Why Does My Cat Purr So Much?
I love cats, and I love the sound of them purring! I think as humans we are fascinated by the things animals do that we cannot. There is nothing greater than getting home from a long day's work, picking up a fuzzy fur baby, and being happily greeted with a long, unending purr.
Pets and the companionship they offer are naturally therapeutic. There are different kinds of defined love and having an animal is a very unique love. Any animal lover knows exactly what I'm talking about! Animals bring unconditional love and comfort into our lives.
My current feline companion will purr all the time, nonstop, which makes me very happy and relaxed. You can look at him from 3 ft., and he will get his motor going. He purrs when he eats, snuggles, plays, and even when he sits on the toilet while I shower. He's just a super happy fellow and wants to let me know it all the time!
What Is That Sound?
What makes the purr interesting is that it is different from other cat vocalizations. A purr is produced during the entire respiratory cycle (inhaling and exhaling). Other vocalizations such as the “meow” are limited to the expiration of the breath, much like a human when we speak.
In a cat, the signal to purr travels from the brain to the muscles in the voice box, and this message tells the muscles there it's time to purr, so they start acting as a valve for air flowing past the voice box. The muscles work both during inhalation and exhalation, which creates the sound and seems to run continuously and endlessly. The air passes through the valve, which opens and closes rapidly to create the purring sound all cat lovers love so much!
Purring is a unique feature in the domestic cat. However, other species in the Felidae family also purr: for example the Bobcat, Cheetah, Eurasian Lynx, Puma, and Wild Cat all purr the way a domestic cat would.
Cats are outnumbering dogs as the number one pet in the U.S., one reason is that cats do a great job of lowering stress and blood pressure than many other pets, and purring may help with that.
Purring is also considered a “natural healing mechanism.” Purring may be linked to the strengthening and repairing of bones, relief of pain, and wound healing for your fine feline. Purring is also auditory stimuli that humans attribute to peace and contentment. We generally construe it as something positive. It gives us a whole relaxation effect when we interact with our cats. Pretty cool for a simple stroke of the fur!
Why Do Cats Purr?
Do you know what's funny? No one really knows for sure why cats purr. There are guesses, assumptions, and some documented reasons.
Cute little kitties learn to purr when they are a couple of days old. Vets say that purring tells ‘Mom’ that “I am healthy," "I'm okay," and “I am here.” It also indicates a bonding mechanism between kitten and mother.
As the kitten grows into adulthood, purring continues. Many suggest a cat purrs from contentment, happiness, and pleasure. But a cat also purrs when it is injured, sick, in pain, or even when near death. Apparently purring is also comforting for a cat during times of illness or near death. In the wild, as a cat nears death, it signals to predators that "I am not a threat". Another cool thing about a purr is that not only can humans hear it, but we can feel it. It's like the kitty has a motor "built-in." Vibrations can be felt when holding or snuggling with your kitty companion.
When does your cat purr?
Owning a Cat Is Great!
Cat ownership is a privilege and a joy. The mysterious purring is just one of the many great features of our furry friends. Keep your cat happy and healthy, and you'll enjoy the feline purring for many, many years.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.