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UGA Study Suggests Cat Ownership Lessens Loneliness Among Older Adults

Alex Nicolopoulos on Unsplash

A study conducted by the University of Georgia brings good news to crazy cat people the world over--results suggest that owning a cat can mitigate loneliness and associated health issues for older adults.

The study included 29 human subjects aged sixty and over who live alone with no other pets in the house. Participants volunteered to foster cats from the Athens Area Humane Society, with the opportunity to adopt after one month.

The investigation seeks to address loneliness, which was declared an epidemic in May of 2023 by the U.S. Surgeon General. Kerstin Emerson, clinical associate professor in the College of Public Health’s Institute of Gerontology, Health Policy & Management and co-author of the study, states, “We wanted to know if a cat fostering program could be one intervention that could help older adults who are experiencing loneliness.”

Susan Cannone, a study participant, adopted Starbucks, an orange and white male cat with a mane of fluffy fur. She states, “To have somebody that you know is waiting for you and is happy to see you just makes all the difference.”

Read more about the study on UGA Today.

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