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The Top 5 Reasons Cats Improve Your Life

Updated on January 17, 2015

Cats are the new little black dress

Okay, not really. In fact, I gave up long ago on ever wearing black again as everything I own is covered in a fine patina of cat hair. As a long time cat owner, I have a deep love of anything that meows. However, even I sometimes need a reason not to chuck my furry babies into the streets. Cute and fluffy though they may be, cats are also expensive, exhausting, and aloof, destructive, or downright annoying depending on the phase of the moon. As such, I've spent years justifying my decision to continue to own cats, sometimes to other people but mostly to myself. So for any cat owner ready to tear their hair out or to non-pet owners thinking of bringing home a new companion, let me give you my top 5 reasons owning a cat gives you a competitive advantage. Also, it's an excuse to make you stare at gratuitous pictures of my own cats!

All pictures were taken by me. In case you're interested, the orange tabby is Big Fluffy and the grey is Felix. If you want to see more of them along with other cat topics, visit Trial By Cat or visit my other cat lens!

Big Fluffy encourages corkboard as a renewable option.
Big Fluffy encourages corkboard as a renewable option.

1 - Cats Improve Your Health

Cats are the magic pill to better health. They can lower your blood pressure, fight depression, and boost your immunity. Fact. Google it. Boo-ya!

I don't know about you but cuddling up with my cats after a bad day at work, a breakup, or even just when I'm a little lonely is enough to cheer me up. They may not cure cancer (yet), but just being around cats can lower anxiety which is good for overall health. Plus, stress induces quite a number of illnesses and can lead to long-term damage, so just avoid that whole mess. Go to the animal shelter today.

Felix keeps my knees warm.
Felix keeps my knees warm.

2 - Cats Provide Companionship

Sometimes more than you bargained for. When they are constantly underfoot and tripping you, just remember that you're not alone. You may have a whole wide world that is currently ignoring you, but you ARE their whole world and they just want to be with you. That changes your perspective about things.

Cats may own the most comfortable seat in the house, but they don't hog the remote. When I'm scared in the dark, I make sure I have a cat with me because they'll see the zombies before I do. They don't care that you pronounce nuclear wrong or try to sing opera in the shower - they're just there for you.

They also make great portable space heaters.

Felix being helpful while I try to quilt.
Felix being helpful while I try to quilt.

3 - Cats Both Start and End Conversations

Owning cats provides endless fodder for conversation as well as the best excuses to get out of one. I think cat owners all relate on the same issues, but cat antics are great conversation starters. Many people don't want to look at pictures of your ugly baby but they'll gladly watch a 15 second clip of your cat jumping in and out of a box that you shot with your iphone. You can relate, you can laugh, or you can even debate the merits of owning cats or the morality of owning one if that's your thing.

However, never underestimate the power of cats to relieve you from a boring conversation. Likely, any number of vet visits have given you fodder to excuse yourself from a situation. In fact, I just had a conversation this morning about rectal dams with my vet that would shoo most people away from me at lunch. Really digging into the finer points of your favorite cat litter is another option.

Cat in a tube!
Cat in a tube!

4 - Cats Provide Endless Entertainment

Note that I said endless and not free. If I pay money for a toy, there is an 80% chance that they will refuse to play with it. But if I bring home a box, watch out world! It's become the new Cardboard Castle of the Cat dynasty in Apartmentland. Regardless of what they deign proper for a good workout, nothing is more fun that scaring my cats with plastic bags or watching them chase each others' tails. If you don't find cat antics funny, then you are dead inside.

For example, here's my cat Felix in super stealth mode, hiding in a cardboard tube. He thinks he is absolutely a ninja.

But the fun doesn't stop there. Funny cats have infiltrated the internet in the form of Lolcats, funny cat videos, and other memes. Technology allows us to easily exploit our furry families when we squeeze them into embarrassing cat sweaters or catch them falling off their perch during a nap. Luckily for us, lacking opposable thumbs means they will never find out.

