By Daniel J. McLaughlin
Happy International Cat Day! Will you be celebrating our purr-fect feline friends, or should the claws be out for the kitties?
Owning a cat could be good for you with a number of health benefits.
However, the pets may be bad for the natural world with a potential to be "murdering maniacs" for other species.
Goodnet describes the "scientifically proven health benefits" of being a cat owner.
They write: "They’re fluffy, independent, the internet's in love with them, and there is scientific proof that having a furry roomate is actually all kinds of good for your health.
"Whether you live with a cuddly lap cat or a quiet introvert who loves their space, having a feline around you can be just as rewarding and beneficial as any other animal friendship."
For instance, studies have shown that owning a cat can lower your stress levels, and therefore will reduce the risk of heart disease.
Our feline friends have also been shown to trigger the release of calming chemicals in your body, which lowers stress and anxiety levels.
However, Metro has the interesting headline that warns: "Cats are viciously evil killers which are having a devastating effect on the natural world, scientists reveal."
They say that cats have the potential to be "murdering maniacs". A team of Australian scientists revealed that cats are "on the verge of hunting 12 different species in the country [Australia] to extinction".
This will add to their ever-growing tally of extinctions, with our feline friends already consigning 25 species to the history books.
Jim Radford, who led the study at La Trobe University in Melbourne, said: "We found that 63 or about 1 in 3 surviving mammal species are highly susceptible to predation by cats and foxes.
"Foxes and cats have been a primary factor in the majority of these extinctions.
"Our study shows that introduced predators remain a significant threat to numerous mammals, many of which are clinging to survival by a thread."
Just under half of Brits (49 per cent) own a pet - with a quarter of adults owning a cat. There is an estimated population of 11.1 million pet cats in the UK, according to animal charity PDSA.
There are around 60 breeds of cats recognised by the International Cat Care. The top five breeds of cats in the UK are: Bengal, British Short Hair, Burmese, Manx, and Siamese.
The main reasons why people own cats are love (31 per cent) and companionship (27 per cent), the Pet Population report shows. Cat owners also chose feline friends because they are easy to maintain (seven per cent) and they get on with other species (three per cent).
However, not all cats receive the love they need. Cats Protection, a charity dedicated to rescuing and rehoming cats, estimates that there are nine million stray cats and one-and-a-half million feral cats in the UK.