Everyone that knows me knows that I have a deep fondness for cats. I am currently the proud pet owner of three cats, Ginger, Simba, and Leila. I have had pet cats for many years, and it has been a wonderful experience so far. There are endless reasons as to why I love cats. Not only are cats treasured animals in Islam, but it is scientifically proven that having a cat as a pet is good for you both physically and mentally.
Contrary to what you may believe, cats are actually good for your health. Cats benefit individuals of all ages. A study by Professor Adnan Qureshi at the University of Minnesota showed that adults surrounded by cats experienced a calming effect, which lowered stress levels and lowered the risk of heart disease. Another study done by the University of Missouri for Veterinary Medicine showed that social skills of autistic children improved when in the presence of cats. The Official Journal of American Academy of Pediatrics posted a study that showed that contact with cats can strengthen an infant’s immune systems during their first few years of life, and make them less affected by allergies. Another study conducted by the School of Veterinary Medicine at UC Davis showed that a cat’s purring produces a vibration that has potential healing properties. When cats purr at a frequency of 20Hz to 50Hz, it can relieve pain and increase bone density in humans. Cats have benefits on mental health as well. Research shows that cats can prevent people from feeling lonely and can improve mood. Clearly, cats benefit our physical and mental health in numerous ways.
In Islam, it is taught that the saliva of a cat is not harmful, unless the cat seems visibly ill. Additionally, humans are permissible to have cats as pets as long as the cat is treated kindly and given enough food and water. Cats are the epitome of cleanliness. They spend half of their days grooming themselves. The Prophet SAW said: “Cats do not invalidate the prayer, because they are one of the things that are useful in the house.” (Sunan Ibn Majah).
In the Quran and Hadith, it is mentioned that one should be very kind to all animals, including cats. “Those who are kind and considerate to Allah’s creatures, Allah bestows His kindness and affection on them. Show kindness to the creatures on the earth so that Allah may be kind to you” (Tirmidhi). It is considered sinful to be unkind to an animal. There is a Hadith that mentions a woman who abused a cat. “A woman was tormented because of a cat which she had confined until it died and she had to get into Hell. She did not allow it either to eat or drink as it was confined, nor did she free it so that it might eat the insects of the earth”. (Sahih Muslim). Allah SWT loves those who are kind to animals. Abu Huraira reported: The Prophet SAW said, “Allah had once forgiven a prostitute. She passed by a dog panting near a well. Seeing that thirst had nearly killed him, she took off her shoe, tied it to her scarf, and drew up some water. Allah forgave her for that.”
In Islam, it is important to respect and be kind to animals. These hadiths demonstrate that Allah SWT despises those who treat animals poorly, and loves those who treat animals with respect. This concept can be applied to the way we treat people as well. It is a part of our deen to treat every living being with courtesy. Part of haya, modesty, is to have fear in hurting Allah’s creations. Animals don’t solely exist for our enjoyment; they test us in our deen. Being a good person is a part of being a good Muslim.
My cats have brought so much happiness into my life. In my experience, cats are wonderful pets to have. They are clean, quiet, and independent. Most of the time, taking care of a cat requires very little effort. For instance, there have been numerous times where I’ve left my cats at home for a couple of hours and find them in the same spot when I got back with no scratches on the furniture. All I do is feed my cats a couple times a day, clean their litter box, occasionally give them a bath, and take them to the vet every few months. Overall, cats are wonderful pets to have and will bring so much happiness into your life!d