Cats (and Dogs) Do a Body Good

I was reading an issue of Woman’s World today that had a blurb called “The purr-fect way to protect your heart!” Of course this caught my eye.

“Sorry, dogs, but when it comes to keeping pet owners healthy, cats win paws-down! That’s the news from a recent large-scale study, which found that owning a cat slashes your risk of a heart attack by 40% and reduces your risk of stroke and heart failure by 30% compared to those who’ve never had a cat or dog—and this was true even after accounting for other risk factors, such as age, blood pressure and smoking!” ~-Woman’s World May 5, 2008 issue-~

It didn’t mention which study it was, however I wonder if it’s the same one Aimee reported on over in Health back in February of this year? Something tells me probably yes.

Because the rest of the Woman’s World blurb went on to say that cats tame stress, and that’s what Aimee’s article said too.

For a fact I know this to be true. But I never really thought about it until now.

When I was in Denver at my mom’s house, the stress of fighting with my sister, scrambling to get everything in place to get my mom here, and running into obstacle after obstacle at almost every turn had me fearing I was on the verge of a heart attack.

Truly. I’ve never felt my chest and neck feel the way it felt several of the days I was there. It was a wrenching, tightening pain unlike any I’ve ever known before.

The thing that calmed me was at nights when I’d use my camera to look at my Murphy, Tabby, and Mr. Meow. At one point I also used a visualization strategy where I remembered how it felt to pet Tab as she laid on my belly or Mr. Meow as he snuggled beside me at night.

At the time, I didn’t even think that it was interesting Murph wasn’t the one to naturally pop to mind during my visualization. But now that I think about it, while I love petting him, it doesn’t calm me like the petting the cats does.

However, Murph impacts my health in a beneficial way nonetheless. He gets me out and about walking (sometimes running, especially if he spots a bunny) and that also relieves stress. As well as gets my body moving.

So for me both my cats and my dog do my body good. They just have different ways of going about it.

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