Cat lovers may find that their affection for felines is lowering their risk of dying from a heart attack.
Research conducted by the University of Minnesota claims that owing a cat may reduce stress and anxiety – lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease.
The team studied some 4,500 individuals and found that cat owners had a 40 per cent lower risk of suffering from a fatal heart attack.
However, the study's authors do not advocate rushing to the nearest pet store as it is unclear whether the kind of people who opted to have a pet cat in the first place may have a lower risk of heart failure.
The Pet Health Council told the BBC that an increasing amount of research point to general health being improved by regular contact with animals.
Meanwhile, this is the second time that pets have had a prominent place in healthcare news in recent weeks.
It was recently reported that pet therapy can play an important role in prompting Alzheimer's patients to remember incidents from their past.
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