Scientific proof that adopting a shelter cat is awesome.

@13wham reported yesterday that Lollypop Farm has too many cats, not enough space. And that’s good news for you, because they’re giving away their kitties for free just to ease the overcrowding problem.

That being the case, I thought I would write a quick post giving you some reasons that you want to buy a cat. So, that’s what I’m doing.

Cats make your kid smarter

Sociologist Robert Poresky discovered that having a cat in a stable household seems to correspond to elevated IQ scores and social adjustment. Part of this is the responsibility kids get from being the caretaker, but just having a cat around to interact with seems to help kids develop empathy. Maybe that’s because cats can’t tell you what’s wrong and you’ve gotta figure it out yourself?

Cats reduce stress

Well, maybe not so much when they cough up a hairball just as you’ve settled down for a nice dinner, but stick with me. Petting a cat is such a scientifically-proven stress reliever that, in frenetic Tokyo where having the space to own a cat is a luxury few can afford, some people have been known to visit “animal therapy” centers just to get a little purr time.

Cats help your immune system

Allergies suck. But people who were raised with pets rarely have pet allergies because their immune systems have been built to recognize pet dander. But its not just allergies, its also asthma and potentially others. Studies show kids with pets are 13-18% less likely to miss school.

Not only is cat scratch fever rare and mild, it can actually be kind of awesome

Cat scratch disease – sometimes called cat scratch fever – is an infection that happens as a result of getting scratched by a cat. Counterintuitive, no?

But here’s the thing: if you wash your hands regularly, keep the baby from swinging the cat by its tail and be sure to treat any scratches when they happen, you’re almost completely unlikely to contract the fever. How rare is it? One study shows that about 9.3 people out of 100,000 are treated for the disease in the hospital.

Most just get in touch with Ted Nugent.

By Tommy Belknap

Owner, developer, editor of DragonFlyEye.Net, Tom Belknap is also a freelance journalist for The 585 lifestyle magazine. He lives in the Rochester area with his wife and son.