Why Do Cats Purr?

Why Do Cats Purr in Amesbury, MA

Purring is the most common sound cat make and what owners are used too. Yet we know less about the unique sound than meowing, hissing, hissing and growling. Many cat owners are taught that cat purrs are to show that the cat is happy, although they are more meanings to it.

While purring is partly instinctive and voluntary for cats, cats can use the purr sound for various reasons, such as using the soft rumble to communicate as a form of healing or self-soothing. This is when cats will purr whenever they are in pain, injured, or are in a stressful situation.

Here is what you need to know about cat purring. This article would inform you how they purr, how you can tell what your cat’s purring means, why they do it, and facts about cat’s purr.

Happy Bengal Cat Loves Being Stroked By Woman's Hand

When Do Cats Start Purring?

Cats begin to purr after a few days of being born. Kittens are born blind until two weeks. When they are blind, they use purring to communicate with their mother to alert them on where they are, and to draw their attention when they are getting hungry or when it’s feeding time. Cats carry this behavior till adulthood and will be familiar to cat parents whenever it’s time for dinner. These are just a few of the ways purrs are used by cats.

How Do Cats Purr?

When cat’s purr, nerve signals are sent to the muscle to the voice box and diaphragm of the cat, which helps expand the chest once breathing. These nerve signals stimulate the vocal cords of cats, so when cats take in air and bring it out, the air in the diaphragm moves across these muscles, resulting in the purring sound of both domestic and wild cats.

Purring has developed throughout the years to help keep cats’ bones and muscle intact at all times. This is extremely useful during long periods of inactivity, like the hunting style. Which is when they have to wait awhile before they pounce on prey and ambush it. The cat purr is almost a continuous sound. Cat’s purr when they both inhale and exhale.

Scientist used to believe that cat purring would usually come from the vibration of their hearts, and if you felt your cat purring, you would know why they used that theory. Air vibrates whenever the cat inhales and exhales at proximately 25 to 150 vibrates per seconds.


Why Do Cats Purr?

Cats purr for different situations which cause multiple theories on the sound they make. Here are different reasons cats purr.


Your Cat Is Happy

Cat’s owners are used to the cat purr whenever their cat is content and happy. It’s like how a dog wiggles its tail and jumps, all excited.

Your cat is sitting on your lap and getting pets and scratches. They are probably purring to inform you  they love what they are receiving, a nonverbal way to communicate with their owners without using words but sounds. If your cat is receiving love and it purrs, you don’t need to worry just keep showing it love.

Humans laugh and dogs wag their tails when happy, cats produce a low rasping vibration sound that is often heard when they’re being pet or scratched. Cats can purr to other cats or even other pets like dogs.

Your Cat What’s Food or What’s Something

Sometimes cat purr whenever they are hungry or want something. Researches have differentiated the purrs when a cat is content or when a cat is hungry. The purr sounds like their pleasant purr and a whining purr, like a child whining or crying. Cat owners are more likely to respond to the sound.

For Healing Mechanism

Although purring takes so much energy, cats use this sound as a form of self-medication and relief from pain whenever they are hurt. It’s simply a way for cats to soothe themselves, similar to a child that sucks their thumb to feel better or a man humming or talking to himself.

According to study researchers, purring is done at a low frequency that helps to stimulate the injured area to make it feel better, most of the tendons and bones. The frequencies of the purrs cause vibrations within their body, which can:

  • Reduce pain and swelling
  • Easy breathing
  • Repair tissues, tendons and build muscles.
  • Heal bones and wounds.

This might explain how cats are able to survive falls and the theory of cats have nine lives. They tend to have lesser problems after a surgery than other pets.


Your Cat Is Calming Itself Down

Whenever your cat is taken to the veterinary hospital, do you hear your cat purr? Well, it’s not because it’s happy, but it’s trying to calm itself.

Cats are thought to use purring as a form of self-calming and stress free. Sort of human child having its teddy bear to calm their self.


Kitten to Mother Connection

Once kittens are born, they don’t see until two weeks, so instead they use purring to communicate with their mother for comfort and help. They begin to purr only a few days old. It’s simply a way to tell their mothers they are doing okay.

Purring is also a big factor for a kitten to Mother bond. The vibration of the purr helps the kitten be led to their mother, since kittens are both blind and deaf after being born. The sound helps their mothers find them and to keep them safe. They depend on their mother until adulthood.

Kitten Running Through The Grass Stock Photo


How Can You Tell Why Your Cat Is Purring?

Cat’s purr for several reasons, and it might be difficult to identify what each purr means. Study the scenarios your cat is and look at their behavior. Cats also express themselves using body language.

A cat that is being examined on a table in the veterinary hospital is more likely to be frightened than happy. If you happen to hear your cat purring at home, and it’s not its usual self or isn’t approaching you, it means your cat is in pain or has injured themselves. Check any place you notice their liking or paying attention to.

It’s not all the time your cat would purr, so if your cat is quiet and cozy next to you, don’t worry about them purring, they already showing that they are happy and content.


Can Cat Purr Help Cat Parents?

Purring has evolved to keep cat’s bones and muscles in good condition. Scientific research has claimed that this is a medical therapeutic. Although there is no valid reason for this effect. The cat purring can also be a healing power to cat owners. Purring has proven to lower blood pressure and reduce the level of stress hormones of their owner.

Although purring is a sign of a cat being content, it might also mean the cat is trying to express nervousness, stress, and fear. Luckily purr is mostly used to show their happy.

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Merrimac Valley Animal Hospital had humble beginnings in 1968. Dr. Walter Brown opened the animal hospital in a garage next to his home near the current hospital and operated out of this small space until the current building was built in 1969.