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Why Do Cats Purr?

If you are already a cat owner, then you understand all too well the soothing sound of the cats purr. There is something so pure and warming about their purr that instantly relaxes you. If you’re a new cat owner, then you will soon realize how wonderfully magical this sound can be. It has the ability to strap you to the couch or bed for far longer than you intended, you may need to use the facilities or take care of a small chore…but a few more minutes of this, well, yes it is worth it. But why do they do this? What causes these soothing vibrations? We researched it and have the answers for you.

Why Do Cats Purr?

Almost everyone’s instinct is to think that a purring cat is a happy cat. But that is not always the case. It can be difficult to know exactly what your cat is saying when they purr, but we do a little about what situations often make them purr.

● They are happy

Even though it is not the only reason they purr, it is a big reason for that calming vibration. If you notice them with their eyes half-closed with a calm tail then you can pretty much assume they are feeling warm, safe and happy.

● They want food or treats

Cats can often purr when they are hungry. However, it is a different sounding purr than the one you hear when they are happy. You will notice a slightly different pitch and it will often be combined with a mew or cry. Some experts believe that house cats developed this attribute to mimic a baby’s cry because we are more likely to respond to it.

● They are in pain or are healing

Surprisingly, many cats purr when they get hurt or are in pain. Bioacoustic researcher, Elizabeth von Muggenthaler, says that the vibration frequencies are therapeutic for bone growth, pain relief and wound healing. There is also evidence that these vibrations can repair muscles and tendons, as well as reduce pain and swelling.

What’s more is that the healing vibrations of that purr can extend to their owners. Studies have shown that cats have a higher rate of lowering blood pressure and relieving stress than any other pet. A 10-year study from the University of Minnesota Stroke Center concluded that cat owners were 40% less likely to have heart attacks than non-cat owners (source). The peaceful purrs of our feline friends promote relaxation which in turn helps keep us healthy.

Just make sure to pay attention to your cat’s body language to determine why they are purring. They are more than likely content and happy, but sometimes they could be hurt or hungry. By taking notice of their ears, eyes and tail you can better discern what it is they are trying to tell you.

Does your cat have a funny purring habit? Let us know all about your favorite kitty in the comments below. And don’t forget to give us a call for any of your cat sitting needs!

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