If the cat starts to purr, the favorite noise of all cat owners is produced. But why do cats hum like little engines? We’ll tell you!
Why do cats purr?
Hardly anything spreads such a cozy and peaceful atmosphere as a purring cat on your lap. This soft but distinct roll is generally taken as a sign that the velvet paw is happy and relaxed.
However, that’s not entirely true, because cats also purr in more unpleasant situations. There is even a good reason for this, as science has now discovered.
Purring as a means of expression
Kittens begin to purr shortly after birth when they snuggle up to their mother for the first time to drink milk. In this way, they show that they feel comfortable and satisfied.
At the same time, the mother cat purrs, signaling to her children that everything is fine and there is no danger. For cats, therefore, these steady sounds are actually associated with situations in which they feel safe and secure right from the start. They even promote bonding, because in larger groups all the cats will gradually start to purr, which creates a peaceful atmosphere.
That’s why even an adult cat starts to hum like a small motor when it’s petted by its owner. Another easy way to tell that purring is an expression of contentment is that cats often do so with their eyes closed and their muscles relaxed. So if the cat purrs, there is a good chance that it is completely happy.
The situation is completely different when cats are ill, stressed, or even injured. In these cases, too, the velvet paws can definitely make loud and persistent purring noises, although their posture signals that they are anything but happy. If the cat purrs, this often means, but unfortunately not always, that the animal feels completely at ease. A cat’s purr can also be a sign of suffering.
It used to be thought that cats used it to soothe themselves. While that may well be a factor, scientists have now discovered a surprising effect of the purr.
The gentle vibrations of the house tiger demonstrably ensure that the tissue growth in the cats is stimulated. In a healthy state, the muscles are trained as a result. Injuries to bones, tendons, and muscles also heal visibly faster if they are exposed to the typical frequency of a cat’s purr.
And this effect is not only evident in the house tigers themselves, but also in sick cat owners. Therefore, it is fair to say that purring is beneficial for the body and soul. And for humans and animals.
How does the purr come about?
Unfortunately, the biological mechanism responsible for the gentle rolling out of the cat’s throat has not yet been sufficiently clarified. The only thing that is certain is that when the cat breathes, the vocal cords and diaphragm vibrate, resulting in rhythmic noises.
However, it is still unexplored which parts of the cat’s chest and respiratory system are involved in purring and how the cat controls the airflow. Here we have collected four theories as to how cats really purr.
Not only the noise as such is a special feature in the animal kingdom. It is particularly surprising because cats can also emit it when they are eating or drinking.
Only the wild cousins of the house tiger also have this ability. However, unlike domestic cats, big cats such as lions and tigers can only make purr-like sounds when exhaling.
Take good care of your darling!