Lower your stress… with a cat? - FOX 13 News

Lower your stress… with a cat?

Updated:
Allen and her team found that those with a pet experienced half the increase in blood pressure under stress as those who did not own a pet. (©Thinkstock/iStockphoto) Allen and her team found that those with a pet experienced half the increase in blood pressure under stress as those who did not own a pet. (©Thinkstock/iStockphoto)
  • PetsMore>>

  • Ask-A-Vet - July 16

    Ask-A-Vet - July 16

    Tuesday, July 16 2013 9:46 AM EDT2013-07-16 13:46:04 GMT
    Our vet, Dr. Sonja Olsen, answers your questions on Ask-A-Vet.
    Our vet, Dr. Sonja Olsen, answers your questions on Ask-A-Vet.
  • Ask-A-Vet – May 7

    Ask-A-Vet – May 7

    Tuesday, May 7 2013 9:37 AM EDT2013-05-07 13:37:43 GMT
    Dr. Sonja Olsen answers social-media submitted viewer questions.
    Dr. Sonja Olsen answers social-media submitted viewer questions.
  • Ask-A-Vet: Feb. 26

    Ask-A-Vet: Feb. 26

    Tuesday, February 26 2013 9:25 AM EST2013-02-26 14:25:12 GMT
    Dr. Sonya Olson joins us to answer some viewer-submitted pet questions, as well as give us some helpful tips for our pets.
    Dr. Sonya Olson joins us to answer some viewer-submitted pet questions, as well as give us some helpful tips for our pets.
  • From The Daily CatMore>>

  • Why doesn't my cat like catnip?

    Why doesn't my cat like catnip?

    Believe or not, some cats just aren’t drawn to catnip. Here’s why.

    Believe or not, some cats just aren’t drawn to catnip. Here’s why.

  • Houseplants vs. your cat

    Houseplants vs. your cat

    Before adding a touch of nature to your home with houseplants, it's important to know what types of plants may be harmful to your cat and which are safe.
    Before adding a touch of nature to your home with houseplants, it's important to know what types of plants may be harmful to your cat and which are safe. In fact, some plants are extremely poisonous to cats, and others can cause them to become very ill.
  • Keeping your cat happy when you're not at home

    Keeping your cat happy when you're not at home

    As much as I'd love to spend my days cuddling and playing with my cat, necessity dictates that I must, on occasion, leave my apartment.
    As much as I'd love to spend my days cuddling and playing with my cat, necessity dictates that I must, on occasion, leave my apartment.


By The Daily Cat experts
From
The Daily Cat

Numerous studies conclude that cats reduce the stress levels of their owners. Few things are as soothing as a relaxed cat purring or snoozing on your lap, since we sense those good vibes that can carry over to us.

The process isn't just mental. Dr. Karen Allen -- a medicine research scientist at the at the University at Buffalo, The State University of New York -- and her colleagues studied 48 male and female stockbrokers who were using medication to control high blood pressure. Allen and her team found that those with a pet experienced half the increase in blood pressure under stress as those who did not own a pet.

"The results are dramatic and significant," says Allen, who measured heart rate and blood pressure responses to mental and physical stress. "We've shown over and over that it's beneficial to be with a pet when you're under stress."

Yet another study, conducted by psychologist Sara Staats of The Ohio State University, found that college students could handle stressful situations better if they had a pet.

"We might not think of college students as being lonely, but a lot of freshman and sophomores are in an early transition from living at home to living in dorms or off-campus," says Staats. "We found that a lot of young adults are choosing to have an animal companion to help get them through these difficult and stressful situations. Many more say that without their pet, they would feel lonely."

Finally, if you have a cat or another pet, you may enjoy closer relationships with humans, feel more satisfied in marriage and respond better to stresses that can break apart other couples. Allen and her team also found that systolic blood pressure readings of couples with pets were lower at baseline, rose less in response to stress and returned to baseline quicker than they did in couples without pets.

"Many studies have shown that social support is protective of cardiovascular health," says Allen. "We know that people who have many social interactions are healthier than people who don't. In this study, people who owned a pet had significantly more interactions with other people than couples who didn't."

Copyright © 2012 Studio One Networks. All rights reserved.
*DISCLAIMER*: The information contained in or provided through this site section is intended for general consumer understanding and education only and is not intended to be and is not a substitute for professional advice. Use of this site section and any information contained on or provided through this site section is at your own risk and any information contained on or provided through this site section is provided on an "as is" basis without any representations or warranties.
Powered by WorldNow

FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
3213 West Kennedy Blvd.
Tampa, Florida 33609
Main: (813) 876-1313
Newsroom: (813) 870-9630
Fax: (813) 871-3135

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices