The Official Student Newspaper of Tarleton State University since 1919

the JTAC

The Official Student Newspaper of Tarleton State University since 1919

the JTAC

The Official Student Newspaper of Tarleton State University since 1919

the JTAC

Feline Healing

Benefits of owning a cat

Most people consider dogs to be a “man’s best friend,” however, cats could pose a competition for that title. 

Photo courtesy of Samantha Lira

Owning pets in general has been proven to provide mental and physical health benefits, but owning cats has a specific set of advantages. 

Just like dogs, cats provide companionship for humans and can help cure feelings of loneliness. Owning a cat has shown to boost mood as a whole, including depression and anxiety, which then contributes to a slew of other benefits. 

“Cats offer companionship, which is especially beneficial to people who are socially isolated due to various reasons,” Dr. Jonathon Lidbury, assistant professor in the feline internal medicine department at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, said. “Cats also offer stress relief and light exercise if you play with them.” 

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The lower stress level associated with owning a cat reduces anxiety and even blood pressure levels. Interactions with cats such as playing and cuddling have been shown to even boost the immune system.

Allergies to cats are common, so cat ownership may not be best for everyone. However, studies show that exposure to cats at a young age has proven to reduce the development of allergies and also prevent upper respiratory issues. 

Cats are also relatively self-sufficient since they clean themselves and do not have to be taken outside, making them an easier alternative to dogs.

“Cats offer a great balance between being easy to take care of but at the same time being very good companions,” Dr. Lidbury said. “They are playful, intelligent and engaging pets that are very fun to take care of.”

One of the benefits that is exclusive to owning a cat is the healing properties from a cat’s purr. 

Purring is believed to be a form of communication, comfort, and a stress response in cats, but purring has healing abilities both for the cat and owners.

A cat’s purr has a frequency of 25 to 150 Hz (hertz).

“Purrs at a frequency of 25 to 100 Hz correspond with established healing frequencies in therapeutic medicine for humans,” Dr. Gary Weitzman, CEO of San Diego Humane Society, said. “Bone responds to 25-50Hz and skin and soft tissues to around 100 Hz according to researchers.”

While many people might have reservations about owning a cat due to allergies or preconceived notions that cats are aggressive and not affectionate, owning a cat has shown tremendous benefits, even more so than dogs. 

For more information about owning a cat, or to look into adopting one, visit Erath County Humane Society at 891 East Rd. Stephenville, TX 76401 or go to their website  

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Jessica Blakely, Staff Writer

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