We love answering different questions. All people that have been in contact with a cat, probably know about the cats purring ability, especially when you cuddle a cat. But, how do cats purr? Let’s explore the possibilities.
Most cats purr. Whenever my cats sit on top of my lap and receive those well-earned cuddles, they start purring. It sends out some funny mesmerising waves of sound that makes me feel content. Are they hypnotising me or making me sleepy?
Never heard of anything like it? Than check out the video below:
It might come as a surprise to you, but cats do purr in a great number of cases.
- When they are happy / content
- To heal and strengthen bones
- To communicate
- To self-soothe
- To soothe others
- To ask for food
- Showing Affection
When They Are Happy / Content
The most known form of purring. When you cuddle your cat, they start to purr. They also are happy/content when they are sunbathing or on a very soft blanket (kneading dough).
To Heal And Strengthen Bones
The frequency where they purr is between 25Hz to 150Hz. There is a theory that says that purring at this frequency helps heal general physical health and bones of your cat.
In a kitten nest, the mother purrs continuously. The kittens are unable to see right after birth as they have their eyes closed. They use their mothers purring to locate her and find there way to the milk and the warmth of their mom.
When kittens are two days old, they will also start purring. It is then when they make the famous kneading movement to get to the milk of their mother, while purring happily.
To Self Soothe
Cats use their purring ability to calm their nerves or to get their pain levels down. A cat that is afraid of any sort of threat, will start purring to self-soothe. High pain levels are also soothed and calmed down by purring. When a cat is near-death it will also purr.
To Soothe Others
When there is another cat that doesn’t make a chance, the dominant cat can start purring, to soothe the enemy away. It is like telling the other “You won’t win. Resistance is futile. Just calm down with your aggression. Please move on.”.
In the same way, the submissive cat could also tell the other that they do not pose a threat to the dominant cat, trying to avoid conflict.
I feel they also try to sooth us with their mesmerizing purring. It could even be that they try to heal us with their purrs, perhaps they even manage with that.
To Ask For Food
Cats can also purr in a different frequency than the usual purr, while asking for food. This is something that has been developed in domestic cats and defines the relationship between caretaker and cat.
How Do Cats Purr?
It is still a little bit of a mystery as to how cats purr. There are however theories about it and so we can share you those at least. The theory goes that the vocal folds or larynx muscles are used to vibrate the glottis. The glottis is the opening between the vocal folds.
This is comparable to how we pronounce certain words, as we use the same glottal system, vibrating the vocal folds. The purrs seem to be following and making use of the breathe going in and out of the cats body.
Not all cats can purr. The Lyon for example, roars. Domestic cats cannot roar, because they do not have the same system.
I feel always calm when our cats purr. Its a very soothing, calming feeling. They usually keep on doing this for hours, or so it appears. Its something that makes me usually sleepy, when they purr on my lap, while I am reading a book or watching TV.
You can use the purring of cats also as a mindful experience. Just follow their purr by every breath they take and blow out. Watch your cat and get relaxed. Oh and don’t forget to ‘feed’ the purr by cuddling a little extra every now and then!
How is your experience with purring cats? Please share in the comments below.