3 Scientific Benefits of Stroking a Cat

On the 4th of June, many cat lovers from around the world celebrated National Hug your Cat Day, by giving their furry friends extra love and attention. Stroking a cat can be a relaxing and enjoyable activity for many people. However, did you know that there are many scientific benefits to this simple act of affection? It is true! At Country Boarding for Cats and Dogs, we will explore three scientific benefits of stroking your cat. Enjoy!

1. Reduced Cortisol Levels

Stroking a cat is a therapeutic activity that can provide several health benefits to both the cat and its owner. Research has shown that stroking a cat can reduce stress levels and lower cortisol production in the body. Cortisol is a hormone that is released in response to stress, and high levels can lead to health problems such as anxiety, hypertension, dyspnoea, and a weakened immune system. A study conducted by Washington State University found that petting a cat for just ten minutes can significantly reduce stress hormones in the human body.

2. Improved Cardiovascular Health

Owning a cat can be good for your heart! Cat ownership has been linked to improved cardiovascular health. Stroking a cat can help to lower your blood pressure and reduce the risk of many cardiovascular diseases. The act of stroking a cat has been shown to also release oxytocin, a hormone that can help to lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart disease. It has been reported by many health professionals that Oxytocin can help a person bond with loved ones and can also be released through touch, music, and exercise.

3. Positive Emotional Response

Stroking a cat can elicit positive emotional responses in both the cat and its owner. Cats are social species, and they have evolved to communicate through visual and chemical messages. When a cat enjoys being stroked, they will often purr, which is a verbal sign of contentment. Signs of cat enjoyment include relaxed body language, slow blinking, and a desire to be touched. Signs of dislike or tension include flattened ears, dilated pupils, and a swishing tail. Always pay close attention to these signs when stroking your cat and immediately stop if you feel your cat is not enjoying being petted. Remember, cats, just like humans, all have their own individual personalities and although some felines may enjoy being stroked, others may not, so always respect your cat’s boundaries.


We hope you found this article helpful. There are many scientific benefits associated with stroking a cat, that include reduced stress and cortisol levels, improved cardiovascular health, and positive emotional responses. So, if you have a cat who enjoys being stroked, then this can be a great way to reduce your anxiety, improve your overall health and wellbeing and help strengthen the bond between the two of you. At Country Boarding for Cats and Dogs we are a leading luxury cattery in Hertfordshire and provide a professional and friendly service. For more information about our luxury cattery, or if you want to come and look around first, call us on 01462 742658. We look forward to hearing from you!