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Purrfect Purr, Why do Cats Purr

Those who ever experienced cat purring can without the doubts confirm that this is one of the most pleasant feeling they encountered. Cats purring from many different reasons and that magical vibration of their vocals strings makes them so special among animals. Lets try to answer Why, How and What does it mean?

What is purring?

It is simply an vibration that cats can produce inside of their voice boxes and starts with a signal from the nervous system. This signal then goes to muscles in the voice box causing them to tighten and release rapidly as the cat inhales and exhales, thus creating the vibration we can feel and hear.

Reasons for purring

Primarily it is very important tool of communication between mother and her kittens. Right after born kittens do not hear for 2-3 weeks and not see for minimum 2 weeks so purring is their mother’s way of letting them know where she is and where they should go for milk.

Kittens can feel the vibrations of their mum's purring and responding in same way to let her know they are fine. This is one of the main elements that could explain the role and purpose of purring.

Kittens from early age associate purring with something pleasant and rewording like, drinking milk, warmth, grooming by mum and cuddles by humans. Positive reinforcement and all good coming from it is so strong that this stays with kittens through out their whole life.

Based on the positive association, cats will purr as adults during various moments that they find pleasurable.

Another purpose of purring is establishing a line of communication, kittens using purring when they want to grab attention of their mum, it can be when they are hungry or not feeling well. So, purring may be a sign that they need attention, that they are in trouble.


Does a cat’s purr promote healing?

Yes it is proven! It is all about the frequency of vibrations. We are the biochemical machines which can be controlled, healed, destroyed by the right frequencies. Purring has been measured to be between 25 and 140 Hz, which happen to be frequency that promotes healing in broken bones, cell and dermal regeneration, and joint and tendon repair. Coincidence? No!

You probably heard many times about health benefits of purring and its all true. The vibration is beneficial for the cat, which is why cats are renowned for their ability to heal quickly after orthopedic problems. If you happen to be around, the effect of the frequency is also transferred onto you and your body. Effect of purring can help your wounds, broken bones and joins problems heals faster.

Why do cats purr when they are sick?

As we established above, force of purring and its ability to heal are reasons why your cat will be purring also in times when he/she feels under the weather. So, when they are sick, they purr to make themselves feel better. It is instinctual for them, if you notice your cat purring for an extensive amount of time (whit what it can seams to you without any reasons) then you may want to take it to the doctor for a checkup because it might its way of letting you know that something hurts.

So what cats purr can do for you?

A part of proven effect of purring vibration on healing wounds, broken bones and joints aches, vibration spectrum of purring also has a calming effect on humans. Therefore it has been proven that cat owners are significantly less likely to develop stress-related health problems (cardiologic issues or anxiety) because they get a chance to unwind with their cats. When a cat purrs while you are petting it, it is very easy to build a connection with the animal. You don’t have to be a cat owner to build such a connection.

This is why cats have been used in some hospitals or other health facilities to lift the patients’ morale. Cats are excellent pets because the connection they have with their owners is a very strong one. In fact, getting pet cats has proven to be extremely helpful for people suffering from depression.

Why cats purr and knead?

Both purring and kneading are things that cats learn from their mothers after they are born. Both of these behavioral patterns are deeply connected to a kitten’s feeding process.

The kittens communicate with their mother through purring, which also calms them down while feeding. As for the kneading, the kittens do this instinctively. They knead the area around their mother’s tit while feeding to stimulate milk production in the mammary gland.

Moreover, the effects of the vibration in the purring also contribute to this, thus linking these two behavioral patterns.

What does it mean when a cat is purring?

While purring can mean a number of things in cats, in most cases it means that the cat is having a positive experience. However, it can also mean that it is not feeling well, that it is in a convalescence period, or that it is angry.

If you want to understand what your cat is trying to tell you though its purring, you have to pay attention to the entire context. See what’s happening while it is purring and after that. This way, you will learn to interpret its various purring patterns.

Does a cat purring mean its happy?

In the vast majority of cases, yes, it does. Cats purr when they feel safe, loved, excited, grateful, or happy.

You may hear your cat purring when you come home from work, when you are about to go to sleep, when you are petting it, when you are about to feed it, or during other moments that it enjoys.

Why do cats purr when you stroke them?

Your cat purrs when you stroke it because it is enjoying itself and it wants you to know it. This is a moment of closeness between you and your cat, which makes it feel safe and loved, as it did when its mother was nursing it as a kitten.

So, it will respond with purring to this. Moreover, cats purr louder when their masters pet them compared to when other people do it. This happens because the connection they have with their masters is far more intense.

Why do cats purr and then bite you?

This usually happens while you are petting the cat. Even though it seems to be enjoying the moment, it suddenly starts biting at your hand. The biting is a sign that the cat is no longer enjoying the petting.

In fact, cats can get hyper excited as you are purring them and this is an unpleasant feeling, which is why they will bite you to let you know that you have to stop. To prevent this from happening, you should learn your cat’s petting habits.

See how much petting it enjoys and learn to stop before the pleasure turns into pain for it. You can also try stopping periodically. If your cat wants you to keep petting it, rest assured that it will let you know.

Why do cats purr when they sleep?

Cats can purr when they sleep because they are having a pleasant dream or simply because they are in a very comfortable position.

If you notice your cat purring on its own while sleeping, it is most likely because it is having a very nice dream. Just like people sometimes talk in their sleep or smile or laugh while they are dreaming, cats purr.

Why do cats purr at night?

Cats often purr at night because they are happy to finally be close to their masters. If you usually sleep with your cat, it certainly enjoys the closeness you have just as much as you are.

So it purrs to get even closer to you, to let you know that it really likes it. Sometimes, cats jump into bed even before you do and start purring and kneading on the blanket.

This is a sign that it is very excited to be sleeping next to you. As for the rest of purring, it is a sign that being close to you feels great. In fact, the sound of the cat’s purring might help you sleep better as well, so it is a mutually beneficial pattern.

As you can see, there are many things that your cat is trying to tell you when it is purring. While in most cases, it is that it is happy and enjoying itself, there are some instances when the purring actually means that it is hurting or that it is in trouble.

We hope that the answers to these questions will help you get a better understanding of what your cat is trying to tell you when it is purring.

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