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The Power of Cats: How Your Cat Can Change Your Life

By: Renae Hamrick, RVT

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Personal trainer, psychologist, doctor.... Did you know your cat is a multi-faceted professional? He doesn't need years of schooling to be able to help you get into shape, be happier about your life, and have better physical health. It is a talent that comes naturally to animals. Are you harnessing the healing powers of your pet?

Cat as Personal Trainer

Playing with your cat may not give you the same level of exercise as playing with your dog, but it can also be healthy for both of you. Some cats may even enjoy a walk on a harness and leash. With the introduction of pet strollers, you can get some exercise and give your cat some fresh air while taking him around the block or for a visit to the mall

Even when you're not out being active with your pet, there's a good chance your furry friend is helping you lose weight. Most pets are comedians who make us laugh with their daily antics. Laughing for 15 minutes a day can burn 40 calories, so spend some quality time with your cat....surely he will find a way to make you giggle.

Cat as Psychologist

"Animals are such agreeable friends – they ask no questions; they pass no criticisms." A novelist from the 1800s, George Eliot, wrote these words in appreciation of the relationship we can develop with pets. An animal does not mind what our pasts hold, how we dress, or if we didn't get that promotion. A true friend through good times and bad, a pet is always offering unconditional love.

This unwavering dedication from cats provides tremendous emotional support to the people who share in their lives. A head-butt and a purr are the perfect smile inducers when you're feeling down. A cat encourages optimism, decreases stress levels, and improves overall mental health.

There have been multitudes of studies on the influences of pets on people. It has been proven that the presence of an animal can lower a person's blood pressure and heart rate to a point that is similar to a body's condition after meditation. Next time you leave work frustrated with your boss, skip that visit to the bar, and come home to your furry friends. Give them the opportunity to change your mood and ease your mind.

Cat as Doctor

Through decreasing stress levels, cats also improve the physical health of humans. It has been proven that having a pet can decrease your odds of suffering a heart attack, decrease your recovery time after a heart attack, improve cholesterol levels, improve vital signs, decrease frequency of minor illnesses, and help prevent depression.

Not only do companion animals improve health in the everyday lives of cat owners, there are also cats that live in nursing homes and other care facilities. They keep residents interested and something to thing about. Residents that interact with cats often pet, brush, talk to, and play with the cats. These interactions help the patient relax, easing worries and dropping blood pressure and heart rate, which is conducive to well-being and physical healing.

Do not underestimate the power of your cat. Spend time with him, give him the love and attention he deserves, and he will give you more than you could ever imagine!

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