You know that old saying, “dogs are a man’s best friend?” Well, it turns out that the same might be true for cats. One study even found that cats share a mutually beneficial bond with their owners. In fact, there are plenty of reasons why felines make great companions. Here are five of them.

Lower your stress

Petting a cat can have a calming effect. In fact, there’s research that physically interacting with a cat can reduce stress.

Pendry and Vandagriff (2019) found that the group of students who played with animals – even for only 10 minutes – had the greatest reduction in cortisol levels (stress hormone).

Petting a cat could even increase oxytocin, a “bonding” hormone released during sex, a hug or breastfeeding. This sense of connection could be thought to alleviate feelings of loneliness, which is a stressor on the body.

Increase your happiness

Even through a computer screen, a few minutes watching cat videos can improve your mood. Myrick (2015) observed from a pool of 7,000 cat video fans, felt better after watching and reported higher levels of positive emotions and energy. They also reported feeling less negative emotions.

So the next time you’re feeling down, even looking at cat videos for a few minutes could boost your mood.

Improve your heart health

A link between owning a cat and a reducing in death by heart attack, and other cardiovascular diseases was found by a study in the Journal of Vascular and Interventional Neurology. Surprisingly, the same was not true for dog owners.

Control your blood pressure

Better than medicine? Perhaps. In a study of 48 hypertensive patients with a high-pressure career, the blood pressure levels of the group that had a cat or dog added to their treatment course, was observed to be much less than those only on ACE inhibitors. But what about calming effects? Cats have one thing that dogs don’t: their purr. This vibration has been thought to lower blood pressure in humans.

Prevent allergies

Some studies suggest that exposing your child to animals early in life can not only reduce sensitivities to those animals, but to other common allergens such as dust mites, ragweed, and grass.

Cats are undeniably adorable and cuddly. But they’re also good for us! Even when virtual! Share what cat videos you love down below.