Research Says Cats Have Healing Powers

tabby cat sunset

Guest post by Liz Eastwood

Believe it or not, our sweet-bundles-of-fur are probably saving us a bundle in medical bills.

This is another reason I’m into natural cat care—not only is it more ecological and vet-bill preventative, but our cats contribute so much to our well-being that we want to give them more life-extending love. Wait til you hear all this!

While cats in particular have healing powers, research on pet companionship in general is also impressive.

According to research discussed in this news report, people with pets save the Australian health service about $880 million per year and save Germany about $6.6 billion per year. The research found that people with pets:

  • need fewer visits to their doctor each year
  • have fewer sleeping difficulties
  • are less likely to need heart condition medicine

I was really excited about some research I found on cats in particular.

Cats may reduce heart attack risk by 40%

While a study showed that both cats and dogs  reduced stress-related blood pressure more than ace inhibitor medication, a study at the University of Minnesota found that cats in particular may reduce your chances of a heart attack by 40%.

The study, which looked at 4,435 Americans aged 30 to 75, showed that those who did not have a cat had a 40% higher risk of having a heart attack and a 30% greater risk of dying from other heart diseases than those who have or have had a cat.

I was diagnosed with a heart arrhythmia many years ago. That’s a crazy erratic, racing heartbeat that happens periodically in varying degrees of intensity and threat.

I did not have a cat at the time. A bit later I lived with cats again and a bit later I stopped having arrhythmia. Didn’t think much of it.

Fast forward many years to when my only cat, Bastet, was dying. I started having bouts of terrible heart arrhythmia symptoms. After she died it got worse–and by worse I mean nearly constant.

It stopped the day we brought home two new purring youngsters named Phil and Joel. The arrhythmia disappeared that day and hasn’t returned since. Were there other factors that may have affected my heart arrhythmia in these cases? Probably. But the timing of the healing was uncanny.

What’s at the root of a cat’s healing power?

There’s certainly some mystery as to exactly how cats and dogs manage to be good for our health. So far my investigation has uncovered these research nuggets about the healing power of kitty cats:

  • Stress symptoms are lowest in people with cats

In a study by Dr. June McNicholas, stress symptoms were lowest in cat owners, second lowest in dog owners, and highest in people without pets.

  • Purring heals—a lot of things!

The Fauna Communications Research Institute found that every cat in their study created purr vibrations within the range that is medically therapeutic (20-140 Hz) for:

  • bone growth and healing
  • pain relief
  • swelling reduction
  • wound healing
  • muscle growth and repair
  • tendon repair
  • joint mobility
  • dyspnea (shortness of breath) relief


Other good news about having an animal friend at home

Well, this has been humbling!

Excuse me while I go see what Phil and Joel are up to.

Liz Eastwood is a writer and holistic nutritionist and the author of the Natural Cat Care Blog where she shares tips, insights and the joy of soul companion cats.

Image: Morguefile

22 Comments on Research Says Cats Have Healing Powers

  1. Mary Pavamani
    June 28, 2017 at 10:31 pm (4 years ago)

    The article on the healing power of cats are totally true. You only have to have a cat at home to experience it’s miraculous ambience!!

  2. Carolyn
    June 28, 2017 at 4:41 pm (4 years ago)

    This is a great article! I love the information on the vibration frequency of the purr, just because we haven’t scientifically proven the benefits of the purr yet doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist!

  3. mary pavamani
    September 7, 2016 at 2:49 am (5 years ago)

    I believe that my 15 yr old cat is my comforter in my comforter and true friend who keeps me peaceful and happy.

    • mary pavamani
      September 7, 2016 at 2:59 am (5 years ago)

      I meant that she keeps me peaceful and happy always and I don’t experience any stress at all in my life.

  4. Minnie Mcg(cat)
    March 1, 2016 at 11:21 pm (5 years ago)


  5. Sheri Easley
    October 13, 2012 at 4:19 pm (9 years ago)

    I have back problems and when ever I am having major pain, to the point I am in tears, my cats like to lay on my back. This got me thinking and I started searching and found this site. Makes me wonder if there is REALLY something about cats and healing. I’m going to start paying more attention to our cats behaviour and when we are sick or in pain.

    • Ingrid
      October 13, 2012 at 7:14 pm (9 years ago)

      Sounds to me like your cats are trying to help you with your back pain, Sheri. It’s amazing how in tune they are with our needs, isn’t it?

  6. tammy
    December 22, 2011 at 4:25 pm (10 years ago)

    Stange and odd

    There was a small kitten meowing outside my home. We don’t know where it came from but i know it was meant for me to have and I will tell you why. When this kitten saw me it instantly acted like it was devoted to me and acts strange towards me and has same actions as my deceast cat that I had for 22 yrs. Very strange behavior for a cat and a stranger. But that isn’t the strangest part. My menstral period quick coming 11 months ago and just days not weeks just days after this cat arrives my menstral period comes. I don’t know what to think? Is is coincidence or something else?

    • Ingrid
      December 22, 2011 at 8:19 pm (10 years ago)

      Tammy, sounds to me like a little healer kitty found you 🙂

  7. Esme
    March 26, 2011 at 1:05 am (10 years ago)

    There is nothing better than coming home to my babies.

  8. Fisher
    March 23, 2011 at 5:11 pm (10 years ago)

    There will always be skeptics, but the number of healthy happy cat people is growing. Your friend, Fisher

    • Ingrid
      March 23, 2011 at 7:11 pm (10 years ago)

      Fisher, the skeptics don’t know what they’re missing.

  9. Julia Williams
    March 23, 2011 at 2:54 pm (10 years ago)

    I’ve always said that cats are wonderful healers, and now I know for sure! I call mine my “angels with fur” because they’ve saved my life many times over.

    • Ingrid
      March 23, 2011 at 7:11 pm (10 years ago)

      It’s nice to have proof of something we’ve always known, isn’t it, Julia?

  10. DonneeDarko
    March 23, 2011 at 8:42 am (10 years ago)

    It’s the “healing power of purr”!

    • Ingrid
      March 23, 2011 at 2:00 pm (10 years ago)

      It sure is, DonneeDarko – and now we even have the science behind it to prove it!

  11. bonnie
    March 23, 2011 at 8:24 am (10 years ago)

    I have to agree with this — except the docs i work for will disagree because i have asthma and they insist the cats (and dogs) make it worse. Sorry, doc, give me another shot of kenalog and refill those inhalers, please! Small price to pay for all the other benefits of having animals in my life 🙂

  12. Max the Quilt Cat
    March 23, 2011 at 7:27 am (10 years ago)

    I love these statistics. I always knew I had super powers…

    pawhugs, Max

    • Ingrid
      March 23, 2011 at 1:57 pm (10 years ago)

      I always knew you were Supermax 🙂

      • Minnie Mcg(cat)
        March 1, 2016 at 11:22 pm (5 years ago)



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