Study Proves Why Cuddling a Moggie is so beneficial to them
We all know that pets are used to help people recover from long stints in Hospital due to operations etc. Cuddling an animal is something that brings a smile to most peoples faces making you feel good and improving your mood all round. This study shows how the attention to Shelter cats keeps them healthy in compared to a control group.
Read on to find out more and don’t forget to leave a comment
For the study — published this month in the journal Preventive Veterinary Medicine — 96 shelter cats were divided into two groups. One group got positive interaction with the same person for 10 minutes at a time, four times a day, for 10 days. This interaction, which could include petting, brushing and playing among other agreeable things, is called “gentling.”
The control group cats were treated to a researcher standing in front of their cage with eyes averted, for that same duration.
All 96 cats selected for the study had been deemed healthy and content — as opposed to anxious or frustrated — at the beginning of the study. At the end, the cats who got gentled were found to have maintained their content dispositions, and were less likely to have developed an upper respiratory disorder.
The control group cats were less content, and more sick.
Seventeen of 49 cats in the control group developed upper respiratory disorders, compared with nine of the 47 cats in the group treated to gentling.
(In case all this is making you consider a career as a cat researcher: these findings were determined in part by looking for evidence in the cats’ poop. So, thank you scientists.)
The idea is that the cats’ contentment stimulates production of an antibody, which helps fight upper respiratory disorders.
“We have learned that the domestic cat is very responsive to good treatment by humans,” said Clive J.C. Phillips, a professor of animal welfare at the University of Queensland, and the study’s other author.
The pair plans to continue research in this vein. Next up is a study looking at what gentling methods are most effective. (Gourkow will also soon launching a website teaching shelters how to implement her findings, and other ways of keeping their cats healthy, happy and adoptable.Here’s where that’ll be, once the site goes live.)