Elderly woman smiling with her ginger kitten on her lap, Spain.

Stress Awareness Day: How Cats Can Lower Your Stress Levels

woman holding cat
(Picture Credit: Getty Images)

Stress Awareness Day happens on the first Wednesday in November. That’s November 3rd in 2021. It’s an important day to talk about stress and how it can affect our lives. Luckily, we have cats!

Any cat parent  will tell you that the act of petting a cat can bring about a feeling of calmness and well-being. But is there any science behind the idea that cats can lower your stress levels?

In anticipation of Stress Awareness Day, let’s dig into the facts about how cats lower your stress and help you relax.

Do Cats Lower Your Stress Levels?

woman petting cat
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You might sound a little like one of those “cat people” if you go around telling all your friends that adopting a feline will help lower their stress levels, but there are legitimate studies that back up the claim.

Okay, you’ve probably never actually read the Journal of Vascular and Interventional Neurology, but a study published in the journal says that living with a cat genuinely lowers your chances of suffering a heart attack or a stroke. The report states:

“A decreased risk for death due to… all cardiovascular diseases (including stroke) was observed among persons with cats.”

elderly woman with kitten
(Picture Credit: Getty Images)

The report goes on to conclude:

“Acquisition of cats as domestic pets may represent a novel strategy for reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases in high-risk individuals.”

How Does Living With A Cat Reduce Stress?

man holding three kittens
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Basically, when you hang around with a cat, your body produces a chemical called serotonin, which can cause you to feel better about yourself and life in general.

When you feel better about yourself and your life, you’re less stressed. This reduces the levels of your cortisol, a chemical in your body often caused by stress that can lead to hypertension.

cat licking womans nose
(Picture Credit: Getty Images)

In simple terms, all you need to do is spend some quality time with your cat every day, and you should start to feel stress and tension reduce, and maybe even overall improvement in your health.

Whether you want to take the time to engage in an extended grooming session with your favorite feline, indulge them with some luxurious petting, or interact with them for a play session, the key thing is you’re getting close with your cat and receiving wellness benefits in return.

Sounds like a smart deal, right?

Does your cat help you feel more relaxed? Are you going to spend time with your kitty on Stress Awareness Day? Let us know in the comments below!

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