June is National Adopt a Cat Month!
Thousands of kittens are born each year, and many of them end up in shelters. In fact, an article on humanpro.org reports that over 3.2 million cats end up in shelters each year. And 27% end up euthanized. Many others end up living out their lives in shelters, never adopted.
And while cat adoption rates in the US are going up in recent years, there are still so many left without homes.
Even more never find their way to shelters, and instead roam communities as feral strays. The impact of this is severe, and not just for the cats.
A 2018 article addressing the disastrous impact feral cats have on communities and the environment reported that,
“Feral, free-roaming cats have been documented by dozens of studies to be indiscriminate killers of wildlife and the cause of at least 63 species extinctions, according to a 2016 analysis of invasive species impacts.”
Adopting a cat (or two!) doesn’t just help the animal, it helps our communities and ecosystem too. And studies show that we are healthier, happier, and live better when we share our homes with pets.
Health Benefits of Having a Cat
According to a study by the University of Indiana, just watching videos of cats,
“does more than simply entertain; it boosts viewers’ energy and positive emotions and decreases negative feelings.”
If seeing a cat video online can do so much for our mental health, just imagine the benefits of snuggling up with a cat or two of your own!
And cats aren’t the only pets to provide health benefits. Studies show that there are numerous physical and mental health benefits to sharing our homes with pets.
According to a CDC article on pets and people,
“Studies have shown that the bond between people and their pets can increase fitness, lower stress, and bring happiness to their owners. Some of the health benefits of having a pet include:
Decreased blood pressure
Decreased cholesterol levels
Decreased triglyceride levels
Decreased feelings of loneliness
Increased opportunities for exercise and outdoor activities
Increased opportunities for socialization”
And a study from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases found that children that grow up in homes with pets are less likely to develop allergic diseases.
In the news release summarizing the study, the chief of the allergic mechanisms section at NIAID states,
“This new finding changes the way scientists think about pet exposure; scientists must now figure out how pet exposure causes a general shift of the immune system away from an allergic response.”
With increased rates of allergies and autoimmune disorders in recent years, early exposure to animals could potentially mean a HUGE health benefit!
Where to Adopt
The best way to adopt a cat (or any pet) is by visiting your local animal shelter. The following resources are great search tools to help you find one near you!
And, if you need some guidance or more information before bringing home your new addition to the family, this checklist from American Humane is an excellent resource.
We’re excited about Adopt a Cat Month and about the many health benefits of having a pet.
And we wanted to know how many of our Evidation Members currently have pets. So, we asked.
Out of the 19,118 individuals who answered the question, 13,451 currently share their home with a pet.
That’s over 70% percent!
Next time, we’ll have to find out what types of pets Evidation Members prefer!