Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Nine Lives for Your Cat...and You

(ARA) - Most people know that cats are easy animals to love and care for, and can be wonderful family pets. What you may not know is that owning a cat offers much more than just companionship. Studies show that owning a cat can have numerous benefits on overall mental and physical health for people of all ages. From lowering blood pressure in adults to helping children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), cats are more than just furry friends -- adopting a cat can mean a healthier, happier family.

June is the American Humane Association’s Adopt-A-Cat Month, a perfect time to consider adding a cat to your family. Adopting is easier than ever, thanks to 9Lives’ Morris’ Million Cat Rescue (MMCR). The goal of MMCR is to rescue one million felines throughout the U.S.

“We are committed to saving lives and educating the public on responsible cat care,” says Matt Simon, 9Lives brand manager. “Partnering with American Humane Association’s June Adopt-a-Cat Month was an excellent fit for 9Lives, since we share a similar vision and goal for finding loving homes for animals.”

With the current economic downturn, some people might be hesitant to take on a pet. However, the average costs associated with caring for a cat are relatively low.

“While there may be a small adoption fee, most cats at shelters are already vaccinated and spayed or neutered,” says Dr. Eric Barchas, DVM, and author of the Catster.com Vet Blog. “Additionally, the cost of litter, nutritious food and an occasional toy is relatively low, and cats are comparatively inexpensive.”

There are all types of cats available at your local animal shelters that are in need of loving and nurturing homes -- from cuddly brand new kittens to sweet, lovable and already trained older felines. The trained staff and volunteers at animal shelters are likely to know the personalities of the animals and can help find the best match for you and your family. While you should only adopt if you feel like you and your family are ready to do so, your generous gift of adoption could mean the difference between life and death for a cat and a longer and happier life for you and your loved ones.

9Lives icon Morris the Cat is proof that an animal shelter is a great place to find your new pet. Morris was once a shelter cat; now as the famous spokes-cat for 9Lives, he is one of the most recognizable animal faces in the country. He has starred in television commercials, appeared beside Hollywood stars in major motion pictures and he’s even run for president.

If Adopt-a-Cat month and Morris’ Million Cat Rescue aren’t enough reason to adopt, here are a few more reasons to take home a furry friend.

Cats are Good for the Whole Family

Cats are good for kids
Studies show that positive self-esteem is enhanced in children when owning a pet. The responsibility that comes from owning a pet helps the child develop confidence in performing other tasks in school or interacting with friends and adults. Additional studies suggest that children who suffer from ADHD are able to focus on a pet, which helps them learn how to concentrate. Increased concentration will help them perform better in the classroom as well as complete tasks at home. Pets also give children an opportunity to interact with a live-in playmate rather than playing video or computer games or watching TV.

Cats are good for adults
A recent study reports that pets increase the survival rate of heart attack victims; 28 percent of heart patients with pets survived serious heart attacks compared to only 6 percent without pets. Cats have also been linked to decreased blood pressure and reduced stress levels. One study shows that cholesterol and triglyceride levels are lower in pet owners than in non-owners. Cat ownership is also suggested as a way to help depression.

Cats are good for the elderly
With old age come a number of physical and emotional difficulties. However, researchers are finding that pets truly have the power to heal their owners, especially the elderly. The most prevalent malady for older people is not cancer or heart disease, but loneliness. Cats are an excellent option for the elderly because they can be lifted easily and fit even on the smallest laps. Also, there is only a small amount of work and cost required to care for a cat.

There are plenty of reasons to adopt a cat, but the best way to discover all of the joys and benefits is by adopting one this summer. There are thousands of cats nationwide eager for your visit, so go to your local animal shelter and bring home the newest member of your family today!

For more information on Morris’ Million Cat Rescue Campaign and adopting a shelter cat, please visit 9Lives.com.

Courtesy of ARAcontent

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