As cat owners, we have much to be thankful for. For a start, our cats provide health benefits for us as well as for our families.

  • Cat owners have a lower risk of cardiovascular disease and less chance of having a heart attack.
  • Cat owners also appear to have reduced risk of having a stroke.
  • Cats are known to have a positive effect on blood pressure.
  • Those who own cats often have lower cholesterol levels. In fact, in some cases, owning a cat was more effective in lowering cholesterol than medications.
  • Being around a cat can reduce stress and relieve anxiety.
  • Spending time with a cat can also strengthen your immune system.
  • Children who are raised with pets (both dogs and cats) in the household are known to have fewer allergies and a lower incidence of asthma as well as other respiratory difficulties.

These are just a few of the benefits of owning a cat. As a cat owner myself, I can vouch for the fact that coming home to a cat (or in my case, a house full of cats) lifts my mood even when I’ve had a bad day.

There’s even some evidence to suggest that spending time with a cat can help relieve depression. In other cases, pets (dogs, cats, and even horses) have been used as part of a therapy program for children with autism and other illnesses.

We haven’t even discussed yet the enjoyment, entertainment, and companionship that a cat can provide. For me, there’s nothing more satisfying than spending time playing with my cats or cuddling with them. Cats are just fun animals to be around.

However, the thanks don’t end there. Fortunately, advances in veterinary medicine over the years have provided us with the opportunity to keep our cats healthier longer than ever before. That’s assuming, of course, that we make certain our cats are getting the regular veterinary care they deserve. We also have discovered a great deal about cat behavior and now recognize the value of providing enrichment for them, especially for our indoor cats.

For those of us with a highly defined sense of aesthetics, there’s no better time to welcome a cat into your household. Currently, there are options for cat toys, furniture and accessories that fit any decorating theme. There are also options available to fit any budget.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you. Enjoy your holiday and your feline companions.

Dr. Lori Huston

Image: Vinogradov Illya / via Shutterstock