Cats have been with us for a very long time, and we’ve loved them just as long. According to many archaeologists, cats first joined our communities about 12000 years ago. At that point in time, we had transitioned from hunters to farmers. As we stored the surplus of our produce, mice and other pests invaded our reserves and contaminated them. The wild cats in the area took keen enough interest in the rodents that they helped to cut down their population and reduce infestation. They did us a huge favor without us ever needing to ask them for help. Since then, we’ve been inseparable.
There’s a lot to love about our feline friends: from the way they move to how they make us feel. Knowing why we love them can convert non-cat-lovers into fanatics, and it can even cause existing cat owners to love their cats ten times more. Here are some of the reasons we love cats.
They Are Adorably Cute
There’s nothing more heartwarming than seeing a kitten yawn. Stuff like that can melt anyone on the spot, and that’s just one aspect of their cuteness. Kittens are adorably cute as they prance around trying to figure out their world, and they get even cuter as they age. Cats are known for their crazy antics, and we can’t help but smile at almost everything they do. But they don’t only act cute, they look cute too.
With their big round eyes and rounded bodies, just looking at cats triggers something in our brains. Babies are the reason we associate these characteristics with cuteness, and scientists theorize that cats evolved to possess these traits as well. Appearing vulnerable, soft, and loveable activates our desire to care for and protect, creating a bond between cats and us. In addition to their eyes and bodies, cats’ other cute characteristics are floppy limbs, unsteady movements, and a head that’s quite large in proportion to their bodies. We can’t help but love them for it.
Cats Make Us Happy
Due to their cuteness, our first instinct when we see a cat is to pet it or take it up. Both are traps designed by the cat to make us love them even more. Have you ever noticed that once you start petting a cat, it’s difficult to stop? Here’s the reason for that.
Whenever you pet a cat, it releases certain neurotransmitters in your brain. One such neurotransmitter is serotonin. This neurotransmitter is responsible for regulating your mood and, by extension, your happiness. Additionally, interacting with your cat also releases another neurotransmitter called oxytocin. Known as the “cuddle chemical,” this bonding hormone helps us to form a deeper connection with those around us. When we play or cuddle with our cats, these neurotransmitters cause us to love them and enjoy their company.
Additionally, studies have shown that interacting with our cats also reduces stress. So, the next time you’re sad or anxious, play with your cat to improve your mood.
They Are Hilarious
Cats are famous for their erratic and odd behavior. One minute they’re sleeping soundly on the rug, and the next, they’re catapulting from the couch to the table in pursuit of a stray butterfly. Other times, they’re napping in tiny or uncomfortable places or knocking over something while staring you dead in the eyes. Yeah, they’re a hoot.
Watching their attempts and failures can be insanely entertaining. A cat’s unpredictability adds an air of suspense to their every move, but even when they are predictable, we eagerly await and are entertained by their reactions. Their hilarity is what quickly spawned their internet fame. Whenever you come across a new cat video, it’s either cute or funny or both, and that can easily make your day.
We love how much joy and laughter cats bring into our lives, and we’ll forever be grateful to them.
They Make Great Company
Humans are social beings, and so are a lot of other animals. Being used to a certain social structure gives us a particular set of social needs. We’ve grown accustomed to connecting and communicating with others. Just like ants, when we’re feeling isolated and alone, we will slowly wither away. This is where cats can help.
Cats are great companions. Even though they aren’t as engaging as dogs, they are a constant, comforting presence in your home. You can engage with them as much as you like without feeling overwhelmed by their needs. It’s very easy to curl up and cuddle with your cat, talk to them, and even play with them.
Even without all that, your cat ensures that you’re never lonely by always being by your side. Cats are especially great choices for the elderly since they are low maintenance, typically very quiet, and provide consistent companionship.
They Feel Great
Since we utilize our senses to navigate the world, they are crucial to how we perceive everything around us. Aside from the visual appreciation of a cat’s cuteness, we also respond to our tactile experience with them. Cats have velvety fur that is an absolute pleasure to caress. Some would say that it even puts them in a trance. But, aside from feeling their fur in particular, we also love feeling them in general.
Holding and petting a cat is extremely enjoyable. Having a cat close to your chest has the same effect that getting a hug from a close friend or loved one does. There’s a certain feeling of comfort, reassurance, and kinship when a cat hops onto your lap or falls asleep on your chest. Cat owners love this feeling.
Additionally, their soft paws and underbellies feel awesome. So, as we hold them and pet them, we get a range of delightful tactile experiences.
They Are Interactive
While most people believe that cats are aloof and solitary, they’re actually more interactive than we give them credit for. If you watch a group of cats for a particular period, you will see them lick, nudge, and play with each other. They do the same with humans. Once a cat has formed a close connection with someone, it will show its more sociable side.
Cats will initiate play fights and fiddle with either your fingers, limbs or anything you have in your possession. They like to engage with their surroundings, a characteristic that has caused them to end up in so many funny videos. Their interactive nature ensures that there is never a dull moment.
Even though they can’t speak, cats will purr and chirp to communicate how they are feeling. As they make these sounds while you pet them, they will also pet you. Cats are known for rubbing their bodies on people as a sign of affection or as an indication that they want you to engage them.
They Can Take Care of Themselves
The last thing anyone would do is leave a pet goldfish or a dog alone at home while they’re gone for a few days. Even though you can get a cat sitter, you likely won’t need one. Most cats are pretty good at taking care of themselves despite your absence. All they need is a source of food and water.
You won’t have to worry about bathing your cat every week either. In fact, cats spend more time grooming themselves than humans do, so they are exceptionally clean. You will rarely have to bathe them unless both of you enjoy bath time. Unlike dogs, they are very effective at burying their poop. This means you won’t have to deal with unsightly droppings all over your yard when you let them out.
Having a pet that can take care of most of its needs is perfect for people with busy lives or those who are inhibited.
They Are Tiny Protectors
Dogs get all the praise for being home defenders, but cats should get some too. After all, our relationship with cats started out on this exact premise. Cats come from a family of very skilled and very successful hunters. Before we were giving them cat food and catnip, they relied on hunting a variety of prey.
As cats became domesticated, this instinct and skill didn’t fade. Cats are still great at keeping rodents and insects at bay. This keeps your family safe from diseases and your house free of pests. Since they are adept hunters, they can easily rid your home of existing pests and prevent more from coming in.
An attempt to identify every reason we love cats will leave you with a pretty long list, but we’ve compiled the most common and impactful ones that cat owners experience. Since our first fateful encounter with them 12000 years ago, they’ve been great pets and companions. Cats enrich our lives in a variety of ways, ranging from providing hilarious entertainment to being a cuddle partner that makes you feel better. These animals truly deserve the best we have to offer because they have done so much for us as a society and as individuals. If you’re thinking of adopting a cat, don’t be afraid to dive in – you’ll love it. If you already have one, put them on a pedestal and shower them with daily praises and lots of catnip.