It’s National Hug Your Cat Day, again
Cats get a double shot of hugs this year....
What I like about “National Hug Your Cat Day” is that we get to celebrate it not once, but twice this year. Maybe that’s a good thing. Maybe we should celebrate more holidays twice a year. There are proven health benefits to hugging your cat, so a double-dose of hugs may be just what we need to keep healthy and stay in shape. Here’s why:
Bonnie Beaver, professor of veterinary medicine at Texas A&M University and a past president of the American Veterinary Medical Association, describes some of the scientifically proven benefits:
“We know that petting a dog or cat can lower blood pressure," said Beaver, while acknowledging other studies where moments of relaxation have produced the same effect. “People who are highly stressedfrequently relax after coming home and hugging their dog or cat for a while. We also know, based on reports given at the international human-animal bond meetings, that the presence of a cat can have psychological benefits for widows, especially in their first widowed year.”
Sounds to me like pet ownership is a great remedy for stress reduction. Lowered stress = better health.
The chemicals norepinephrine and cortisol negatively affect health, which can cause disease. However, studies have shown that owning a pet you are attached to can lower high blood pressure, keep depression at bay, increase immunity, and even reduce risk for developing heart disease.
Hugging your cat can increase the neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine that are stimulated in the pleasure center of the brain. This is the healthy way to ward off stress and depression. There is less likelihood of heart attack, and less anxious outbursts in Alzheimer's patients.
Taking all this into account, pet ownership points to increased life span for the pet owner versus those who do not own pets.
I think I’ll go hug my cats right now.
Happy National Hug Your Cat Day (again) !!
Susan, Taurus and Gemini