If dogs lick, then cats purr. All cats – either large or small and both domesticated and wild cats – make that vibrating sound that starts at the back of the throat and spreads through the body. Cats are believed to purr whenever they feel pleasure or contentment, which is often observed when a mother cat is nursing her kittens, or when the cat is fed, petted, or stroked by its owner.

However, animal behaviorists have observed that cats purr when they are sick, injured or dying; when females are giving birth; and when they generally feel afraid or distressed. This purring is believed by experts as a way for cats to communicate that they may need help and will not harm other cats and the humans who would approach them.

Cat Purr Why Does a Cat Purr?

Cats have nine lives

According to veterinary legend, if you put a cat and a sack of broken bones in the same room the bones will heal. This belief is supported by evidence taken from an article by Elizabeth von Muggenthaler and Bill Wright for Brüel and Kjær Magazine.

Most veterinary orthopedic surgeons have observed how relatively easy it is to mend broken cat bones, as compared with dogs. In a study of “High Rise Syndrome” found in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, Doctors Whitney and Mehlhaff documented 132 cases of cats plummeting from high-rise apartments, the average fall being 5.5 storeys, or 55 feet. The record height for survival was 45 storeys. Ninety percent of the 132 cats studied survived even though some had severe injuries.

There is also documented evidence that domestic cats are generally less prone to postoperative complications following elective surgeries. Aside from that, cats do not have near the prevalence of orthopedic disease or ligament and muscle traumas as dogs have, and non-union of fractures in cats is rare.

Cats purr to heal themselves

This scientific evidence clearly shows that cats do not only purr to express pleasure and contentment, but also to heal themselves when they are sick or injured. This purring is strongly linked to the use of vibrational stimulation to relieve pain in 82% of persons suffering from acute and chronic pain, to generate new tissue growth, to augment wound tissue strength, to improve local circulation and oxygenation, to reduce swelling, and to inhibit bacterial growth. This ability to heal themselves may be also the reason why Egyptians believed cats to be incarnations of their gods.

A form of kitty massage

A novel research study done by Fauna Communications and ENDEVCO on five species of cats – cheetah, puma, serval, ocelot and the domestic cat – indicated that self-healing is the survival mechanism behind the purr. The results of the study suggest that low frequencies, at a low intensity, are therapeutic. These frequencies essentially serves as a sort of “kitty massage” that can aid bone growth, fracture healing, pain relief, tendon and muscle strength and repair, joint mobility, the reduction of swelling, and the relief of dyspnea, or breathlessness.

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Categories: Animals

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