Let your kitty keep you feeling young
Did you know that owning a cat can decrease your chances of having a heart attack by up to 30%? Studies have found that this simple solution can improve your health and decrease the risks of heart attacks and other diseases. Owning a pet can extend your life, so adding a kitten or puppy to your household can help you live longer. There have been reports of amazing feats by dogs and cats, but this is one that bears looking into.
While pets are good for any age, the aging population is particularly affected by pet ownership. When social networks begin to slow down, having a cat jump on your lap and ask for attention causes the owner to feel needed. The responsibility of caring for a pet also provides purpose. Once children have grown and moved away, it can keep the onset of depression at bay.
Cats might be guilty of scratching the furniture, and demanding more tasks such as cleaning the litter box, but studies have consistently shown health improvements in the elderly, such as lowered blood pressure and cholesterol. Cat owners seem to realize the health benefits more than dog owners, but there is no reasonable explanation for the difference. Keeping up with the needs of a pet keeps the elderly more active, and discourages a sedentary lifestyle, and the additional physical activity leads to a healthier lifestyle.
Now we are not saying, just drop everything and go out and buy any old 'big eyed' dog or cat at the local shelter. There are some things that might detract from a happy experience if not taken into account. For instance, pets require special care such as flea and tick medication. Dogs need heart worm medication; accidents can require trips to the vet. Money is one of the biggest causes of stress in a person's life. So be sure the individual can properly care for their pet and not become stressed out over occasional costs. Food, litter, toys and proper enclosures can quickly pile up. If such matters can be accommodated then the benefits of pet ownership are well worth the investment.
You will also want to make sure that you have the time to care for a pet. The great advantage to a cat over a dog is that cats are generally lower maintenance. You don't need to walk them every day, and leaving them for an overnight trip is possible with a clean litter box and full bowl of food. If you go away for long trips, however, it may be best to put off pet ownership.
Sometimes, it is more than health reasons that makes you want to take a pet in, it might be what they bring as your constant companion. The joy that an animal can bring comes from knowing you are loved. If you visit a shelter and find an animal that steals your heart, you can save the animal from death and maybe save your own life in the process. Saving two lives at once is something most pet owners don't think of initially, but sometimes that is what happens, when they decide to get a pet.