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Cats can save your life – fact. You don’t even need a live-in moggie to reap the benefits.
Science says that simply watching funny cat videos on social media can make you happier, more content and more energised – not to mention less anxious, annoyed and sad. So watch – and share – away. It’s virtually a public service, after all. The neurological buzz we get from watching a cute video is, apparently, on a par with the experience of eating sugar or having sex. And with every cat video posted on YouTube garnering, on average, 12,000 views – that’s more than any other kind of video – it looks like we may have discovered the secret to happiness after all…
Got a cat of your very own? Here are just five of the many ways in which your four-legged friend is enriching your life…
1. You’re less likely to die.
Over a 10 year period, cat owners are 30% less likely to die of a heart attack or stroke. Why? Cat owners tend to experience lower stress levels than non-cat owners (including dog owners), which manifests in lower blood pressure, cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
2. You sleep better.
Cat owners tend to report getting a better night’s sleep when their pet shares their bed. And they beat human bedfellows hands down…
3. They negate the need for a romantic partner.
And not just in the bedroom. Research findings indicate that living with a cat can provide emotional benefits equivalent to living with a partner. In some cases, they may also require lower levels of maintenance…
4. They make you cleverer. And nicer.
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OK, science isn’t clear on the direction of this association. It’s possible that cleverer, nicer people just happen to like cats more. But still. Cat owners tend to be less manipulative and more intelligent, trustworthy and modest than non-cat owners.
5. They can actually save your life.
One Dorset cat gave his teenage companion the kiss of life when he stopped breathing following an epileptic fit. He subsequently learned to alert the boy’s mother of imminent seizures – in advance of any visible warning signs.