied for hours.
  • Cats are Quiet: Cats tend to meow when they’re hungry, but you rarely have to worry about being woken up or distracted from a task by a feline friend begging for attention. This makes them an ideal pet if you’re working from home or have youngsters napping during the day, for example.
  • Cats are Independent Animals: A cat will be there for you when you need them but they’re also perfectly adept at entertaining themselves. Most don’t need—or want—constant attention and you’ll never have to endure guilt-inducing puppy eyes from a cat.
  • Cats Keep Your House Pest-Free: You probably already know that cats like to hunt rodents. But they’re also natural insect killers, too, offering the kind of household protection that Venus flytraps promise but rarely deliver. Many cats thoroughly enjoy exterminating bugs such as house flies and spiders, almost like they’re being paid for it.
  • Cats Have Long Life Spans: The most difficult stage of pet ownership is parting with your beloved companion. While you’re still likely to outlive a cat, their longer lifespans mean you’ll get to have more time with them—up to 20 years, in fact.

Also Read: Exploring the Dynamic Relationship Between Cats and Dogs

Top 10 Scientifically Proven Health Benefits

Owning a cat can bring numerous benefits to your life, both physically and emotionally. Cats may wake us up at 4 a.m. and barf at an alarming frequency, yet anywhere between 10 to 30 percent of people call themselves “cat people." Not dog people, not even equal-opportunity cat and dog lovers. So why do people choose to bring these fluffballs into their homes — and spend over $1,000 per year on one who isn’t genetically related to them (and frankly seems ungrateful most of the time?)

The answer may be obvious to all cat lovers out there, who need no scientific research to justify their fierce love. But scientists have studied it anyway and found that, while our feline friends may not be good for our furniture, they might make some contribution to our physical and mental health. Here are ten proven health benefits of having a cat that cat owners can attest to:

1. Companionship

Companionship After Owning a Cat

Cats provide a sense of companionship, reducing feelings of loneliness and providing emotional support. Cats are beings we care for and who care for us (or at least we believe they do). And people who invest in this cross-species bonding may see benefits in their human-to-human relationships, as well. Cat ownership is very unique and a cat offers companionship and (sometimes) unconditional love.

2. Stress Relief

Stress Relief After Owning a Cat

Petting a cat can release endorphins, which help to reduce stress and anxiety. The rhythmic motion and soft fur are naturally soothing. Cat owners know how one session of petting or playing with their cat can turn a bad day into a good one. Scientific evidence also shows that a cat's purr can calm your nervous system and lower your blood pressure.

3. Lower Blood Pressure and Improved Cardiovascular Health

Interacting with cats can help lower blood pressure, reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke. One of the best benefits of cat ownership if you ask me! Cats also contribute to cardiovascular health. Research indicates that cat owners are less likely to suffer from heart attacks and other cardiovascular issues. The calming presence of a cat can help lower blood pressure and heart rate, reducing the overall strain on the cardiovascular system and risk factors.

A great way to relieve stress! In a study conducted by the University of Minnesota's Stroke Institute, it was found that over a 10-year period, cat owners had a 30% lower risk of death from heart attacks compared to non-cat owners. This reduced risk can be attributed to the stress-relieving effects of cat companionship, which in turn lowers blood pressure and reduces the risk of heart disease.

Cats: great for heart health and stress reduction. What's not to love?

4. Entertainment

Entertainment After Owning a Cat

Cats are playful and curious, often providing endless entertainment with their antics and playful behavior. I guarantee you are guilty of watching cat videos here and there for your entertainment and laughs, even if you are not a cat person. These feline companions can be very entertaining!

5. Health Benefits

Owning a cat can boost your immune system, as exposure to pet dander can increase resistance to allergens. Exposure to cat dander and fur from an early age can help build a stronger immune system, potentially reducing the likelihood of developing allergies and asthma later in life. The hygiene hypothesis suggests that early exposure to pets can help the immune system become more tolerant of allergens, thereby reducing the incidence of allergic reactions.

