Can the presence of a cat calm the owner’s stress? What about if the cat is not your own but you have an affinity for cats?
The study titled “Does cat attachment have an effect on human health? A comparison between owners and volunteers”, published in the first issue of Pet Behaviour Science (Dinis and Martins, 2016 | Vol.1 | 1 – 12), shows that for both owners and volunteers, cardiovascular measures such as blood pressure and heart rate decrease in the presence of a cat. This reduction is more consistent and larger for owners at home than for volunteers at a cat rehoming centre. Volunteers only showed a comparable reduction in systolic blood pressure. In addition, the calming effect, or the reduction in cardiovascular measurements, was greater the more attached the owner reported to be to the cat.