College can be stressful because it’s often the first time teenagers spend away from their parents for long periods of time. Combine with the unfamiliarity of a new school, the stress of studying and passing tests, and the astronomical cost of paying for college, it’s no wonder students can feel stress and anxiety.

Fortunately, Joni Delanoeije (a psychologist and ethicist with Belgian university KU Leuven) and Patricia Pendry (a professor in Washington State University‚Äôs department of human development) discovered that highly emotional students at college all had their anxiety and stress reduced by seeing a cat on campus. Petting a cat has long been known to reduce stress and now there’s scientific proof to justify keeping a cat in your own home.

To learn more about this study to keep college students calm by petting a cat, click here.