When Fiona sidles up after you’ve been away all day, of course you take a minute to pet her. Stroking your feline promotes a strong bond with your furry friend, not to mention gives you a heads-up about certain health issues. Petting your cat even helps improve your health.
Creating the Bond
You provide a cozy environment for your cat. That doesn’t mean she has to like you. Cat personality quirks including aloofness are well-known. Petting your cat establishes and reinforces a bond. She’ll familiarize herself with your scent, allowing her to get to know you better, while you can see exactly where she loves to be rubbed. After several petting sessions, a new cat in your life will quickly come to adore you.
As you’re zoning out and petting your fuzzy chum, you’re actually doing some of her grooming for her. As long as you're stroking her coat, you're removing some of her loose hairs -- a grooming mitt will remove a lot of them while you stroke her. So when she goes to lick herself from head to toe, she won’t swallow as much of her hair, reducing hairball issues. Meanwhile, stroking her with your hand helps spread her natural oils through her coat. You’re doing her a favor, helping keep her fur shiny and pristine.
Preventing Health Complications
When you regularly pet your kitty, you’ll know more of her ins and outs. If anything out of the ordinary manifests on her body, you’ll notice it right away. You’ll discover if she has some kind of varmint lurking around in her fur, abnormal lumps or sore spots that she doesn’t like touched. This way you’ll be able to get her in for an appointment with the veterinarian right away before the problems get out of control.
Improving Your Health
Petting Fiona is good for your health, too. If you’ve ever had a really hectic day and then your purring kitty curled up in your lap, your stress level probably diminished. There’s a medical reason for this. As you spend time with your pal and pet her, your cortisone levels go down, WebMD reports. Cortisone is the hormone that peaks when you’re stressed out; just by stroking your kitty, you'll find your mood improves. Your blood pressure can go down as your stress level diminishes, preserving heart health.
Melodie Anne Coffman specializes in overall wellness, with particular interests in women's health and personal defense. She holds a master's degree in food science and human nutrition and is a certified instructor through the NRA. Coffman is pursuing her personal trainer certification in 2015.