This is particularly beneficial for children who grow up with cats, as they may develop a stronger immune response to various allergens such as dust mites. Cats are beneficial to us from a mental health and physical health perspective. Because of a cat's ability to calm us, lower our stress levels, and offer companionship, they are great therapy animals for a wide variety of uses and patients. The mental health benefits of cat ownership can lead to feelings of calm and happiness, decreased heart rate and blood pressure, and a calming of anxiety.

6. Pest Control

Cats are natural hunters and can help keep your home free of pests like mice and insects.

7. Exercise Encouragement

Exercise Encouragement After Owning a Cat

Playing with a cat encourages physical activity, which can help keep both you and your pet healthy. While cat owners are also generally more likely to be homebodies, another study showed that they’re also more open-minded. So something new, like exercising with their cat, shouldn’t put them off! Whether it’s going for a walk or run with your pet or using your cat as a furry dumbbell, there are creative ways to exercise with your feline companion.

8. Routine and Responsibility

Owning a cat can help establish a daily routine and sense of responsibility, as you need to feed, groom, and care for your pet. The act of caregiving helps us build healthy habits. Cats need to be fed and taken care of on a regular schedule. Thus, help cat owners create a routine to take care of them no matter their mood. They give people a reason to get up and take care of them and, in extension, take care of themselves.

9. Emotional Support

Cats can sense when you're feeling down and often provide comfort just by being close, purring, or snuggling with you. Cats can also provide emotional support and improve mental health. The presence of a cat can alleviate symptoms of depression and loneliness. Cats are intuitive animals and can sense when their owners are feeling down.

Their companionship can offer emotional comfort, reducing feelings of isolation and providing a sense of purpose and responsibility. The simple act of caring for a cat, such as feeding and grooming, can create a routine and give structure to a person’s day, which can be especially helpful for individuals dealing with mental health issues.

10. Social Connection

Social Connection After Owning a Cat

Being a cat owner can help you connect with other pet owners, fostering new friendships and social interactions. Cats initiate contact and engage in eye contact with their owners; this creates a kind of connection similar to human interactions. Having a pet that makes contact, relies on you can help people with feelings of loneliness feel better and provide a purpose.

Also Read: The Purr-fect Travel Companion: Tips for Traveling with Your Beloved Cat


Overall, cats can significantly enhance your quality of life, offering both physical health benefits and emotional well-being. This is true for most pet companionship. Owning a cat can significantly enhance human health in various ways. From reducing stress and improving cardiovascular health to boosting the immune system and providing emotional support, cats offer numerous scientifically proven benefits to your overall well being. Their companionship and the therapeutic effects of their presence make them valuable additions to any household, contributing to both physical and mental well-being.


While cats offer unique joys and benefits, owning a dog also brings remarkable advantages. Dogs provide companionship, encourage an active lifestyle, and offer unwavering loyalty. Just as cat care is essential, maintaining a dog's well-being is crucial. PRIDE+GROOM specializes in top-quality dog shampoos and conditioners, ensuring your canine friend's coat stays healthy and shiny. By prioritizing proper grooming, you enhance your dog's comfort and hygiene, making pet ownership a truly delightful experience for all.

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Paige Chernick is a Social Media and Communications expert living in NYC. For 10 years, she ran her own consulting company called PaigeKnowsFirst where she managed social content & strategy for many brands, finding her niche within the pet industry.

Paige has been a guest contributor for several publications and featured in articles on her successes with pets and social media. Paige’s rescue dog, Charlie, famously known by her social media handle @puppynamedcharlie, has accumulated hundreds of thousands of fans and made her a successful pet influencer early on in the game. Paige is also one of the Founders of The Pet Summit, a conference in the pet industry for creators and marketers, where she used her experience to create programs and classes to help guide and teach others.

In 2022, Paige became the Social Media Director for PRIDE+GROOM. She is now the Senior Vice President of Communications and remains very immersed in the pet industry on both the corporate side and the influencer side.