The Mysteries Of The Cat Purr

The Mysteries Of The Cat Purr

The Mysteries Of The Cat Purr

The Mysteries Of The Cat Purr

A purr is a sound made by all felines and is thought to be a part of cat communication. Nobody knows for certain why cats purr! It varies between cats (for example by loudness and tone), and from species to species, but can be characterized as a tonal buzzing.

Mother cats purr while giving birth, one of the first stimuli kittens are exposed to when they are born is the vibrations from their mother’s purring. Kittens are born deaf and blind, and they need help to find their first meal. It is believed that the vibrations from their mother’s purrs helps guide them to the mom’s teats. Purring might also help keep a kitten safe. Predators cannot detect the vibrations as readily as vocalizations.

It is thought that cats will sometimes purr when they are stressed and when they are recovering from injuries or are in pain. The frequency of a cat’s purr is between 25 to 150 Hz. These frequencies are known to improve bone density and help healing. Other theories are that purring releases endorphins helping to calm cats when they are stressed.

Cats also purr when they are feeling content and secure. Often purring is accompanied by kneading. The purring and kneading are reminiscent of kittenhood when the kittens were warm, happy and protected by their mothers.

Purring is an auditory stimulus that most people attribute to peacefulness and calmness. Whether right or wrong, we generally construe it as something positive. That gives us positive reinforcement for what we’re doing and can contribute to the whole relaxation effect when we interact with our cats.

Please feel free to contact us here at Falls Road Veterinary Hospital with any questions or concerns. (301) 983-8400.


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