On the Intersection of Cat Content and Positive Psychology…

Samu & NellySometimes, the world seems to be divided into two different kinds of human species: by way of example, those who love cats – and those who love to hate them. I mean, I rarely meet people who say something like “You know…I mean…cats are…Ok”. Either we are totally infatuated with our feline friends – or we´ve come to believe they´re the devil´s brood – for whatever reason.

Now, I happen to be a cat lover. Therefore, I´d like to introduce you to Nelly (brown) and Samu (blotched), two British Shorthair kitten that live in our home since January 17. The reasons: first, I know that cat content is the most important type of internet content right after porn, so my secret hope is that you´re going to share this post like crazy. But I´d never admit that of course…

Second and more important, I´d like to convince you of the notion that there is a substantial correlation between Positive Psychology and having a cat (or several, for that matter). The argument goes as follows:

1) Cats do really cute things. I mean, they sleep about 90% of the day. And another 9% are reserved for eating. But in the 15 minutes that remain, they really do very cute things – like licking themselves, falling off the couch, or trying to fit in holes that are far too small.

2) Watching really cute things makes us happy. And being happy is one element of PERMA, Martin Seligman´s concept of flourishing. Quod erat demonstrandum.

But joking aside: there is some scientific research on why it could be healthy to have a pet (at least one that can be petted…): 

First, there the Biophilia hypothesis. Basically, this means there is considerable empirical evidence that humans profit from getting in touch with nature, be it a green forest – or animals.

And second, we need to touch and to be touched (warmly). A caress (be it on the giving or receiving end) is as good as medicine (without the side effects). It can lower our blood pressure and reduce stress hormones like cortisol – among other things.

So, if you still believe that cats are evil creatures, please watch this video:

A huge Meow! to that.

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