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Why Do Cats Purr?

by | Nov 1, 2019

There is more to a purr than meets the ear.

While it is true that cats purr when they are happy and content, they also purr during times of fear, anxiety, stress or injury.

Cats have a neural oscillator deep within their brain that seems to serve only one purpose – signaling purring. When it is triggered, it sends signals to the laryngeal and diaphragmatic muscles. Cats purr during both inhalation and exhalation with a consistent pattern.

It is believed that the frequency of a cat’s purr (between 25 – 150 hertz) covers the same frequencies used in therapy. When a cat purrs, a series of related vibrations within their body help:

  • Bone growth
  • Heal wounds
  • Build muscle  
  • Repair tendons
  • Ease breathing
  • Relieve pain
  • Reduce swelling

More interesting facts about purring:

  • Cats in the wild often purr to show they are not a threat or to trick predators into thinking they are healthy
  • A cat’s purr can help other cats and even people heal
  • When cats purr for food, they combine their normal purr with a cry or mew
  • Kittens and mama cats purr to communicate. Kittens purr to help their mother find them. As they feed, they often purr and knead to stimulate milk flow and to let the mama cat know they are receiving the milk. Mama cats purr to soothe their kittens
  • Cats can purr or roar, but not both – cheetahs and cougars purr, lions roar
  • Chickens purr when they are content

Why Do Cats Purr?

by | Nov 1, 2019

There is more to a purr than meets the ear.

While it is true that cats purr when they are happy and content, they also purr during times of fear, anxiety, stress or injury.

Cats have a neural oscillator deep within their brain that seems to serve only one purpose – signaling purring. When it is triggered, it sends signals to the laryngeal and diaphragmatic muscles. Cats purr during both inhalation and exhalation with a consistent pattern.

It is believed that the frequency of a cat’s purr (between 25 – 150 hertz) covers the same frequencies used in therapy. When a cat purrs, a series of related vibrations within their body help:

  • Bone growth
  • Heal wounds
  • Build muscle  
  • Repair tendons
  • Ease breathing
  • Relieve pain
  • Reduce swelling

More interesting facts about purring:

  • Cats in the wild often purr to show they are not a threat or to trick predators into thinking they are healthy
  • A cat’s purr can help other cats and even people heal
  • When cats purr for food, they combine their normal purr with a cry or mew
  • Kittens and mama cats purr to communicate. Kittens purr to help their mother find them. As they feed, they often purr and knead to stimulate milk flow and to let the mama cat know they are receiving the milk. Mama cats purr to soothe their kittens
  • Cats can purr or roar, but not both – cheetahs and cougars purr, lions roar
  • Chickens purr when they are content

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