And new research suggests the benefits of cat ownership may even go beyond pain relief. According to the study, presented Thursday at the American Stroke Association meeting in New Orleans, cat owners may actually be less likely to die from heart attack, stroke or other types of cardiovascular disease.
Researchers at the University of Minnesota's Stroke Research Center looked at 4,435 people, aged 30 to 75 years, who were participating in ongoing national government health research from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Study.
They found that over a 20-year period, those who had never owned a cat had a 40 percent greater risk of death due to heart attack and a 30 percent higher risk of death due to any sort of cardiovascular disease than previous or current cat owners. Researchers found no such protective effects for dog owners.
So, it seems that the Cat Lady who owned 130 cats knew what she was doing.