Why Do Cats Purr: The Science Behind This Mysterious Feline Behavior
Everyone knows that cats purr when they're happy. But did you ever stop to wonder why they purr? Is it just a noise they make to express their pleasure, or is there something more to it? Turns out, there is indeed more to it. In this blog post, we'll take a look at the science behind why cats purr and what exactly is happening when they make that cute little sound.
When a cat purrs, it is actually vibrating its vocal cords at a frequency of around 25-150 Hertz. These low-frequency vibrations help to speed up bone and wound healing, relieve pain, and reduce stress and anxiety levels. Additionally, researchers believe that purring may also help to boost the immune system and increase lifespan. So if you ever wondered whether or not your cat liked you, now you have your answer!
There are two types of purring: social and solitary. Social purring usually occurs when a cat is around its owner or another cat that it likes. This type of purring is thought to be a way for cats to communicate their pleasure and contentment. Solitary purring typically happens when a cat is grooming itself or when it's injured or ill. In these cases, it's believed that the vibrations produced by purring can help to heal the body and reduce stress levels.
Interestingly, not all cats purr in the same way. Some cats produce a long, continuous purr, while others will purr in short bursts with periods of silence in between. Scientists aren't sure why this is, but it's possible that it has something to do with the individual cat's personality or the situation in which it finds itself.
Benefits for cats aside, there's also evidence to suggest that purring can be good for humans, too. Here's why:
Purring has been shown to lower blood pressure, reduce stress levels, and promote healing. Additionally, the vibrations produced by purring can help to reduce symptoms of arthritis and other chronic pain conditions.
Reduce Stress Levels
We all know that feeling of stress that comes along with meeting deadlines at work, dealing with family drama, or even just having a bad day. When you get home from a long day, and your cat is there to greet you with a purr, suddenly, everything feels a little better. In fact, studies have shown that petting a purring cat can actually help to lower your stress levels and improve your overall mood. So if you're looking for a natural way to reduce stress, get yourself a feline friend!
Improve Heart Health
Did you know that cats can also help to improve your heart health? It's true—studies have shown that people who own cats are less likely to die from cardiovascular disease than those who don't. One theory is that this is because cats help to reduce stress levels (as we just talked about), and high levels of stress have been linked to heart problems. So if you're looking for a way to keep your heart healthy, adding a cat to your life could be the answer!
Ease Pain and Discomfort
If you suffer from any chronic pain or discomfort, spending time with a purring cat can also help. The frequency of a cat's purr—between 25 and 150 Hertz—isn't just soothing; it can also help to ease pain and promote healing. There have even been cases where people have used purring therapy to speed up the healing process after surgery! So if you're in need of some pain relief, consider snuggling up with a furry friend.
Lower blood pressure
In addition to reducing stress levels, spending time with a purring cat can also help to lower your blood pressure. One study found that people who had hypertension (high blood pressure) experienced a significant drop in blood pressure after just 30 minutes of petting a cat. So if you're looking for a way to keep your blood pressure in check, spending time with your fur baby is a great option!
Boosts the Immune System
Purring has also been shown to boost the immune system. One study found that people who had been infected with the common cold were less likely to develop a severe case if they spent time around a purring cat. Additionally, another study found that people who underwent surgery healed faster and had less pain if they spent time around a purring cat afterwards. So if you're looking to boost your immune system, a cat may be just what the doctor ordered!
So there you have it! The next time your cat starts purring away, you'll know exactly what's going on and why they're doing it. Purring is more than just a cute noise that cats make; it's actually a fantastic ability that helps them heal their bodies and reduce stress levels. And it turns out spending time around a purring cat can have benefits for humans, too! So if you ever needed another reason to love your furry feline friend, now you have one!
© 2022 Melinda Huber