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Do Cats Have Healing Powers? What the Research Says

Written by: Sarah Psaradelis

Last Updated on July 2, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

domestic cat lying on owners lap

Do Cats Have Healing Powers? What the Research Says

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REVIEWED & FACT-CHECKED BY

Dr. Lauren Demos (DVM)

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The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Cats are known for being cute and quirky, but did you know that they could be healing too? Cat ownership is a rewarding experience to the point where many people feel it becomes therapeutic. This could simply be because you feel happy with their companionship or reap the potential healing benefits of their purrs.

This article will cover a cat’s potential healing powers and what research has to say about it.

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Is It True That Cats Have Healing Powers?

Cats are thought to heal us in various ways, both mentally and physically. Furthermore, research suggests that cats may heal themselves by purring at certain frequencies.

Some people feel that owning a cat brings them a sense of comfort and fulfilling companionship that makes them feel happier and less stressed. Stress may have all sorts of negative effects on our bodies and minds, so finding ways to reduce it is a huge benefit for most people.

Cats offer us comfort when we feel anxious and allow us to form a connection built on mutual trust and unconditional love. This might make you feel less lonely and offer you a sense of support when you are not feeling the best.

Aside from the mental aspect, cats might be able to heal us physically too through their purrs. Some studies suggest that a cat’s purr has healing frequencies that could speed up the healing process of broken bones.

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The 2 Ways Cats Can Help Heal Us

1. Reduced Cardiovascular Risk

Several studies have looked into a cat’s healing abilities over the last few decades. A study covered by Medical News Today discussed how cats may reduce your risk of a heart attack by almost one-third.

These results were discovered after a decade-long study by researchers at the University of Minnesota’s Institute in Minneapolis. This is likely because of the role cats have in easing our stress and lowering our blood pressure.

Researchers found that about 30% of cat owners had a lower risk of dying from a heart attack compared to ones who didn’t own cats. The study also found that the risk was reduced in people who do not currently own cats but have in the past. However, the researchers did acknowledge that the cat owners might have a lower risk because of lifestyle factors other than cat ownership.

A study from 20021 had similar findings to the 2009 study after examining the effects of cardiovascular activity on pet owners (including cats and dogs). The study concluded that pet ownership offers cardiovascular benefits likely from reduced stress, lower blood pressure, and heart rate.

woman holding her birman cat
Image Credit: Stokkete, Shutterstock

2. Improved Mental Health

One of the many benefits of cat ownership could be improved mental health. Spending time with our cats could help us feel calmer and less stressed, which some might consider proof of a cat’s healing energy.

In 2011, members from the Mental Health Foundation and Cats Protection UK surveyed 600 cat owners and non-cat owners. They found that around 33% of the cat owners felt that stroking their cat was calming. About 87% of the owners reported that they felt their cat had a positive impact on their well-being. Furthermore, 76% found that they coped better in life by having cats for companionship.

A 2018 study reviewed how pets can support those living with mental health problems. Although more research is needed, the study found that pet ownership could be beneficial for our mental health. This is because our pets (such as cats) may offer us emotional support and connection that might help us manage our mental health better.

cat resting with owner on sofa at home
Image Credit: U_Photo, Shutterstock

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Conclusion

Although researchers require more evidence to fully understand how cats heal, many owners don’t doubt their feline’s healing “powers”. Cats not only purr at frequencies that promote bone density and healing for themselves but potentially for us too.

Their positive effect on stress and anxiety could also help improve certain cardiovascular diseases and improve our mental health. The benefits of cat ownership should not be overlooked, especially since it could have a positive effect on our health and mental well-being.


Featured Image Credit: everymmnt, Shutterstock

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