From Pain to contentment, purring can be a way to communicate contentment, hunger, stress. pain, or even to promote healing. But how does it help their humans? Studies have shown owning a cat can combat stress, lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of stroke..Purring is often at a frequency that promotes physical repair.
“Scientists have demonstrated that cats produce the purr through intermittent signaling of the laryngeal and diaphragmatic muscles. Cats purr during both inhalation and exhalation with a consistent pattern and frequency between 25 and 150 Hertz.”Scientific American
How can a cat purring have an effect on humans?
It is very soothing to sit with a cat on your lap and enjoy his unique cat behaviors like purring. Spending time with our pets have been proven to help relieve stress and lower blood pressure in humans. For years we have known owning a cat can reduce the risk of heart attacks or stroke by as much as a 40% Some studies even suggest owning a cat can extend your lifespan.
One of the most fascinating facts about a cat’s purr is the sound frequency. A purr is between 25 and 125 hertz. Studies have shown this frequency promotes bone density and healing for themselves and the around them. Purring vibrations at those frequencies can help humans in their healing process.
“According to William R. Thompson, DPT, PhD, Department of Medicine, University of North Carolina “Animal and human studies suggest that high-frequency, low-magnitude vibration therapy improves bone strength by increasing bone formation and decreasing bone resorption.” Although it a mystery WHY that works and we have a lot more to learn, a cat’s purring is in a range to provide healing.
A cats purring vibrations can :
- Releases endorphins that lower stress
- Lowers blood pressure
- Help heal wounds
- Improving bone density/fight osteoporosis
- Improve breathing issues
- Joint and tendon restoration
Why do cats purr ?
It is a common myth that a cat only purrs when they are happy and want attention. Although cats do seem to exhibit this behavior when they are in a good mood, showing other signs of affection, like rubbing or bumping us with their heads, demonstrating love for you is not the only motivation. In the last 20 years, a lot more in-depth research on the subject, but there is still more to learn. As many cat owners know, we hear that little motor for a variety of reasons.
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A purr is a low vocalization that can be used to communicate. Tiny kittens just a few days old begin to purr. It helps mama cat find her kittens and lets her know that they are content or hungry. When we pet, our cats, quite often they get their motor humming.
Cats also purr when they are stressed, or in pain. Some cats still show kitten-like behaviors and purr when they are hungry to get your attention. My Pizza Cat starts purring in anticipation for his treats, this is perhaps a behavior learned as a kitten. I can hear his anticipation, just like a mama cat would. Often a cat will purr AFTER a stressful event like a dog barking, or when adventuring into new places.
Scientists also now hypothesize that since a cat can spend up to 12-16 hours a day sleeping, the act of purring may be a way to actually engage muscles or tissues. Purring is restorative to their muscles and tendons and conserves their energy. Can cats really give themselves a personal “tune-up” ?
I wonder if a cat’s ability to heal itself so well, is tied to why it is said Cats have nine lives? Compared to dogs, cats get fewer broken bones and fewer heart troubles. Their ability to self heal by purring is quite fascinating.
While the debates, hypothesis, and research continue, I, for one know that it is calming and enjoyable just to take the moment in. If I am having a particularly stressful or anxious day my buddy seems to instinctively know and “snuggles in” and happily purrs away. To know that the cat purring effect on humans actually has healing power is a merely a magical bonus.