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The first, essential, is the mutual affection that binds you. But there are at least 11 other excellent reasons for choosing to live with a cat. For those who are undecided whether to adopt one or not, here - scientific research at hand - a list of valid reasons to decide, once and for all, for yes.

If the videos are good … Last year a study by the Indiana University Media School revealed that watching kittens on the Internet is good for the mood, because it distracts negative thoughts by helping users to regain energy (we wrote about it here). And if a virtual "pet therapy" is enough to recharge the pills, let's imagine what effect it can make to enjoy the company of a cat in flesh and blood.

You will sleep better. Many "gattari" declare to sleep more mildly and deeply with their cat, than with their partner. A study by the Mayo Clinic Center for Sleep Medicine in Arizona seems to reinforce this belief: 41% of people who live with animals said they sleep better thanks to their dog or cat, and only 20% have more agitated sleep because of it . The cats in particular seem to guarantee more placid sleep: those who want them next to the pillow swear they feel more relaxed, next to them.

You will always have those who console you. The presence of a cat in the house seems to give some relief to those who have experienced a recent mourning. Often those who live with a cat more easily overcome the loss of a loved one, or at least can better let off steam: talking to an animal that remains close to us, faithful and silent, is in some circumstances more liberating than doing it with a human, who can answer us but also judge us.

You will be environmentally friendly. Let's leave the most selfish reasons for a moment and focus on the environmental impact of a "pet": according to a 2009 study commissioned by the NewScientist at the Stockholm Environment Institute in York, UK, raising a large dog for 10-14 years involves more harmful emissions that owning an SUV; a cat, used to eating more fish and fewer cereals, has the same environmental footprint as a small car. Is it better to have a dog or a cat? The race continues

You will become (or be considered) smarter. Research conducted by the University of Bristol in 2010 reveals that those with a cat are more likely to also have a university degree. A study conducted 4 years later in Wisconsin argues instead that the owners of cats are more unconventional, open, sensitive and intelligent than dog owners. However, this is more likely a correlation of this type: the most educated people are more likely to have an intellectual job that engages them until later, and it is therefore more likely to live with a cat, with less demanding needs than those of a dog (in the picture, a cat "helps" his human friend to work). 10 "symptoms" of an intelligence beyond the average

You will have a healthier heart … Caring for a cat lowers the level of stress and has - especially in the long run - a calming effect that protects heart health. A study conducted in 2008 on 4000 Americans revealed that those who have had a cat for 10 years run, at the same health condition, a 30% lower risk of getting heart disease. Perhaps, because the care of a cat is less demanding than that of a dog. Or perhaps, more simply, because those who live with a cat are generally a quieter and less stressed person than others.

… and you will find a soul mate. Especially if you are a man: several surveys reveal that women, whether single or engaged, are more attracted to men who have pets than to those who do not. The reason is perhaps to be found in the type of relationship established with the animal, which women consider to be like a "son" (but which for men is more of a "furry friend"). So if you have a cat, spread the word: but remember, a cat is for life (and not just while you're single).

It will protect you from allergies. As long as you become friends already (your) first year of life. Children who spend a lot of time in the company of a cat (or a dog) grow more protected not only from animal fur allergies, but also from those with mites, ambrosia and grasses.

It will help you to know yourself better. In fact, it will reveal a lot about your personality: several psychological studies claim that those who choose the company of a cat are more introverted, sensitive, unconventional and reliable than those who have a dog instead. People tend to divide quite sharply, when they have to say if they prefer dogs or cats, and the majority, however, say they prefer dogs.

It will be your best companion. What he wants dogs to be more affectionate than cats is nothing more than a stereotype. An Austrian study of 2003 showed that, especially for women, the presence of a cat at home is almost as rewarding as that of a partner, and that cats remember the loving gestures received and find ways to repay later. Of course, cats have also learned to ask for pampering and scratching in the right way: the cross between purring and producing meows has evolved to resemble as much as possible the cry of a child, a stimulus that humans cannot resist. Why does the cat purr?

It will save your life. Or at least he would do it, if he had the chance: from the cats who go for help if the master has an epileptic fit to those who have saved humans from domestic gas leaks, there are many examples of cats who have come to the rescue of their friends bipedal. Famous the story of Simon, a British Royal Navy cat who received the medal of honor for surviving the bombing of the British Amethyst ship on the Blue River by the People's Liberation Army in 1949, overcoming severe injuries and having later freed the ship from an invasion of mice. In the photo, one of the cats that survived the earthquake in Japan in 2011 and the Fukushima disaster, committed to demonstrating with his master against nuclear power plants in Japan. The island of cats, in Japan

Reading continues at newsstands where you will find Focus Extra dedicated to them: our pets. Browse the preview

You might also like: 4-legged actors How cats develop spots on their fur Vacuum cleaner dogs, picky cats Why does the cat purr and how can it do them? Do you know what your cat tells you? The first, essential, is the mutual affection that binds you. But there are at least 11 other excellent reasons for choosing to live with a cat. For those who are undecided whether to adopt one or not, here - scientific research at hand - a list of valid reasons to decide, once and for all, for yes.
If the videos are good … Last year a study by the Indiana University Media School revealed that watching kittens on the Internet is good for the mood, because it distracts negative thoughts by helping users to regain energy (we wrote about it here). And if a virtual "pet therapy" is enough to recharge the pills, let's imagine what effect it can make to enjoy the company of a cat in flesh and blood.