Researchers say we can’t ignore Internet cats anymore!

cats and human healthThere are more than 92 million cat videos posted on YouTube, and they attract more views per video than any other category of YouTube content. Scientific studies have shown that simply watching cat clips can boost your energy and create positive emotions, so it’s no surprise that engaging an actual cat has a number of tangible benefits.

Research by Jessica Gall Myrick, an assistant professor at Indiana University Media School, has found that viewing cat videos boosts people’s energy and positive emotions and decreases negative feelings. Her project involved surveying nearly 7,000 people via social media about their cat video viewing habits and related moods. 

“Some people may think watching online cat videos isn’t a serious enough topic for academic research, but the fact is that it’s one of the most popular uses of the Internet today,” said Myrick. “If we want to better understand the effects the Internet may have on us as individuals and on society, then researchers can’t ignore Internet cats anymore.”

Here are five benefits you’ll gain by sharing your life with a feline.

1. OWNING A CAT IS GOOD FOR THE ENVIRONMENT

A 2009 study found that it’s It’s greener to own a cat than a dog. The resources needed to feed a dog over its lifetime matched the eco-footprint of a Land Cruiser. By comparison, cats, who eat less than dogs and are more likely to eat fish than corn- or beef-based products, have the carbon footprint of a small hatchback.

2. CATS HELP US COPE  

Losing a loved one is incredibly painful, but cats have been shown to help people get over their loss more quickly.  Pet-owners show fewer physical symptoms of pain, such as crying. People in mourning report talking to their pet to work out their feelings, since it is often easier to talk to something that won’t respond and can’t judge.

3. MOUSE CATCHER OR MATCHMAKER?  

A British poll found that 82 percent of women said they are more attracted to men who like animals. If you have a pup, it’s good – but 90 percent of single women said that men who own a cat are “nicer” than other guys. But remember, the cat is not just a Tinder prop, a pet is for a lifetime.

4. YOU’LL HAVE A HEALTHIER HEART

Cats lower your stress level and lower the anxiety in your life. Petting a cat has a positive calming effect. One study found that over a 10-year period cat owners were 30 percent less likely to die of a heart attack or stroke than non-cat owners.

5. SLEEP LIKE A KITTEN

Several studies and polls in the UK have found that people (especially women) prefer to sleep with their cats than with their partners, and they even report sleeping better with a cat than with a human. A recent study from the Mayo Clinic Center for Sleep Medicine found 41 percent of the people in that study indicated that they slept better because of their pet, while only 20 percent said that it led to disturbances.

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As an added bonus, cats can save your life! One cat in the United Kingdom warns her human when he’s about to have an epileptic seizure.  Another cat in Montana woke up its two humans when a gas pipe started leaking. Firefighters told the couple that the house could easily have exploded if not for cat’s intervention.

 

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