Just owning a pet can lower your stress and physically improve your health, which means the most effective form of health care could be giving everyone a cat. However, researchers have found that while humans benefit from touching a cat, the cats themselves may actually get more stressed when people touch them.
The theory is that cats are not sociable animals (who know?) so constant contact with others increases their stress level. When multiple cats live together, they often form a hierarchy so every cat knows his or her place to reduce stress among all of them. But forcing yourself to constantly touch a cat could upset some cats. In multiple cat households, cats that enjoy being petted can take the pressure off cats that don’t like being stroked.
So the next time you want to gain health benefits by petting your cat, stop and think. Does your cat like being touched? If not, be careful. You could be stressing out your cat.