Why do cats purr? – A melody of gratitude
Who could resist the cat purr? When a fluffy lump rubs your leg and gently vibrates. They’re like hypnotists the effects of their sound waves are absolutely safe and can relax any person in depression. Any cat owner can say that there’s nothing better than to cuddle up to a pet when it purrs.
Kittens start making vibrating sounds a few days after birth – this helps the mother to facilitate the search for breastfeeding. The purring also remains in adults when they purr while or before eating to hint an owner that it’s time to have lunch.
Cats may also purr after a stressful situation, such as running away from a dog.
One hypothesis is that the “cat mantra” has healing properties. For example, cats can recover from stressful moments with their vocal solos. A little physics: the fluctuations in cat sounds in the range of 20 and 150 Hz have a positive effect on bone growth. Soft tissue is also regenerated by vibrating ligaments.
Everyone has heard the story about the cat lying on the sore point of its owner’s (neck, chest, limbs). And after such therapy, these places stopped hurting immediately.
The study was conducted with volunteers in order to test this theory. But for safety’s sake the cats were not put on the people’s hands, but simply turned on audio recording with purr and showed the image of fluffy therapists.
However, purring can be beneficial not only to the cats. Stroking a cat has been considered such a form of stress reduction – cat owners can reduce the risk of having a stroke or heart disease by a third. The same frequencies at which cats purr can also be beneficial to us.
Also, other members of the cat family can purr not only domestic cats: lions, leopards, jaguars, tigers, snow leopards, smoky leopards, cheetahs, and cougars.
Many words have been said about how they could make this sound and there is no definite answer yet.
Some people say this is due to the blood movement along the inferior vena cava, sending venous blood (unsaturated by oxygen) to the corresponding part of the heart.
However, some researchers (that study cats) believe that such a melody is emerging in the muscles of the cat’s throat. As these muscle fibers contract the air starts to vibrate – with each breath and exhalation. That’s what’s called “purr”.
An interesting fact is that our pets can emit their waves of love and warmth when we stroke or scratch a certain place on their body. There are even areas of skin where cats don’t allow us to pet them and react aggressively.
Our friends purr even in our absence, the duration and depth of the sound are always different (some cats purr so quietly that they can barely be heard).
All pets are different, the same as humans are: some cats don’t purr at all and some do it all the time.
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