It’s the news cat owners have been waiting for: Owning lots of cats does not,in fact, mean you’re mad, sad or anxious.

That’s according to researchers at UCLA, who analyzed more than 500 pet ownersand found nothing to support the long-held “crazy cat lady” stereotype.

The study, published in the journal Royal Society Open Science, observed howpeople reacted to distress calls from animals and also compared pet ownershipwith mental health-related or social difficulties.

Its results will come as a relief to those people who, absurdly, prefer catsto dogs — and should give those who cling to the popular “cat lady” trope pawsfor thought.

“We found no evidence to support the ‘cat lady’ stereotype: cat-owners did notdiffer from others on self-reported symptoms of depression, anxiety or theirexperiences in close relationships,” the study said.

“Our findings, therefore, do not fit with the notion of cat-owners as moredepressed, anxious or alone.”

The conclusion backs a similar finding by researchers at University CollegeLondon, who said in 2017 that they found no link between cat ownership and thedevelopment of psychotic symptoms.

The study also found that cat and dog owners are more likely to empathize withan animal’s distress calls, with owners getting sadder than non-owners whenthey heard a cat meow or a dog whimper.

“We found several subtle differences between how adults with and without petsgenerally rated animal vocalizations,” the study said, noting that those withpets rated such sounds more emotionally than those without.

Its overarching finding, though, was that people of all pet- and non-petowning statuses were similarly depressed and anxious — debunking the “crazycat lady” stereotype and proving that we’re all as miserable as each other.

This study isn’t the only one to provide cat owners with a big win over theirdog-loving nemeses. A distressing piece of research last year found that dogsare … wait for it … not actually that smart.

Source Fox News

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