Our feline pals are unique in many ways, but one of their cutest, and most enigmatic traits is the purr. It is pretty adorable that Fluffy vibrates with happiness! As it turns out, that soothing rumble is actually pretty special. A local Crown Point, IN vet offers some insight on this below.
Evolution Of The Purr
Did you know that cats may have started purring so that mamas and babies could communicate? Kittens can’t meow while they are nursing, so the purr is a good way for them to signal that all is well. It therefore makes sense that many cats purr when they settle into their humans’ laps. Cats do see their humans as secondary ‘parents.’ (Fluffy also thinks of us as her chef, butler, and maid, but that’s another topic.)
Here’s another fun fact about cat purrs: kitties purr both as they inhale and as they exhale. The purr is created by Fluffy’s laryngeal and diaphragmatic muscles.
Other Purrfect Partners
While most people associate purring with cats, Fluffy isn’t the only animal that likes to run her motor. Many other animals, including hyenas, foxes, lemurs, raccoons, and Guinea pigs, also make purring sounds.
Most of the time, kitties purr when they are content. Fluffy may start her engine when you rub her forehead, or when she cuddles up with you at night. Some of our feline friends start their engines as soon as you pet them or pick them up. However, cats also sometimes purr when they are scared or stressed, possibly as a way to soothe themselves.
Did you know that purrs may have some healing properties? Fluffy purrs at frequencies between between 25 and 140 Hz. Those same frequencies have been shown to promote healing: specifically, they can help heal broken bones, and also help tendons and soft tissues heal. In fact, these same frequencies are actually used by health therapists in physical therapies.
As you may have noticed, snuggling up with a purring cat can be quite relaxing. Actually, Fluffy is a pretty good sleep aid! As it turns out, people with kitties usually have lower blood pressure, lower risks of heart attacks, and less depression than those without pets. Cats just may be the purrfect pets!
Do you have questions about your cat’s health or care? Contact us, your Crown Point, IN animal clinic, today!