Snobby Cats Still Love Toys

Only selective ones though. Of all the cat toys, games, tunnels, and cat perches I've bought, it seems that some of the cheaper toys works better for me. Also, I'd reconsider buying a cat perch. The box forts I made for my cats they actually loved, but I dropped $120 on a professional cat tree and NOPE. They're not having it!

KONG Naturals Catnip Spray for Cats, 1-Fluid Ounces
KONG Naturals Catnip Spray for Cats, 1-Fluid Ounces

My cats don't like the dried catnip, which is fine since they also manage to scatter it all over the carpet. I bought this not sure if they would like it, but it was cheap enough to give it a shot. Now they LOVE it! It's also useful for distracting them when I need to get them into their cat carriers.

 
Bergan Turbo Scratcher Cat Toy, Colors may vary
Bergan Turbo Scratcher Cat Toy, Colors may vary

They have never chased a ball more. I figured if they didn't play with it or use it as a nail scratcher, then I'd just give it away. However, not only do they use it but I've had mine for about four years now and it still looks good. I replace the middle cardboard bit about once a year and it costs less than $4.

 

Cheap Entertainment

You can never go wrong with a funny cat video and here are some of my favorites!

5 - Cats Are A Selective Person Deterent

Felix deterring Fluff's nap.
Felix deterring Fluff's nap.

I don't know about you, but I know plenty of people who I want to strangle on a regular basis who are also allergic to cats. This works totally in my favor.

"I wish so much you could come to my dinner party but there is cat hair and dander all over my house and I don't own a vacuum or dust or clean. Ever."

This works equally well on my friends who have babies that I would rather not have screaming to my neighbors through the walls.

"My cats aren't accustomed to children and they bite. Hard."

So they don't have kids or cat allergies? All is not lost, my friends.

"My cat has been sick lately and thrown up on all available seating and have booby trapped the rest of the house instead of using their litter box. Also, they attack strangers. And they have fleas."

You're welcome.

Got any great cat stories? Want to share your favorite reason to be a cat owner? Let us know in the comments!

Tell Me What You Think!

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    • Snakesmum profile image

      Jean DAndrea 2 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      Your Felix looks a lot like my Magic . Wouldn't be without a cat around the house, and would have more than one, but Magic won't allow it. We all know who rules the household, don't we? :-)

    • profile image

      anonymous 3 years ago

      I can never find any reason to get mad at my animals. I love them no matter what and wouldn't give them up for anything! I love cats!

    • Zdiddle profile image
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      Zdiddle 4 years ago

      @favored: Thanks. Bring the whole family!

    • favored profile image

      Fay Favored 4 years ago from USA

      @favored: Came back to show my husband this, and watched the videos all over again :)

    • Zdiddle profile image
      Author

      Zdiddle 4 years ago

      @favored: I feel your pain. That's actually why I wrote the lens - to focus on the good things when you're stuck in all the bad!

    • favored profile image

      Fay Favored 4 years ago from USA

      I can only speak from my experience. Working with and having cats certainly add to the joy of life. They also add to the stress of it :) Last night one of our cats decided she wanted my dinner and when I wasn't looking pulled it onto the floor.

    • Zdiddle profile image
      Author

      Zdiddle 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Felix is a notorious cabinet opener. I come home and the apartment looks like the Sixth Sense. I would think it's cute if it didn't annoy me so much!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I'm a great cat fan, mine used to be able to open the cupboard door to get his food out, and the fridge, to hook out the cheese. In fact his nick name was hookey!

    • Zdiddle profile image
      Author

      Zdiddle 4 years ago

      @notsuperstitious1: Thank you! The cats did all the work.

    • notsuperstitious1 profile image

      Edith Rose 4 years ago from Canada

      Love your cat lens and your style of writing.

