Your cat makes a range of magical (and not so magical) sounds and the purr is probably the one you love best.
So, how is a cat Purr even produced?
There is no special structure in the feline body that produces the sound; it’s a cat thing. “Purring involves the rapid movement of the muscles of the larynx (voice box),” according to this study, “combined with movement of the diaphragm. The muscles move at around 20 to 30 times per second.” It’s an assuring, non-stop sound, continuing through the inhale and the exhale.
So, is everything Purrfect?
Not always. While we commonly interpret purring with a happy kitty, that’s not always the case. In fact, cats are known to purr at various stages of calm and distress, including when they give birth and when they are injured.
Want to be a better cat parent? Ask yourself if your fur baby is telling you one of the following.
What a Cat Purr might mean –
“I am sooo happy!” – You guessed it, purrfect bliss. But hang on, could it also mean…
“Pretty please, can you give me…?” – A vocalised purr can be a way of your cat asking you for something, like food. How polite! The “feed me” purr has a “high frequency component, reminiscent of a cry or meow”, that plays a key role in making the cat’s human host feel a sense of urgency (to feed the cat, of course) a study done in 2009 explains.
“Not now, please. Bonding with my babies” – Mother cats are famous for a blissful expression and the rumble of love. In this instance, it’s all about the mommy-kitten connection. Kittens can purr when they’re only a few days old and it is believed that the vibrations help mother cats and kittens communicate at this early stage.
“Just healing myself here” – Pets Web MD points out that the vibrations that purring creates can help to:
- Heal broken bones and open wounds
- Build muscle and repair tendons
- Diminish pain and swelling
- Make breathing easier
What About the Wild Ones?
Individualists to the end, not all wild cats purr. The bobcat, cheetah, Eurasian lynx, puma, and wild cat can, but you won’t hear it from lion, leopard, jaguar, tiger, snow leopard, or clouded leopard.
Make sure your purring prince or princess is covered for any accidents or illnesses. Check out PD Insurance cat insurance plans here.