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Why You Should Have A Cat: 10 Vet-Approved Reasons

Written by: Brooke Billingsley

Last Updated on February 28, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

cat owner with her cat near window|

Why You Should Have A Cat: 10 Vet-Approved Reasons


Dr. Lauren Demos (DVM) Photo


Dr. Lauren Demos (DVM)


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

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Owning a pet is a great deal of responsibility, which can deter some people from bringing one home. There are many reasons to own a pet, though! If you’ve been considering bringing home a cat but haven’t quite convinced yourself or your family members, it’s important to weigh the reasons that you could or should have a cat versus the lifestyle that you lead and how well a cat can fit into it. Let’s talk about a few of the reasons that you should have a pet cat.

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The 10 Reasons Why You Should Have a Cat

1. You Want One

The top reason you should consider getting a cat is simply because you want one. If you don’t actually have an interest in owning a cat but you’re thinking of getting a pet, a cat may not be the best option for you. Thoroughly research all of the responsibilities of feline ownership and the daily needs that cats may have before seriously considering finding one to bring home. If you’re already a cat lover and in the market for a new pet, though, a cat might be the perfect addition to your family.

Cat Man Tattoo Sitting Owner
Image Credit: Africa Studio, Shutterstock

2. They Can Be Low Maintenance

Some people make the mistake of thinking that cats require practically zero maintenance, which isn’t the case. However, cats are relatively low-maintenance pets. They’re usually lower maintenance than dogs, reptiles, birds, and rodents. Some cats are needier than others, though, so it’s important to research breeds before settling on a specific type.

In general, cats can benefit from daily playtime with you, but the only daily requirements that most have are food, water, a safe environment, physical and mental enrichment, and a clean litter box.

3. They’re Fun

There’s a reason that cat videos have taken over the internet. Kitties are always up to silly antics and doing incredibly acrobatic things—in some cases, they may be attempting to do acrobatic things and failing in funny ways. Cats can be creative and funny creatures, bringing a lot of liveliness to your home. Most cats love to play, and finding out what your cat’s favorite toys and games are can be a fun adventure for both of you.

young cat owner playing with her pet at home
Image Credit: Africa Studio, Shutterstock

4. They’re Loving

Cats have garnered a reputation as animals that don’t provide a lot of affection and spend most of their time hiding. This couldn’t be further from the truth for most felines, though. Many cats do tend to hide when they’re stressed or fearful, like when visitors come into the home, but when they’re with their people, most cats are quite loving.

The way your cat will show you love and affection will depend on their personality. Some cats will snuggle with you, while others may simply want to sit near you or get gentle scratches on the head. Regardless of how your feline prefers to show affection, you’ll have a companion that cares about you.

5. They Can Live Long Lives

The worst part of pet ownership is losing them. One of the nice things about cats is that they tend to live longer lives than dogs on average. It’s not uncommon for cats to live into their late teens, with some cats even living into their twenties.

According to the Guinness World Records, the longest-lived cat, Crème Puff, lived to a ripe 38 years old. For comparison, the longest-lived dog on record, Bobi, lived to 31 years old. The average lifespan for a cat is around 15 years, while the average for dogs is 12 years. Small dogs typically live longer lives than large dogs, but cats frequently outlive both.

cat sleeping with owner
Image Credit: masik0553, Shutterstock

6. They’re Great for Pest Control

Cats in general are apex predators, whether you’re referring to lions and jaguars or your average housecat. Domestic cats are agile enough to catch birds out of the air, so it’s no surprise that they make excellent pest control.

In fact, many ancient civilizations, including the Egyptians, held cats in extremely high regard for their pest control abilities. With fewer pests, there was more food and lower rates of certain diseases. Even in your home, a pet cat can help catch bugs and rodents, even though we wouldn’t encourage this, just for their own safety. Also, remember that outdoor cats can be detrimental to the natural ecosystem, so it’s best to keep them indoors.

7. They’re Suitable for Many Lifestyles

Whether you have an active or sedentary lifestyle, there’s a cat out there to match. Some cats are extremely content to simply hang around the house with you all day, while others will love to learn how to walk on a leash and be taken on adventures. There are cats that will be happy to be home alone all day while you’re at work, while other cats will be needier and will be thrilled to live in a home with someone who works from home or is retired.

Make sure to thoroughly research cat breeds before bringing one home so you can ensure the cat you get is well-suited to your home. A better method is to spend time with the individual before committing to them, if possible.

cat sleeping on owners lap
Image By: Karpova, Shutterstock

8. They Can Be Good for Children

There are many ways that children can learn to be responsible and handle animals, and some cats are great for this job. It’s not advisable to leave children completely in charge of the care of a cat, but teaching your children how to feed and provide fresh water to a cat can be a good learning experience for them.

Cats also help children learn how to properly handle animals. Kids should always have adult supervision with cats, especially when learning how to properly handle them. Most felines aren’t afraid to show their disapproval of improper handling. Some cats are loved for their gentleness and affection toward children, though, and they are often quite patient with kids who are learning.

9. They Support Your Well-Being

Studies have shown that owning a pet is good for your mental health, with cat owners more frequently reporting that their pet provides them with companionship, a calming presence, and a reduction in anxiety and stress than dog owners. In one study, more than half of the participants reported that their pets provided them with unconditional love and support and considered them to be “true friends.”

While there are stressors associated with owning a pet, like fearing the loss of an aging pet, the mental health benefits to people seem to far outweigh any stress caused by owning a pet.

cat sleeping on its owner's chest at home
Image By: Maliflower73, Shutterstock

10. They’re Good for Your Physical Health

Cats don’t just support mental health! Studies have shown that cat ownership can reduce the risk of heart disease and improve overall heart health. Interestingly, research has also indicated that the frequency at which a cat purrs is associated with decreased blood pressure, stress reduction, and improved healing. Purring may help cats heal themselves after an injury, and it’s currently being studied if the presence of a purring cat on an injured person can help improve their healing.



When you’re considering bringing home a cat, it’s important for you to take a thorough look at your budget, lifestyle, home environment, and all other aspects of your life and home. This will help you determine which cat is ideal for you.

If you have something specific in mind, like a cat that will enjoy going on hikes, you may need to seek out a reputable breeder to ensure that you get a cat with the desired temperament. If you’re simply looking for a companion, though, there are tons of cats available in shelters and rescues all across the country!

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Featured Image Credit: Olezzo, Shutterstock

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