    • steadytracker lm profile image

      steadytracker lm 4 years ago

      Cats are the coolest. We have always had one or two, or more in our house growing up. Thanks for sharing this wonderful lens.

    • Zdiddle profile image
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      Zdiddle 4 years ago

      @Diana Wenzel: Wow, you've got smart cats then! Felix thinks he's a dog and can't tell the difference between cats and rabbits. Big Fluffy just wants to be king of the couch.

    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 4 years ago from Colorado

      No doubt, given enough time, a cat will come up with the cure for cancer. I can tell my three cats think about it all the time.

    • Zdiddle profile image
      Author

      Zdiddle 4 years ago

      @PaigSr: Thanks, I'm glad they did. I try to think about how cute they can be when I'm ready to skin them.

    • PaigSr profile image

      PaigSr 4 years ago from State of Confussion

      The way ours sleep you would think that they were cat-a-tonic. Nice pics they made me smile.

    • Zdiddle profile image
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      Zdiddle 4 years ago

      @happy-birthday: Thank you for your comment!

    • happy-birthday profile image

      Birthday Wishes 4 years ago from Here

      Great lens!!! Thanks a lot for sharing!

    • Zdiddle profile image
      Author

      Zdiddle 4 years ago

      @suepogson: Exactly! I can never tell when he's hypnotizing me to do what he wants or when he's trying to "help".

    • suepogson profile image

      suepogson 4 years ago

      I have a cat that owns me and he's so special! He is the boss. As they say: 'Dogs have owners, cats have staff.' I have both. Great sewing machine picture (You don't want t o sew ... You want to tickle/stroke/scratch/feed/play with me). Loved this lens.

    • Zdiddle profile image
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      Zdiddle 4 years ago

      @rking96: My mom is as well after my childhood cat passed away. One you go cat...

    • rking96 profile image

      Rick King 4 years ago from Charleston, SC

      Very nice. We are thinking about getting another cat after having one for 13 years.

    • sierradawn lm profile image

      sierradawn lm 4 years ago

      I loved this lens! Also, the vibrations of the cat purr are healing to bones they say. I have been owned by cats all my life. Can not even imagine life any other way!

    • Zdiddle profile image
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      Zdiddle 4 years ago

      @Debbi Craton: Thank you so much. I can't think of better owners than my two fluffballs.

    • Debbi Craton profile image

      Debbi Craton 4 years ago from Georgia

      As someone who is owned by a cat, this all sounds incredibly familiar. Good job.

    • Zdiddle profile image
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      Zdiddle 4 years ago

      @mcstacy: Thank you very much!

    • mcstacy profile image

      mcstacy 4 years ago

      Enjoyed your lens and the videos.

    • mcstacy profile image

      mcstacy 4 years ago

      Enjoyed your lens and the videos.

    • Zdiddle profile image
      Author

      Zdiddle 4 years ago

      @anonymous: I couldn't make these cats similar if I tried. Thanks for the comment!

    • Zdiddle profile image
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      Zdiddle 4 years ago

      @mbgphoto: Thanks for the comment! That's a good tip. I thought I hit that point when I said I would be making people stare at my cats, but I can always make it clearer. Thanks again!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I like how each cat has its own totally unique personality.

    • mbgphoto profile image

      Mary Beth Granger 4 years ago from O'Fallon, Missouri, USA

      Very nice lens...excellent use of photos. A RocketSquid tip for you: be sure to credit your photos even if they are your own.

    • Zdiddle profile image
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      Zdiddle 4 years ago

      @SteveKaye: I am also somewhat biased since I was held at claw-point to write this article, but thank you!

    • profile image

      SteveKaye 4 years ago

      Olivia Felini told me to write that we both think this is one of the best lenses ever posted. Of course, Olivia is a cat and somewhat biased. Meow.

    • Zdiddle profile image
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      Zdiddle 4 years ago

      @anonymous: It's true. They're always watching!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I know they forced you to write this lens. I'm a slave to 2 cats as well. ;)