Have you ever wondered why cats purr? It seems to be a mystery as to why that little rumbling engine coming from your cat occurs at various times. Most people associate the cat purr with contentment or happiness of your kitty.
I love to stoke and rub my cats for the pure pleasure of listening and feeling them purr. They purr when we pet them, look at them, talk to them, feed them, or when they jump into my lab and curl up to sleep. Sometimes when they sleep next to my head, I call them my “purr pillow”. I often put my hand under their throat to feel the soft vibrations. All cat owners love the cat purr.
It is a common belief that cats purr only when they are content. However, cats also purr when they are severely injured, frightened or giving birth. So if cats purred only out of happiness than they would not purr when injured, especially since generating the purr requires energy, and an injured animal will generally not expend precious energy needed for healing on an activity not directly connected with their survival.
Research has indicated that cat purring is much more than a vocalization of self-contentment. Purring is linked to vibrational stimulation that relieves suffering from acute and chronic pain and also helps stimulate the regeneration of new tissue growth, tissue strength, improves greater circulation of oxygen in the blood, reduces swelling, and inhibits bacterial growth.
Veterinarians have observed that cat bones mend much easier compared to dogs. Cats are also less proned to postoperative complications following surgeries. Cats do not have near the frequency of orthopedic disease or ligament and muscles traumas as dogs have. So, according to research self-healing is the survival mechanism behind the cat purr. There is vast documentation that suggests that low frequency vibrations, at low intensity are therapeutic. These frequencies can aid in bone growth, fracture healing, pain relief, tendon and muscle strength and repair, joint mobility, the reduction of swelling, and the relief of dyspnea, or breathlessness.
This cat purring vibrational frequency is also beneficial to humans. It reduces stress and anxiety and promotes a feeling of wellbeing. This is what makes kitties so special! It also gives you an even better reason to stroke and rub your cat. Put that little rumbling engine in full gear by loving your kitty with strokes of love… and now you know why cats purr!