A new study from the University of Minnesota has discovered that people who have kept cats have a 40% lower risk of heart attack than their non-cat friendly counterparts.
Researchers looked at nearly 4,500 adults and found that cat ownership was related to a 40% lower risk of suffering a fatal heart attack. The team speculated that having a cat may reduce stress and anxiety, and so protect against cardiovascular disease.
The study, led by Professor Adnan Qureshi at the University of Minnesota, suggested that even those who no longer owned a cat benefited from these protective effects...The benefits held true even after the researchers adjusted for cardiovascular risk factors such as blood pressure, diabetes, smoking and high cholesterol.
The study's authors do not recommend getting a cat in response to the findings, as more research needs to be done and, as one researcher suggested, it may be that the temperament of a cat-lover is more conducive to heart-health than those who did not share their feline affinity.
This study did not examine the benefit of dog ownership, although a previous study did find benefits of keeping dogs beyond taking their companions out for walks.
The study did not indicate whether cats were present in the household or how the dogs felt about their feline counterparts.
Both studies indicate pets are good for humans, which will come as little surprise to the many humans who now have a scientific basis to support their claims that they are healthier for their canine and feline companions.