Adopting a cat provides children with companionship and teaches them responsibility. But can it improve their health? A new study from the Copenhagen Studies on Asthma in Childhood Research Center in Denmark says yes!
Findings revealed that felines neutralise the effect of a gene that, when activated, makes children two times more likely to develop asthma. Analyses also suggest that cats protect against pneumonia and inflammation in the lower airways of small children, reducing their susceptibility to bronchitis and allergies. Lead-author Jakob Stokholm suspects it could be related to the bacteria, fungi and viruses that cats bring into the home, which can influence immunity.
While these results will not lead to any new treatments, it does reveal that the genes behind these diseases can be switched on or off depending on environment. Not to mention it’s one more reason to adopt a kitty!