How Do Cats Purr? What Does Cat Purring Mean

How do cats purr and why do they purr? Is there a more beautiful sound than a cat’s purr? For home cat lovers, definitely not. Cats purr when they feel comfortable, and this positive feeling is passed on to their human companions too. But did you know that cats purr even when they are injured and when they are stressed?

With this article on how do cats purr, you will find out how and why cats emit their typical, constant buzzing sound. The purr of cats is unmistakable and full of mystery even for those who do not share their life with a domestic feline. Sometimes, in fact, it is enough to give a little attention.

How do cats purr

The happiness and well-being of your cat often translate into its “purring”, i.e. the production of a sort of dull whistle linked to the vibration of the diaphragm. Today we will explain to you why the cat purrs and we will explain to you how do cats purr, even if it is still not entirely clear.


How Do Cats Purr?

There are several hypotheses on how do cats purr and how exactly cats make this noise. The most accredited is that the purr is produced by the contraction of the muscles located between the larynx and the diaphragm, at different frequencies, depending on their meaning.

This contraction causes a vibration that produces the characteristic sound. Another hypothesis has it that two membranes located behind the vocal courses would serve as vibrating organs. A third would link the typical purr albeit to the blood circulation, the vena cava would vibrate and this vibration would be amplified through the respiratory cavities bronchi, trachea and nasal sinuses.

how and why do cats purr

Whatever the right hypothesis is, the purr of the cat helps us to understand our domestic tiger, to know when he is in difficulty or not and to establish an intimate and loving relationship with him/her.

Cats Have Very Good Reasons to Purr

Purring has a calming effect not only on people but also on the cat itself. Like almost no other animal, the cat is able to calm down on its own with this sound. Cat moms purr while giving birth to keep pain under control. The still blind and deaf kittens purring as they find their way to the udder and therefore to safety. Dominant cats purr to show a non-dominant, nervous fellow that they can relax, and some terrified feral cats purr when threatened, to regain control of themselves and calm down.

Next to the pleasant purr of well-being, so to speak, there is also the purr to relieve pain, to calm down and to recover self-control. Cats also use purring as a communication tool. Young cats invite each other to play by purring and domestic cats use them to ask for more petting, attention, or food from their humans. There are many reasons why a cat purrs in a given situation:

  • To express well-being
  • To manage stress
  • To reassure themselves and those in front of them
  • As an analgesic
  • As a means of communication with each other and towards people

They Purr as a Tool to Relax and Promote Health

As diverse as the situations in which cats purr may be, the common goal is to achieve and promote relaxation and well-being. Even at a biological level, it is possible to demonstrate that purring does not lack this goal, as the deep and constant sound of this particular buzz releases serotonin into the cat’s body.

cats purring

Serotonin, also known as the “happiness hormone”, is an important neurotransmitter (i.e. a messenger substance) that has a positive influence on various processes in the nervous system, such as emotions, the reward system, states of mood, the state of consciousness and the perception of pain. However, several veterinarians, scientists and behaviour scholars have found that this is not the only positive effect on animal health.

Positive Effects of Purring on Cat Owners

We humans can therefore learn a lot from the self-healing effect of cats’ purr and also benefit from it for ourselves and this applies not only to people with muscle tension or suffering from bone and joint diseases. The relaxing sound of purring releases happiness hormones in our body and has the same calming and relaxing effect on us as it does on our four-legged friends. A purring cat lying on its owner’s lap or on the bed not only gives a feeling of happiness but at the same time lowers blood pressure, reduces symptoms of stress and significantly alleviates any sleep disturbances of its human friend.

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May be with these reasons, you have got an idea on How Do Cats Purr and why they do for all the time. If you have any queries regarding how do cats purr, then simply comment us below. Also for more information on cats, simply visit our CatsBuz website.

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