A National Institutes of Health Study found that dog and cat owners have a reduced risk of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The longer the duration of pet ownership, the less chance the individual would suffer from this type of cancer. A separate study found that infants having pets at home suffered from fewer respiratory tract illnesses.

“Our findings support the theory that during the first year of life, animal contacts are important, possibly leading to better resistance to infectious respiratory illnesses during childhood,” wrote Eija Bergroth and colleagues in the paper, published in the journalPediatrics.

So the next time you’re feeling ill, snuggle up to your cat and you won’t have to worry about the cost and complexity of health insurance. Your common household cat may be the best health insurance you get get.

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