Surely more than once you have heard your cat purr. If you are curious about this sound that kittens make, read on. We explain Why do cats purr and what are its benefits.
Cats have their own language and they communicate with us through their behavior, meowing and purring, an expression that can have many meanings.
Why do cats purr?
There are several scientific theories that explain why cats produce this sound, however, there is still no definitive study, perhaps due to the fact that the situations in which cats emit sound are very varied.
For example, cats purr when they feel good. If your kitty is comfortable, happy and calm, you will surely hear him purr for several seconds or minutes. But the purr is not always positive. This sound can also denote hunger, nerves, or pain.
Scientists say that when cats purr, sensitive endorphins are released to help them calm down. This may explain the fact that cats produce these vibrations when they are injured, feel threatened, or even before they die.
Have you heard your kitten purr while waiting at the vet’s office? This is another stressful situation and purring will surely help calm your nerves and calm you down.
Purring, a natural cure
Some studies They claim that the purr could have a healing effect, promote healing and increase the bone density of our kittens, depending on the frequency of these vibrations.
Another analysis published by the magazine Current Biologystates that if your cat purrs lower it is because she wants to relax or calm her nerves, while if she purrs higher it is because she wants to attract attention and get something in return, such as food or pampering.
How do cats purr?
Cats are capable of constant purring while breathing. Also, if you have multiple cats, you may notice that the purr can vary in tone or style.
There are various theories that explain how this sound is produced, the most widespread being the one that involves the larynx and diaphragm.
According to this hypothesis, the purr originates in this organ, specifically in the ventricular folds (also known as false vocal cords), and occurs after a deviation of the air passage and the intervention of the diaphragm.
Still, how cats purr remains a great mystery. Of course, what is really proven is that, at the time of purring, the heart and respiratory rate of cats increases and remains elevated for as long as they are emitting vibrations.
When do cats start to purr?
Only from two days of age, kittens are able to purr to communicate with their mother. Some even do it before opening their eyes.
Why do cats purr from so young? The mother’s purr is said to allow kittens to guide themselves when they still have limited senses of hearing, sight, and smell; while the sounds of the kittens help them communicate with their mother and express their needs.
Thanks to the purr, a bond is created between the cat and her offspring that helps them calm down and feel protected.
In conclusion, purr in cats occurs when they feel happy, but also when they are hungry or nervous, as it helps them release endorphins and feel calmer. And as a last curious fact, did you know that cats are not the only animals that purr? Cougar, cheetah, and serval also make this peculiar sound.