The cats that purr is a sign of happiness. Generally, a cat that is content or I would say gratified would Pur to let their owners know. A cat that Purs is not just happy but there is a way long thesis that will help you understand it better. Many researchers took the initiative to know the reason behind such a behavior depicted by cats, this helped them understand how cats actually do it.
What is Cat Purr?
Over a decade of research on this topic and a number of theories developed, finally, they concluded that this purring originates from the brain. When there are Continuous rhythms running in the neural oscillator sends these rhythms to the laryngeal muscles which create a set of vibrations in the range of 25 to 150 per second.
This vibration takes place during inhalation and exhalation creating the purring effect. The purring in its own terms could be considered a mild singing by the cat happily which is not just heard but felt.
Cats Aren’t the Only Animal Who Purr
Speaking about the animal kingdom there are many other animals that actually do purr not just cats or the cat family. To name a few hyenas, guinea pigs, raccoons as well as civets, genets, mongooses. From the cat family, the cats that actually cannot purr are lions and tigers but they can surely roar. Finally, the cat family members that can Purr are mountain lions and bobcats but they can hardly roar this is justifiable as they have different vocal cords depending on their external environment.
Benjamin L. Hart, DVM, Ph.D., distinguished professor emeritus at the University of California, Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine states that these cats evolved the roar for good reason — mainly to protect their pride. In another press release, Jules Verne said “I think that cats are spirits incarnated on Earth. A cat, I am sure, could walk on a cloud without falling through it.”
Huge cats normally roar to set up a red alert to their prey and mark their territory in the wild whereas small cats need not do it as they are domesticated, they don’t even need to hunt like the big cats which is why they purr rather than a roar. Finally, Hart states small cats are loners and don’t compete with each other for meals
Why Do Cats Purr?
I am sure by now you must have actually tried to notice your pet cat purr. Why exactly does a cat purr in the first place? Does it only purr when it’s happy and content? Are there any more reasons for cat purr? The answer is Yes. Cats purr when they sense danger too. When they are scared of something, this generally happens when they tend to be prey for bigger animals or maybe a naughty child that beats the cat up.
Kelly Morgan clinical instructor from the Chicago Center for Veterinary medicine of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign College of Veterinary Medicine in Chicago in her research stated that “Although contentment does appear to produce purring, cats also purr when frightened or threatened. One way to think about this is to equate purring with smiling”.
Many cat owners would agree to the fact that cats can be an irritating animal to deal with altogether especially in the morning when they just don’t allow you to sleep by continuously purring. A cat owner and researcher Karen McComb, Ph.D. from the University of Sussex in Brighton, U.K. wanted to understand this behavior of her own cat and therefore conducted a research thesis on the same. There were ten cats who included the respondents of the theses. Some of the conclusions of her work stated that cats often develop a “twist on purring.”
Since cats grasp a lot from their external environment they tend to grasp vocal cords from their environment too. In a statement Hart’s revealed in Addition to their basic 25 Hz purr is an overlay of a high-frequency cry-meow that humans perceive as somewhat obnoxious, “Cats apparently learn to do this to get people to feed them sooner.”
This statement caught the eye of many researchers and hence many more thesis were conducted on the same topic to understand cat purr in depth.
Cats tend to purr more in relatively less noisy environmental conditions in the locality or when nobody’s home. In case you stay in such a location you will end up hearing this more than ever even though you don’t own a cat yourself. Many studies state that cats must have learned this over a period of time wherein whenever cats purr their owners would either give them food or think that their cat is happy and content.
Healing Powers of the Cats Purr?
Cat owners, please note that whenever a cat purr it not always mean it needs food or is really happy and content sometimes it can be vice versa. They may be in utter pain or sick or may have been hurt and are purring in real pain. A cat purrs a lot when it’s giving birth to kittens too. 25 Hz frequency in a cat’s purr could be concluded that they may be under some physical built-up session too.
Hart concluded by stating It’s probably no accident that this frequency is also used in humans to help wounds heal faster
That’s it. I hope now you know why do cats purr. Cat purring is a very pleasant sight to experience. Cats often purr when they are happy and content and want to communicate this with their owners. They also purr when they are hungry. Not only this they also purr when they are sick. We under this article tried to sum up every situation a cat purrs in a sophisticated manner.