The meaning behind a purr-fect purr

Cats Posted Jun 24, 2021
Spend enough time with a cat and you are sure to experience its rumbling purr. But does a cat’s purr really only mean it is happy? Or is the meaning much deeper?

Scientists have found that cats purr through intermittent signalling of the laryngeal and diaphragmatic muscles. This means that cats are able to purr both during inhalation and exhalation, creating the impression of continuous purring.

Cats usually purr due to excitement and happiness, however they can often purr when they are faced with a situation that is stressful to them, such as being chased. Did you know that the purr can be used as a defence mechanism and helps them to keep calm in stressful situations?

Some cat breeds are more vocal than others. Siamese cats are known as the most vocal and can produce a wide array of sounds, including a meow that sounds similar to a human baby.

Kittens begin to purr when they are only a few days old. This helps their mothers locate them when it is food time. This act of purring may persist with some adult cats, who purr to convince their humans that it is dinner time. Is your cat a big on purring? 

Scientists have found that owning a cat has its own purr-fect health benefits. Owning a cat can reduce the risk of developing a stroke by one third and lowers the risk of a heart attack by 40%.

The same frequencies that cats use to heal themselves also reduce stress levels, decreases the risk of depression, and lowers blood pressure in humans too! Your purr-fect reason to adopt an RSPCA cat right there!

But your domestic cat is a little different to wild ones! There isn’t much understanding of how cats purr in the wild, if they do at all. A 2002 study found that 20 out of 36 cat species were found to produce a purr, including cheetahs.

When a cat begins to purr it could also be healing injuries, improving bone density, easing breathing, building muscle and administering a form of pain relief. This is called vibration therapy which is commonly used by NASA astronauts who can develop bone density issues due to the lack of gravity. No, astronauts aren’t all sitting in a line with cats on their laps… but it couldn’t hurt, and would look pretty cool!

Owning a cat has many purr-fect benefits, so if you are looking for a new furry friend that can reduce your stress levels, now is the best time to adopt a cat!

Sophie Oxford
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