Updated: May 24
Yes, cuddling can improve the health of your cat. A study published in Preventive Veterinary Medicine divided 96 shelter cats into two groups. One group with 4 sessions daily of human interaction and the second group, the control group, with minimum contact. The study lasted for 10 days.
Affection Decreases Stress
Cats with human contact were more likely to be rated as content compared to the control group which displayed anxious behavior. Not only was the control group more anxious, but they also had higher instances of upper respiratory infections. On the other hand, cats that were shown affection and experienced human contact secreted increased antibodies for protecting against disease.
Stress Reduction and Fighting Disease
Researchers concluded that human contact leads to improved cat health. Even more importantly, it's critical for cats in shelters. Associate Applied Animal Behaviorist and cat specialist Katenna Jones, ScM, ACAAB, CCBC, CDBC, CPDT-KA stated, “A stressed cat in a shelter is like a human texting while driving: the cat's body splits its focus between fighting off stress and fighting off disease. Like the texting driver, neither of the tasks gets done well. It's fairly common knowledge that stroking a companion animal is stress reducing for both the giver and receiver. Decreasing stress is like putting down the cell phone: the cat's body can focus on fighting disease (while the driver can focus on driving)."
Show some love for a healthier cat. Cuddle your cat at home or share the love and spend some time with shelter cats. The time you spend with them helps protect their health, decreases stress, improves behavior and increases their chance at finding a loving home. https://www.garliccitykittyrescue.org/copy-of-home