Why Do Cats Purr?

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Abhishek Anand

The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.

Cats

People think and believe phenomenon like brinicle and aurora borealis as the most astonishing phenomenon ever seen or pronounced in human history. Being a realist/a cat lover, the purring of my cat always remained as THE most amazing thing to me. Whenever I stroke my cat’s head or neck with my hands, it starts producing a periodic sound, continuous in character and with negligible variation with inspiration or expiration, originating and transmitting directly from neck (that’s purring). Here I have got some points about purring which, one may like to read if interested in cats.

1. There is no special organ or bone for this purpose. Rather cats have a neural oscillator in their brain that controls their larynx and diaphragm to produce such voice with a frequency of 20 to 120 Hz.

2 Other animals like guinea pigs and cheetahs also purr. But lions don’t (maybe it’s against their pride and not suitable for their higher rank in hierarchy).

3. In cats different species produce different purring sounds. So it may be related to intraspecific communication.

4. Cats purr during social interactions with other cats (specially their own kittens) and human, to show their affection.

5. I have noticed my cat purring even after a mechanical trauma (like accident). So in cases of stress, pain and anxiety also they do it. Recent researches point towards the cellular healing effect of this 20-120 Hz frequency.

6. Probably this manoeuvre is used by them to produce heat at low ATP expenditure.

In the end just to summarize, cats purr just to show that they are not a threat.

 I love cats, do you?

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1 Comment

Rana Prathap
Interesting, I was not knowing that!

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