When my daughter was 8, we decided it was time for a family pet, so we adopted a beautiful Maine Coon cat with gorgeous green eyes. My daughter named her Cleopatra due to her interest in all things Egyptian.
At the time I didn’t realize what a perfect name it was. Later I discovered that around 4000 years ago, the Egyptians were the first people to domesticate cats and keep them as pets . They went as far as to worship a cat goddess and mummify their cats.
Many noted people throughout history have also adored cats including Catherine the Great, Mark Twain and even two Presidents – Abraham Lincoln and Calvin Coolidge.
For us cat lovers, it’s nice to know that we are in good company!
However, one has to wonder – over all these years, what makes us form such strong Cat – Human Connections?
1. Cats Make Us Happy
Contact with cats increases our “Happy” Neurotransmitter, Serotonin. So, yes, we actually do have cats affecting they way we think!
Serotonin is the neurotransmitter that is found in our brains and is related to moods and happiness. Researchers have discovered that cats seem to increase the serotonin level in the brain in addition to reducing stress levels.
Next time you are feeling down, try petting your cat and noticed how relaxed you become. Why not use a natural method for mood and stress control? All it will cost you is a bag of cat food.. and lots of cuddles!
2. Cats Make Us Feel Needed
Dogs know how to ‘work’ their humans. This doesn’t mean they don’t love you, but they have figured out what elicits a response from their human.
Cats on the other hand are more independent and when they form a bond, it is merely for the bond and not for some ulterior motive.
Often when you are sitting on the couch your cat will sit beside you…. just to be close to you. They don’t want anything but your company.
Knowing you are wanted and needed makes us feel good and creates a stronger bond with our feline friends.
3. Cats Remind Us of Ourselves
Psychology Today and Live Science both report that cats seem to take on the personality of their owner. For example, if you are outgoing, chances are that your feline is also. Researchers think it’s more of a cat adapting to their owner.
Another theory suggests we may intentionally select cats that remind us of ourselves personality-wise. It’s sort of like seeing ourselves in a mirror – although the reflection has fuzzy ears and whiskers!
The Cat – Human Connection seems to be symbiotic. While we receive many social and health benefits, they receive a warm lap and lots of cuddles.
Whatever it is that creates the special cat human connection, for us cat lovers, a few purrs and snuggles is all it takes to keep us convinced that maybe a cat that is a human’s best friend!
References: Quartz, Psychology Today, Smithsonian, Johnny Times, National Geographic, Mental Floss
Featured image credit: oes, Shutterstock