Makes you happier to have a cat

Cats make you happy

Cats make you happy

Humans and cats feel good together. Why this is so and what else you should learn about the coexistence of humans and cats, here!

This article is not meant to be written. Tobi doesn't want that. Tobi is my ten year old gray and white cat. As soon as I sit down at the desk, she comes running, mauzes at my feet, jumps up and squeezes her pudgy bottom between the edge of the table and the laptop, turns in, her head between her back feet: Cuddle please!

I can't type with a thick roll of fur as a forearm support. A little break, a little stroking, purring. Tobi and I are a prime example of the feel-good relationship between cats and humans: Tobi makes me happy. Tobi makes sure that I relax again and again. But Tobi also demands attention from me. Those are the three essential components of one successful human-animal relationship.

Positive influence from cats

At least that's how psychologist Dr. Anja Beetz: "Animals make us happy." The interest in nature and four-legged friends is innate in humans, says Dr. Beetz. Since we have less and less contact with nature nowadays, we look for and find it in animals. "That has a calming effect," says Dr. Beetz, herself a dog owner. The biologist and animal psychologist Birgit Rödder also sees this positive influence of cats: "The cat's need for rest, its lengthy cleaning behavior, the purring, relax people, forcing them to pause."

Especially for nervous contemporaries, for people who find it difficult to escape the pace of our everyday life, who are driven by mobile phones, apps and trends, cats are the ideal house residents. They keep telling us: Come on down! Birgit Rödder compares the relationship between humans and animals with the parent-child relationship. It is characterized by taking responsibility, taking care of yourself and paying attention. Regardless of whether it is about petting or feeding. With one major difference: there is seldom power struggles between humans and animals.

Dr. Anja Beetz knows why: “You can't deal with pets linguistically. Arguments don't make sense with cats. ”That's why we're angry about an overturned milk pot, we also complain and scold the cat until it sneaks away with a guilty conscience. But a short time later everything must be forgotten. “Let's talk about it!” - that doesn't work with Kitty.

Cats help cope with problems

And it is not only with these mini annoyances that the cat shows us that there are worse things than a lake of milk on the table. Cats are also a good catalyst for serious problems. The psychologist Professor Dr. Reinhold Bergler, an expert in the field of cat-human relationships, found out with a study of 150 people that cat owners in severe crises such as unemployment or the loss of a partner need less psychotherapeutic help and are better at coping with problems than people without purring support. Why? Cats are just there. If you have a problem, you can tell them, get everything off your chest. But also by playing with them distract you and let yourself be led to friendlier thoughts.

According to Professor Bergler, non-cat owners would tend to crowd out, while cat lovers would actively take care of crisis management. Cats convey comfort through their presence, because humans do not feel left alone. The cat serves as an aid to self-help through its intensive care. "Coping with a crisis situation is primarily and crucially dependent on the physical presence of a living being and the experience of sympathetic affection without ifs and buts," says Bergler, summarizing the result of his study. Cat owners also benefit from another pleasant side effect: in the event of a crisis, they take less sedatives than people without pets.

Stroking, scratching and purring

Yes, it is, my cats confirm; Besides Tobi, I also have the four-colored pied lucky cat Grete, 11, and six-year-old Fritzi, white belly, tabby blanket. After a breakup, I didn't want to sit at home alone, I went out a lot. Until I realized that the three of them were always waiting for me when I came home, greeting each other and being happy - even if only because I opened the can. In short: I wasn't alone at all.

Dr. Anja Beetz sees another reason for the need to have a pet: “Our life is strictly regulated. Also the physical contact. ”That is reserved for the family, maybe a pat on the back with friends and colleagues. It looks very different with cats. When they stroke your legs, we scratch them, push our noses into their fur and they purr, that is part of the normal, well-being, everyday life.

Tips for future cat owners

Not all cats are created equal

Whether the relationship is actually characterized by cuddling and great joy or rather by annoyances such as scratched walls or calves depends on the person. Namely whether we have chosen the right cat. “Most of them look at the outside,” says cat expert Birgit Rödder, who currently lives with two cats. “Problems can arise with second-hand cats in particular, ie animals from homes,” says Rödder. “We should pay more attention to the character. Do I want a cuddly, older and calmer chick or a daredevil? "

One last example from my shared flat with cats: Fritzi came into the house as a baby. The kitten wanted to run around and play wild games. The big ones tend to doze off. This is still a reason for Rambazamba today, when Fritzi jumps on her friends' heads in exuberance. We all have to live with that. But also with the fact that the article has now been written. Means: If I lean back now, one of the three is guaranteed to hop on my lap, curl up and purr. My moment of happiness.

What do I have to look out for if I want to live with a cat?

If you decide to have a cat as a roommate, you can live with a life of 12 to 15 years, maybe even up to 20 years. Shelter employees usually know very well what temperament and possibly what quirks a cat has. You are by no means buying the proverbial pig in a poke.

Kittens who stay alone in an apartment often make nonsense with boredom and high spirits. Think in advance if you are ready to let your favorite armchair shredded. Or do you decide directly for two cats who can then play with each other?

Also: cats hair. Vacuuming - even on the sofa and pillows - can become a daily routine. And who will take care of the cat when you go on vacation? Can someone come into the apartment? Cat boarding houses are the alternative, but they are expensive and cats are reluctant to change homes.

Which costs arise?

Animal shelters take a nominal fee, but the animals are examined and vaccinated, older ones are also neutered. The basic equipment for indoor cats with feeding bowls, a litter box and scratching post (can also be bought second-hand) costs around 50 euros. The monthly expenses for food and cat litter are around 40 euros. In addition, there are annual veterinary costs for vaccinations, deworming and check-ups of around 100 euros for a healthy cat.