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Why cats are my family’s pet of choice

This International Cat day on 8 August, Mary Lam, Quality Associate at Elanco Canada shares her passion for her feline friends and celebrates the human-cat bond.

When we decided to adopt two cats a few years ago to keep my daughter company while she studied, I never expected them to have such a positive impact on our home.

From the moment we collected Nily and Fluffina, we knew they were special. A young girl had to give them up for adoption because of her newborn sibling’s allergy and she was clearly devastated. At that moment, we promised we would take care of the cats as best we could and they’ve returned the favour, looking out for us and contributing to a happy household.

1. Cats are everyone’s companion

Regardless of who you are, cats do not discriminate and can be your very best and loyal friends.

I’m awoken with a scratch at the bedroom door each morning to get me out of bed and ready for work. And I’m welcomed home with a friendly purr, when my cats greet me by the garage door. When my daughter was in high school and stayed late to do her homework, she said she never felt lonely but special because the cats wanted to keep her company.

2. Cats are good for our health

Cats can actually enhance the health of their owners. It’s been scientifically proven that owning a cat can cut your risk of death from cardiovascular disease1.While new research from Washington State University found petting a cat or dog for 10 minutes can relieve stress. Highly stressed students took part in the study and found that students had significantly less cortisol (the stress hormone) after spending time with the pets2.

3. Cats are smart

Recent studies could show that cats are just as smart as dogs. Cats might not be as easily trained as dogs when it comes to learning tricks, but that doesn’t mean they’re not clever. The cerebral cortex of a cat’s brain – the part responsible for cognitive information processing – has about twice as many neurons as in dogs. And they’re sensitive creatures – if a cat is upset by someone, they’ll remember it.

We could see their intelligence as soon as we adopted our cats. They’d lived with an English-speaking family but they adapted well to our household where we regularly speak our native language, Vietnamese. By reading our facial expressions, they understood our commands from the moment we brought them home.

4. Cats make great pets

Cats are low maintenance pets. Unlike dogs, cats are independent creatures who don’t rely on you for exercise. Outdoor cats love to explore their environment by climbing trees and hunting mice, and they don’t usually need a bath afterwards, instead grooming themselves frequently. Like all pets, cats need to visit the vet regularly to lead a healthy and happy life but overall, they’re often less expensive to look after than dogs. Many people mistake a cat’s independence for liking a solitary life, but it isn’t true – cats need love and care and what you give, you will get back in return. In our household, our cats contribute to a loving home, providing support to each of our lives on a daily basis.

References:

1.Qureshi et al. Cat ownership and the Risk of Fatal Cardiovascular Diseases. Results from the Second National Health and Nutrition Examination Study Mortality Follow-up Study. 2009

2.Washington State University Insider, accessed July 2019: https://news.wsu.edu/2019/07/15/study-demonstrates-stress-reduction-benefits-petting-dogs-cats/

About Mary Lam

Mary Diem Lam works as quality associate at Elanco Canada and has a passion for cats.

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About Mary Lam

Mary Diem Lam works as quality associate at Elanco Canada and has a passion for cats.

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