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Why Do People Like Cats

Updated on November 21, 2012

Those who have never had the pleasure of loving a cat or being loved by one, may not understand just how cats help humans. What good is a cat? Filene's have helped many humans in several ways throughout history. Cats help people who are sick, cats help people to arrest criminals, and cats have even been given educational degrees. To under-appreciated a cat would be tragic; just ask a cat.

Holding a (friendly) cat helps reduce high blood pressure.
Holding a (friendly) cat helps reduce high blood pressure. | Source
The act of petting a cat can reduce pain significantly.
The act of petting a cat can reduce pain significantly. | Source

"Cats Help People Who Are Sick"

It's not such an uncommon thing to hear about a dog who goes to children's hospitals or elder care facilities to spend time with the residence. But, did you know cats have been right beside our K9 companions all of the way? That's right, of the many things cats and dogs do not agree on, helping humans is not one. Both species have offered their companionship to those who are ailing or aging and may be lonely or scared. Studies have shown that when a human who is encountering any stress (including sickness) interacts with animals a relief in pain level can be measured. This holds especially true with our feline friends.

Cats show an unexpected sense of empathy for humans who are experiencing difficulty. There are tales of cats who will curl up with elderly people that are on the verge of dieing. One cat who lived at an elderly care home was known to seek out those who were living out the last days of their lives. His accuracy to discern within 24 hours who was passing away was uncanny. So much so that some of the residence who were feeling under the weather would close their doors to make certain he could not come in. These doors would stay secured until that person was feeling better.

As entertainment or companion, a cat brings an undeniable richness to human existence.
As entertainment or companion, a cat brings an undeniable richness to human existence.
Petting a cat can bring a calm feeling to the human spirit.
Petting a cat can bring a calm feeling to the human spirit. | Source

"Cats bring enjoyment" to human lives

We often look to cats to entertain us, hoping for aerial stunts and speed laden romps. No one can deny the beautifully hilarious antics a cat can provide using a single stage-prop of a string or a moving shadow. But every once in while we find pleasure in our cats during a calmer more relaxed encounter.

Every cat lover knows the joy of having a happy cat lay in your lap and begin the special "cat happy-paw dance" against a thigh. Some call this paw dance, "kneading" or "making bread," call it what you will, the reason is very clear: trust and affection, just like a big fuzzy hug.

Kneading is a left over instinct from kitten-hood. When nursing, a kitten will massage their mother's tummy as it drinks in the nutrients she provides. When you are lucky enough to have your cat conduct this mother's massage, she is telling you she thinks of you as her mother—purring and kneading is a demonstration of feline affection. A cat gives no greater compliment as to the importance of your relationship than when kneading your thigh.

Flying kitty image compliments of

An Ideal Human Cat Companion

Household Medications: NEVER give these to your cat

SYMPTOMS RELATED TO USE IN HUMANS (Never use on cats for any reason)
pain relief, reduces inflamation 
Imodium AD 
relieves diarrhea 
Pepto bismol 
relieves diarrhea, anti-vomiting, anti-gas 
Robitussin DM
Coughing and hacking
Ibuprofin, Tylenol


It is always best to treat your cat (or any pet) with the medications that have been developed for him. Pet medications that are created to help another species can make your cat sick or worse. Cats have a very particular genetic make-up that does not respond well to certain compounds. For instance: Flea medications for dogs use a chemical that makes cats very sick. The chemical brings on foaming and drooling from the mouth, dizziness, convulsions, and even death can occur. Just because they both have tails, doesn't mean you can use any dog medication on your cat. Unless otherwise advised by a veterinarian, treat medications for pets as you would your own; by following the directions on the packaging.

Below you will find some medications that have been designed to help cats with the symptoms mentioned in the above table. It is recommended to keep these on hand for those days when your cat may not be feeling his best.

A uniform wearing cat? Yep, a special cat helped bust some pretty bad criminal types.
A uniform wearing cat? Yep, a special cat helped bust some pretty bad criminal types. | Source

"Cats help people" arrest criminals

Stories about cats who get credit card applications are not all that uncommon—with a few actually receiving the card. But, did you know there is a true story about a cat who received an advanced degree from Trinity Southern University (TSU)? Here's what happened:

In 2005, a six-year-old black cat named Colby Nolan had a job working with a Pennsylvania lawyer (prosecutor) in an attempt to catch Internet bad guys who were selling fake college degrees. A master's degree in business (MBA) was issued by TSU to Colby the cat that same year.

Colby ended up with his MBA for the minuscule cost of $5,000. Anyone who has gone through a master's program knows how a $5K master's program could tempt even the most honest of business students. Having never attending a single class, Colby was able to achieve a quite respectable grade-point-average of 3.5.

Even though Colby had achieved is educational goals, he refrained from going right into the job market, deciding to better serve as evidence in the case against the scamming Internet bad guys. As reported by the original story teller (Becker, DVM), when Colby the cat was interviewed he remarked that the catnip on campus was plentiful. "I admit," he purred. "I inhaled."


Do you know a sick person who has been helped by the company of pets?

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In "Cat" conclusion

The next time you hear some one ask, "What good is a cat?" you will have accurate and compelling information to respond with. For those who have an empty spot in their heart, I recommend filling it with the love of a special feline creature. These kitty-cat companions will keep your home rodent free, spider safe, and above all warm and fuzzy. As it stands, it would appear that how "cats help humans" is exactly how "humans help cats," one purrrfectly loving moment at a time.

Comments for, What Good is a Cat?...

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  • homesteadbound profile image

    Cindy Murdoch 4 years ago from Texas

    cats do make great companions. I love lots of things about them, but I find something very satisfying in their purr.

  • Stephanie Henkel profile image

    Stephanie Henkel 4 years ago from USA

    Lovely hub about my very favorite animals ...cats! They entertain us, comfort us, keep us warm and make us happy...what more could we ask of a pet?

  • Eric Calderwood profile image

    Eric Calderwood 4 years ago from USA

    One of our cats, when it was a kitten, would curl up with my daughter when she was ill. They certainly do my heart a world of good. I especially like to watch cats at play, but a nice lap kitty is heartwarming as well.

  • profile image

    Lizzy 4 years ago


  • Lucky Cats profile image

    Kathy 6 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California

    I LOVE this hub and your other Cat stories, too. Very very well written, excellent information and great fun to read. Thank you so much. I look forward to reading more of your work, specially regarding dogs...whom I also love but, must admit, I am a cat woman. Thank you, again!! Kathy aka Lucky Cats

  • DaNoblest profile image

    DaNoblest 6 years ago from California

    Awesome. Words fail to do this hub justice.

  • Pamela99 profile image

    Pamela Oglesby 6 years ago from United States

    Great hub. I love my cat and have several through the years. Your hub is very interesting.

  • dukeny21 profile image

    dukeny21 6 years ago

    Love this! My cat was with me for 14 years and trained me well. Thanks for writing this hub.

  • Simone Smith profile image

    Simone Haruko Smith 6 years ago from San Francisco

    Cats can sure do a lot of good in the world! Great Hub!

  • Paradise7 profile image

    Paradise7 6 years ago from Upstate New York

    Great cat stories, I enjoyed them all. Thanks for a wonderful hub.