Cats are good for your health. The Chicago Tribune recently reported that a 10-year study at the University of Minnesota Stroke Center found that cat owners were 40 percent less likely to have heart attacks than non-cat owners. 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.
There is much information out there about how to live healthier on the internet, in books and on television, but you may have one source of healthier living much closer than you think: your cat. I’m all about learning from our cats when it comes to living a conscious, happy life, so why not learn from them when it comes to our physical health?
Health Tips from Your Cat
1. Give unconditional love and support.
Cats are masters at loving unconditionally. They’re always there for us with a purr or a snuggle, and they don’t expect much in return. I think we’d all be hard pressed to find this kind of love anywhere else in our lives.
2. Make sleep a priority.
We are a sleep deprived society. According to the National Sleep Foundation, we’ve managed to squeeze almost a month of additional work and commuting time into each year. Meanwhile, we’ve sacrificed 2 hours of sleep every night in order to keep up with the increased demands of our fast paced lives. On average, adults are now sleeping only 7 hours per night as opposed to the 8 hours sleep specialists recommend. The average cat sleeps between 12 and 16 hours a day. And since you don’t see cats stressing out over their to do lists, they clearly know something we don’t.
3. Stretch often.
Stretching is an important part of healthy living: benefits range from increased flexibility and mobility to better athletic performance and decreased risk of injury. And who better to teach us the importance of stretching than our cats? Have you ever seen a cat get up from a nap without thoroughly stretching first?
4. Stick to a routine.
When the Dalai Lama was asked “if you only had one word to describe the secret of happiness, and of living a fulfilling and meaningful life, what would that word be,” he replied without hesitating: ”routines.” Cats are creatures of routine – maybe that’s why they’re so happy and content.
5. Listen to your body.
When cats are hungry, they eat. When they’re thirsty, they drink. When they’re tired, they take a nap. Humans tend to override their body’s needs with to do lists, deadlines, and projects, and they pay the price for disregarding the body’s messages with stress-related problems.
What healthy habits have you learned from your cat?
Photo of Allegra with Reiki pyramid ©Ingrid King. Reiki can be an important part of a healthy lifestyle. For more information, please visit my Healing Hands website.