We’re not kitten you!

Southern Living

This story originally appeared on southernliving.com by Meghan Overdeep.

It's time we squashed the "crazy cat lady" stereotype once and for all.

Sorry dog people, but not only do most of us know plenty of decidedly normal cat lovers, but years of scientific research suggest that cohabitating with cats has zero effect on developing psychosis later in life. (Take that haters!)

Related: Healthy Pet Treats to Keep Pets Busy While You're at Work and School All Day

If that's not enough to get feline fans purring, a 2009 study published in the Journal of Vascular and Interventional Neurology certainly will. In it, scientists found that cat ownership can be beneficial to our health in a number of ways. Most significantly, researchers observed a decreased risk for death due to heart attack and all cardiovascular diseases (including stroke) among persons with cats.

"Acquisition of cats as domestic pets may represent a novel strategy for reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases in high-risk individuals," the study's authors mused.

A kitty cuddle session can also ease symptoms of anxiety. As Melanie Greenberg, Ph.D., licensed clinical psychologist and author of The Stress-Proof Brain explained to NBC News, the act of petting your cat releases oxytocin, the bonding hormone or "cuddle chemical," which can make you feel less stressed.

Mark those down as two more in the win column for cats, y'all!

This article originally appeared on southernliving.com

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