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Why do cats purr

It can be a confusing moment when your feline friend jumps into your lap and begins to purr: he's happy and you feel relaxed too. Sometimes, as owners of cats, we do not like anything more than cuddle on the sofa with our furry friend and share a quality moment with them: happiness! It becomes even more pleasant when they come at times of need, when you feel low or slightly sick. It is almost as if they read your thoughts and offered their love and affection. The purring sound may vary among cats; sometimes we can barely hear it, but still feel the vibration, while in other cats the sound is very clear ... one of my cats sounds like a rusty gate when she gets going. The big question is however: why do cats purr?


These are the basic theories that all cat owners know about. They basically deal with the areas of satisfaction of finding a warm and cozy place to rest, a good diet and love gifts offered.


We all know the scene. A саt сurlеd up on a lap, enjoying a fuss and purring away without a care in the world. Contentedness is the most likely reason given by the populous general when asked 'Why does a cat purr?', But most cat owners realize there is more to it.
There are other оссаѕiоnѕ whеn you саn hear a cat letting out a loud purr, so although contentedness may be one of the reasons to purr, there must be others too. This theory also does not completely answer the question of 'why?’ – Why would a contented cat have any reason to show contentedness?
This brings us to the third theory; perhaps the reason they show their contentedness in this way is their affection for those around them?


Cats will often approach their favorite people by purring loudly and proceeding to nibble, drool and roll over them, in a great show of affection. Undoubtedly in this case, the purr is part of the affectionate behavior.
Although proof still remains elusive, it is quite logical to conclude that the purring here is an audible means of communicating that affection, as if saying "I love you".


By blowing the theory of satisfaction out of water, you can often hear cats purring after a serious trauma, accident or injury. In fact, it seems that the more imminent death is louder they will purr. This is certainly not a sign of contentedness or affection, and a much more reasonable explanation would be to demonstrate passiveness.

Healing / therapy

This is seen as the most scientific explanation. The frequency of a cat purr is between 25Hz - 150Hz. So what? I hear you say. Well, it has been scientifically proven that these low levels actually perform curative and healing properties that affect the cat's physiology. It can act as a sedative as long as the pain is not too intense. Bone density can be improved. Sometimes they purr while dying. Sometimes it can be just a form of relaxation therapy that they perform on themselves.
In addition to this, it is a fact that cat owners have lower blood pressure. What a perfect therapy for us, humans, to relax and unwind at the end of the day!


Vibration of a mother саt’ѕ purr reassures her kittens and helps them to find her while they still unable to see. This also works for the cat if she is anxious or sick. Purring is associated with nicer experiences for the cat, so it helps them calm down.
We are also recipients of such reassurance. Have you noticed if it bothers you how your cat will come to you and purr? Basically he/she is saying "I'm here for you"!

Fear / anxiety / passivity

All animals display "I am no threat to you" vibe or posture. Cats are not different. Visits to the vet can make your cat nervous. When purring, your cat tries to avoid being hurt. Sometimes, when they have been hurt by a predator, they can also purr to let them know that they no longer want to be hurt.
So, did you know that all these forms of communication arose from the simple purr of your cat? Hopefully, now that you know there are many reasons, you will be more attuned to your cat's purr, improving not only his\her life, but yours as well.
And, like a passing thought, go cuddle up with a cat and see if you can benefit from its healing properties to alter your mood or relax your muscles.


Many vеtеrinаriаnѕ believe thаt purring is definitely a communication tool for cats and is linked to their emotions to indicate different moods, desires and needs. Socially, a cat can purr to signal other animals that are not a threat. Some believe that the purring of a cat is a sign of friendship or a sign of anxiety. In addition, purring may be associated with hunger, if a cat begins to purr, perhaps the owner will come to investigate the reason for the purr which usually leads to the owner feeding the cat.

How do felines demonstrate this remarkable behavior?
The answer to this question has been much debated with several theories that have emerged over the years. Today, the most common theory about what causes cats to purr is that it comes from the air that passes through their voice box.

When your feline friend begins to purr the diaphragm in her voice box begins to open and close quite quickly. With the diaphragm contracting at this rapid pace, any air that passes through it will begin to vibrate. The vibrations in the air that pass through the voice box are what cause the purring sound. In fact, the diaphragm twitches so fast that felines have the ability to purr 20 to 50 times per second. This purring frequency is the same as that of a diesel engine idling in a vehicle, which explains why people say that kittens have little motors inside them.
Have you also noticed that your feline friend continues to breathe all the time he is purring? Your kitty does not stop to catch his breathe between the purrs because the air passes directly through his voice box during inhalation and exhalation. This is the air that helps your kitty to purr.
Another interesting fact about thiѕ cat bеhаviоr iѕ thаt some cats purr differently to influence their human companions to do tasks for them, such as waking up and feeding them. The purr that a feline will use to wake up a human has a frequency similar to that of a crying baby. That sound will definitely get a person out of bed in the morning.

Remember this information the next time you are lucky enough to hear this phenomenal behavior cat. You may even be able to tell if your feline friend is being nice or if you he is looking for someone to feed him.

Are cats the only animals that purr?

Cheetahs and ocelots are two other feline species that produce a purring sound. But personally I have seen one other another animal attempt to purr. This was a small dog that, only been petted, emitted a rhythmic low-pitched growl. It turned out that this dog had been orphaned as a puppy, but nursed by a a cat that had recently had kittens. This dog imitated the purring sound as best it could and even used at appropriate times.

The healing properties of a purr

Mу favorite thеоrу, possibly because I am idealistic or possibly because it is the most scientifically explainable, is that purring has healing qualities and cats have every opportunity to get a bit of healing.

Unlike other theories, this also does not preclude any of the other situations in which you can find a strong purr.
Cats purr at a frequency between 25Hz and 150Hz. It has been shown that low frequencies like these have strange effects on the physiology of most animals.

The effects vary from altered mood to involuntary muscle relaxation and increased recovery speed after injury. One of the most convincing effects is that some low frequencies can, over time, increase the strength of the bones

It is well noticed that cats are tenacious, and tough little critters that survived diseases and injuries that would have killed a human many times. They can fall from great hеightѕ оr соnѕumе dеаdlу poisons and recover without showing any lasting effect.

One of our cats even seems to enjoy the strange food of dangerous substances, to the point that now we look away from everything we know is toxic.

In conclusion

In conclusion, there are still no firm conclusions! All the previous theories, and some others, certainly have some merit. My own feeling is that purring has more than one purpose; these may include all the theories mentioned here and more.

Anyway, рurring iѕ certainly an endearing quality and just one more reason to love your cat.

NOTE: *** By no way is this content intended as a Substitute or Diagnosis for taking your Cat to Veterinarian. It is for FYI of what to look for by informing you of some Signs and Symptoms to help keep your cat safe.***


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