There’s no question that owning a furry feline is hard work; daily feedings, keeping the litter box clean, and ensuring plants and other objects are out of harm’s way from your pet cat are just a few of the necessary tasks to owning a cat. While it does take effort to be a cat mom or dad, you know that coming home after a long day at work, you’ll be greeted with a nice meow and an attention seeking cat at your feet. You have to dedicate your time, money, and love to your cat, but giving your pet a great life reflects positively back into your own life — here’s how.

Increased Energy and Mood

Think of how many cats have become famous thanks to the internet. On Instagram, @Nala_Cat has over 3.5 million followers alone. The driving factor of this social media influencing is the sole fact that people love pets. It’s all too easy to lose track of time after sifting through countless pictures of cuddly cats on the internet. In fact, a research study linked media and its effection on emotions. This particular study found that watching cat videos is a digital therapy wonder. You can actually increase your mood and productivity just from watching cat videos on the web.

Now, if someone else’s cat in a video or picture can make you feel happy, image how having your own cat will make you feel.

Social Support

Although animals can’t talk, they can help you get through anything. In the event of loss or tragedy, cats are there to snuggle. The simple motion of stroking a cat with the fur beneath your fingers is calming and relaxing. Cats are more affectionate than dogs are, and make great companions to invest your emotions in. Cat owners build strong relationships with their felines and if you’re being honest with yourself, you probably talk to your cat when it’s just the two of you. There’s no shame in saying “Mommy will be right back” to your cat as you walk out the door. Cats become like children to their owners creating a social aspect even if they live alone.

Health Benefits

Through life’s ups and downs, owning a cat has been found to be one of the best ways to help people cope with loss, stress, anxiety, and more. One research study shows that cat owners are 30% less likely at risk of having a heart attack than non cat owners. Because owning a cat reduces stress and anxiety, cat owners are found to have lower blood pressure simply from petting and cuddling. While cats require a lot of attention and affection, overall they’re lap animals that want to form a bond with their owners.

After years of domestication, cats make for the perfect pet if you’re looking for low-maintenance companionship in your life.