Most people consider only the benefit of companionship when acquiring a cat, but did you know there are actual medical benefits? For instance, you are less likely to die of heart disease. The University of Minnesota conducted a 10 year study of over 4000 Americans and found that people that did not own cats were 30-40% more likely to suffer a heart attack or stroke. Just petting or snuggling up with a cat can bring down stress levels, heart rate, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels, all which contribute to cardiovascular disease. Cat ownership is also associated with fewer visits to the doctor. Enjoying your cat can boost endorphin levels, which contribute to a better functioning immune system. A study of young children in which there was a cat in the home showed that they had a lower likelihood of a depressed immune system. Those with a cat in the home were less likely to miss a day of school due to illness. Mental health benefits are another advantage of cat ownership. Nurturing a cat helps combat depression and loneliness as well as decrease anxiety. A study at the University of Warwick found that seniors who were able to retain their pets upon entering residential care fared much better in terms of psychological distress that those that had to part with their pets. There is an enormity of cats that are in need of homes. Please consider giving one a forever home. You both are sure to benefit!