WHY DO CATS PURR?
Anyone who is a companion to a feline knows the magical healing power of a cat’s purr. The calming soothing sound of our feline friend’s purring can bring us back from the farthest reaches of depression and anxiety. And to cat enthusiasts, the purr brings us so much joy!
But why do they purr?
Cats, contrary to popular belief, do not only purr when they’re happy. They purr when they’re hungry, they purr when they’re scared, and they even purr to heal themselves. Studies have shown that not only do cat purrs heal the cats themselves, but they also show that purring heals humans! Elizabeth Von Muggenthaler, a bio acoustics researcher, conducted studies which indicated that the frequency of their purr is conducive to bone growth, pain relief and wound healing. In her studies, there was also sufficient evidence that the frequency at which domesticated cats and some wild cats purr was also therapeutic to repair muscles and tendons, ease breathing and reduce pain and swelling.
Other studies have shown that the purr of a cat can reduce blood pressure and relieve stress. Due to the precise spectrum of noise of their purr, its healing effects are noted across the board.
Did you know that a mother cat purrs during labour? This is how the kittens learn to purr. This is a continually learned behaviour for kittens, as when they are feeding, they press and flex their paws to stimulate milk flow. This is where the kneading behaviour is born! Cats will knead you, your clothes and their toys while they purr because this is how they learned to feed. It is one of the very first activities they learned.
Some domesticated cats have adapted their purr to a frequency of a human baby’s. This serves the cat well when attempting to gain attention from her people. Usually, cats will purr for attention when they are hungry or want cuddles. They will also purr when they see that we are in emotional or physical pain because they are inclined to do what they can to help us feel better.
Are domesticated cats the only cats who purr? The answer is no! A variety of big cats can purr such as lynx, cheetahs and cougars.
Listening to your feline purr is one of the greatest treasures of cat companionship. No matter what our moods, they are always there to heal. Remember that just as our kitty friends love to heal our hearts and souls free of asking for anything in return, so too is it our responsibility to care for them in the best way possible.
By ensuring that they have proper rest, a nurturing home in which to live and feeding them according to their individual needs, we are replenishing all of the energy they selflessly spend healing us!