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Have you ever come home at night and been greeted by your cat walking in and out of your legs and rubbing up against you happy to see that you are home? How about when you are home alone on a cold Saturday night watching tv and your warm little kitty snuggles up with you curling up in your lap and purring loudly? What an experience it is having a cat as part of the family.

Cats don't require as much care as many other pets such as dogs because they are very independant and can use a litter box if you are not home. You can literally fill up a huge container of dry food and water and leave it there for a week if you need to go away on business or vacation and just have a friend stop over to keep your kitty company one or two times during that week. Cats also clean themselves. You could give them a bath once a year if you so desire but it is not necessary because they are very capable of keeping themselves very clean. Owning a cat has more benefits than downfalls by far. It is the perfect pet for the family and also for a single person.

Current research has demonstrated that pets in general can provide many physical and psychological benefits. Cats decrease blood pressure and can even lower cholesterol. They can also reduce the mortality rate related to heart disease. Cat ownership can lead to fewer office visits to the doctor and a significant reduction in minor health problems.

Cats can also provide emotional support from time to time when it is most needed. People who suffer from diseases can feel alone and a cat can decrease these feelings by creating intimacy with its owner. They provide unconditional love to their owner and other members of the family. If you think about it, a cat never gets mad at you or holds a grudge. A cat never talks behind your back and is physically and emotionally unable to hurt your feelings. This is why many people become so close to their cats and have such a hard time when their pet dies. They have nothing but good memories of their kitty.

It has been said that cats know when their owner is sick. Many people have noticed that when they have a cold or are stuck in bed with some kind of illness, their cat is right there snuggled up in bed or on the couch with them. They have also been known to be able to detect when their owner is emotionally upset.

The benefits of pet ownership can be strongest for men who have few confidants, but a close attachment to their pets, sleeping in the same room as their cat at night, for example, cuddling them frequently.

Cat companionship helps reduce the isolation that can accompany depression. Not only is depression often a stigmatizing condition, but many people lose friends and companions because of it. This can leave a person feeling very alone and desperate. The attachment that a cat provides can reduce feelings of stress and lonliness that are associated with depression, one of the most commonly diagnosed conditions.

Owning a cat can come in very handy for lonely senior citizens who don't get many visitors. Elderly people who find it hard to get out and visit others can experience lonliness quite often. Having a cat around for companionship is very beneficial to the elderly to keep them from feeling depressed and feeling like nobody loves them. Once again a cat loves to cuddle up to its owner and can make a person feel very loved and wanted. They are also very self entertaining having the ability to play with anything that moves, or anything that doesn't move for that matter.

People who are incapacitated can enjoy having a cat as a pet also because they are very self sufficient. They don't have to be taken out for a walk three times a day like a dog and they really don't need to get out and get physical exercise outside of the home.

The unconditional love that a cat gives to its owner when they are sick, lonely, or even if they lead a healthy lifestyle is incredible. Your little warm ball of fur is usually always happy and can help keep its owner feeling happy and loved.

So, next time you are sitting around trying to decide what kind of pet to pick for your family or a family member, consider a cat. Getting a cat that is approximately one year old has its benefits over getting a kitten because you can already get a feel for its personality. For instance, most kittens are very playful but can mellow out significantly once it reaches 6 months old. If you are looking for a cat that is patient because you have little children, you may want to be sure to get a full grown cat that has a reputation of being around other children.

A kitten can grow up to be very fiesty and uncontrollable or it could turn out to be laid back and mellow. If you have special needs or requirements from a cat, it would be better to pick an older one that has developed its permanent temperment.