We're talking cats here.
People love their pets. Some people love their pets to an almost excessive amount. But when you consider the fact that owning a pet can add years to your life, a cat can quickly seem like a smart investment.
According to a study that followed more than 4,000 cat owners, led by executive director of the Minnesota Stroke Institute at the University of Minnesota, Adnan Qureshi, M.D., the presence of cats results in a significantly lower risk of death by heart attack or stroke.
Cat owners "appeared to have a lower rate of dying from heart attacks" over 10 years of follow-up compared to feline-free folk, Qureshi said in an interview with U.S. News.
The 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."
This may not come as a surprise to cat owners who have experienced the unconditional love a feline companion can offer, but, cats, by nature, can alleviate stress and anxiety, which has the potential to reduce the risk of heart attack.
Although this type of companionship can potentially help you live longer, it does have a serious risk of cute overload.
(Photo credit: Pieter Lanser/WikiMedia)