The Truth About Cats: They're Good for Us

Headlines have linked cat ownership to cancer and craziness, but new research suggests that having cats is healthy.


  • Cats have gotten a bad health rap, as new research suggests they may be beneficial to human health.
  • Cats could even help to lower human risk of cancer.
  • Cats may harbor T. gondii, but feline ownership does not predict risk of infection with this parasite.

News headlines over the past few years have linked cat ownership to everything from cancer to craziness, but new studies suggest that cats are actually beneficial to human health, and may even reduce our risk for cancer and other diseases.

Reports in this week's issue of Biology Letters, for example, counter the tabloid-suggested link between cats and human brain cancer.

Marion Vittecoq of the Tour du Valat research center and her colleagues conclude that cats should not be blamed for human cancer. In fact, studies show just the opposite.

Vittecoq told Discovery News that "according to our knowledge, studies that have focused on the link between cancer and cat ownership so far have found either no association at all or a reduced risk of cancer in cat owners."



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Replies to This Discussion

Right - and it does help to relax you to hear the purring. Really helps me on a really stressful day.

Years ago when I was single I woke up from a terrifying nightmare. I was subletting and the owner's cat was around. That cat was exactly what I needed to calm down. A friendly cat can be an emotional lifesaver when you're alone.

(not me in pic)

Cute picture!

Yeah cats can be a calming and helpful affect on people.


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