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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — September is ‘Happy Cat Month’, which is perfect timing for the study by the Human Animal Bond Research Institute that is matching seniors with foster cats.  In this week’s CBS3 Pet Project, Carol Erickson explains the potential benefits of having a cat can have for seniors.

Carol Erickson and Jan Carabeo discuss the importance of companionship for older adults that may not have constant, positive interaction with others. The study hopes to find out if the end result is whether or not seniors are happier with a cat in their life. It is largely understood that having a pet keeps older adults active, busy, and engaged while taking care of their pet. Those ages 75 and older will be given the chance to form new social bonds with cats that need homes. Carol explains that it’s not just older adults that benefit greatly from having a pet but children can also benefit from the presence of pets. The University of Florida found that kids with dogs have reduced stress. Their cortisol levels dropped dramatically when they actively sought out comfort from their dogs.