Cats and Heart Health

File this one under health.

Even as I type, one of my two “furry alarm clocks” is trying to get up onto my lap, where she will proceed to sit quietly and purr loudly for about 10 minutes.  A purring cat – that’ll reduce your stress.  A cat that insists on interrupting my blogging – not so much.

So I’m conflicted about this story by E.J. Mundell from US News and World Report.

Whether it’s a frisky kitten or a tubby tabby, a cat at home could cut your heart attack risk by almost a third, a new study suggests. The finding, from a 10-year study of more than 4,300 Americans, suggests that the stress relief pets provide humans is heart-healthy.

Weeelllll… Okay.  This doesn’t seem to be shocking new news.  If stress leads to heart attacks, then certainly a pet will have a positive affect.  Purring kittens and affectionate dogs are relaxing, after all.  The surprise is how well it works.

The magnitude of the effect — a 30 percent reduction in heart attack risk — “was a little bit surprising,” he added. “We certainly expected an effect, because we thought that there was a biologically plausible mechanism at work. But the magnitude of the effect was hard to predict.”

I have to point out that this was a 10 year study, involving “more than 4,300 Americans”, at a cost of 3.2 gazillion dollars.  I made up that last part.  It uncovered what my grandmother told me for free.

Interesting discussion about it at Slashdot.  A sample, from “thedeadswiss”:

Does this mean that I can use my health insurance to pay for cat food?

I certainly hope so.

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4 Comments on “Cats and Heart Health”


  1. I can not see health insurance paying for such a thing. My son is disabled and they never want to pay for things that he needs. Best of luck

  2. xango Says:

    Great stuff I will keep reading. My cat thanks you. LOL


  3. Interesting article and great site.
    Something to think over – as in the long run it may help improve your health.
    Well I could certainly use it with my current flu symptoms.
    A little TLC.
    Cheers.


  4. […] I’m still taking my cholesterol medicine, but I’m no longer confident that this is much more than a waste of money.  The more effective solution to worries about heart health appears to be to GET A CAT. […]


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