January 2, 2018 was the official start date of Happy Mew Year, and while we missed it, we still wanted to write about it! Happy Mew Year was created by the folks at http://www.wellcat.com to celebrate cats and everything we love about them. Yes, our normal scoop is poop, and the dogs that make it, but today, we’re all about cats.
Americans love cats nearly as much as we love our dogs. 30.4 percent, more than 36 million households in the United States have at least one cat. That means that the total number of cats living in the United States tops more than 74 million! That’s a lot of cats!
Much like dogs, our cats are considered members of the family and rightfully so. They are entitled to the same rights and privileges that our children are allowed—food, shelter, and medical care, attention and love. The cost alone for the first year of cat ownership runs just slightly above the $1,000 mark. Each year after that, the cost is $500 a year, up 73% over the past eight years.
ONE–Psychology Today says we love our cats because they enjoy affection, and as humans, we enjoy giving it in return. While cats can be stubborn and finicky, they are also quite difficult to resist when they approach us wanting to be stroked. When stroking a cat, we fall into a meditative state that allows our bodies to relax, even if it is just for a moment. This lowers our blood pressure and it allows us to get a better night’s sleep.
TWO–Cat owners are less likely to die of heart issues than dog owners because cat owners tend to be more relaxed. They also have lower levels of stress than dog owners because owning a dog is more work than owning a cat.
THREE— Owning a cat means fewer allergies, especially for children less than one year of age. Those exposed to cats were less likely to develop allergies, and not just to pets. Pet exposure early in life protects us not only from pet allergies but from other allergens as well. These allergens include dust mites, ragweed, grass, and more.
FOUR—Cats can literally save our lives. One cat, named Simon, received the highest medal available to military animals in 1949 while living aboard the HMS Amethyst. It was sailing up the Yangtze River when a mortar shell hit the ship. Despite being injured he continued to perform his duties upon the ship when he began catching and eating the rats that were threatening the ships’ food supply. He also continued to provide moral support to the sailors’ that survived the attack. He died shortly after his ship returned to the United Kingdom but was posthumously awarded the UK’s Dickin Medal, recognized as the animal Victoria Cross.
These are just several of the many reasons that we love cats. To see the complete list, please visit http://www.mentalfloss.com. We also want to thank both Psychology Today and wellcat.com for their help with writing this post.
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Cats also help us cope, especially during times of loss. They are a support system that allows us to feel fewer symptoms of physical pain. When cats are around and we talk to them, we heal quicker and we cry less. It’s much easier talking to a cat because they won’t judge us or look down upon us, as human companions sometimes do.
Speaking of human companionship—cats fill this need just as well as dogs—some women even prefer cats over relationships. Having a cat in the home is the emotional equivalent of having a romantic partner.