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Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Well, Duh: Cats Improve Your Life, Study Says

Posted By on Tue, Nov 2, 2010 at 2:45 PM

World's most adorable health tonic: Zsa Zsa Meinzer
  • World's most adorable health tonic: Zsa Zsa Meinzer
A story that appeared in today's USA Today -- and promptly made the rounds, getting linked on Jezebel and forwarded around with lightning speed -- quotes research from the University of Missouri that anyone with a brain in her head already knows.

Namely, cats rule.

They're good for our bodies and souls, and hot damn are they cute.

Rebecca Johnson, director of the University of Missouri's Research Center for Human-Animal Interaction, does research on the topic of introducing animals into nursing homes. She finds that the vibrational sound of a purr can lower blood pressure and simmer a stressed-out brain down a few notches.

Cats are also far superior to dogs great teachers: A dog will take abuse and neglect and still lavish love on the offending humans. Not so the noble feline.

"A dog will let you bang it on the head and still love you," Johnson says in the USA Today piece. "A cat won't do that. Children have to learn to be gentle to cats or the cat will go away."

Fully one-third of American households have LOLcats running through their homes, and there are 16 million more pet cats in the country than dogs. So while Johnson's research is interesting, it's not anything civilized humans haven't known for millennia.

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