As a cat owner, it probably makes you so happy to hear your cat’s purr. Cats frequently purr, and we often associate it with them being happy and content. Cats are unique creatures with their purr! That’s not something your dog can do.
Let’s dive into how cats purr and some specific reasons they may be purring.
When cats purr, signals are sent to the muscles of the voice box as well as the diaphragm. This causes the chest to expand when breathing.
These signals then stimulate the cat’s vocal cords to vibrate. As the cat inhales and exhales, the air moves across the twitching muscles and produces a purring sound. Cats can purr while breathing in and out, so their purr is continuous.
It’s commonly believed that cats purr when they’re happy and content because cats often purr when their owner is petting them. If you’re petting your cat, who is sitting and appears relaxed and starts to purr, it’s safe to assume that your cat is happy.
A cat’s purr is just a form of communication. While many cats purr when they’re happy, they may purr for reasons other than that.
A cat may purr when they’re hungry or want something else. A meow will usually accompany this purr, so it will sound different than your cat's standard purr when you pet them.
It’s believed that young kittens purr as part of the mother-kitten relationship to help the mother locate them and to let them know they’re okay. If you have a young kitten who is purring, this could be the reason.
Kittens don’t develop their hearing or eyesight until about two weeks old, but they can purr almost immediately after birth. Purring is a way for kittens to communicate and call their mother to them.
Have you ever heard a cat purr during a trip to your vet Savannah, GA? This usually isn’t the scenario or place your cat is happy, so why might they purr during a stressful time?
It’s believed that another reason cats purr is to calm themselves. Purging may help them reduce their anxiety and stress.
One of the most fascinating and complex reasons cats purr is to heal themselves.
In recent years, scientists have determined that cats, through intermittent signaling of the laryngeal and diaphragmatic muscles. The frequency at which they purr has been linked to other sound frequencies in that range that can improve bone density and promote healing.
Cats tend to conserve their energy, so it’s possible that purring is a low-energy mechanism that stimulates muscles and bones without a lot of energy. In other words, your cat purring could be their way of healing themselves faster. This could be one of the reasons that cats seem not to get as injured as dogs.
Since it’s believed that your cat purring could be their way of healing themselves, it’s always a good idea to get your cat checked out by your local veterinarian Savannah, GA, if you believe your cat may be in pain.
Unfortunately, cats are excellent at hiding their pain. They often become lethargic and will hide in spots like in their cat tree or under a bed. If you notice your cat is acting abnormally, it’s essential to schedule an appointment with your local vet Savannah, GA, as soon as possible.
While some small creatures like guinea pigs can imitate a purring sound, felines are the only ones that can create a true purr. Other animals in the felid family, like lynx and ocelots, can also purr.
Interestingly, the big cats that roar are not able to purr. To date, scientists haven’t been able to document any cats that can both roar and purr. Perhaps even more interesting, scientists can’t determine what separates cats that purr from cats that can’t. It’s believed it may have to do with the shape and size of the cat’s voice box or specific architecture in its throat.
Precisely how and why a cat purr is still a mystery to the scientific community, but with recent advances in research, we can narrow down some of the how and why your cat purrs.
You might be asking - why is purring so challenging to study? Well, it’s hard to get a cat to recreate its purring long enough for any noticeable studies while inside a research lab!
It’s common for cats to purr since that is one of the significant ways they communicate. While they often purr because they’re happy and content, they can also purr for other reasons, including as a way to heal themselves.
If you notice anything unusual about your cat’s purring, whether it’s more or less than usual, consider reaching out to your local veterinarian Savannah, GA.