Cats are known for their unique and soothing purring sound, which they produce by rapidly contracting and relaxing the muscles in their larynx (voice box). But what causes cats to purr and what purpose does it serve?
There are Several Theories as to Why Cats Purr
One of the most widely accepted theories is that purring is a form of self-soothing and a way for cats to calm themselves in stressful or uncomfortable situations. This theory is supported by the fact that cats often purr when they are injured or in pain, as well as when they are being handled or examined by a veterinarian.
Another theory is that cats purr as a way to communicate with their human companions and other cats. For example, a cat may purr when it wants food or attention, or when it is feeling affectionate towards its owner. Additionally, some experts believe that the frequency of a cat’s purr may be a form of “language” that cats use to communicate with each other.
Purring is also thought to have therapeutic benefits for cats. The vibrations produced by the act of purring may help to promote bone growth, wound healing and reduce pain and swelling. Studies have shown that cats that purr have a lower heart rate and blood pressure, which can help them to relax and reduce stress levels.
Help Humans to Relax
Purring may also have benefits for human. As the sound of a cat’s purr is low frequency and soothing, it can help humans to relax and reduce stress as well. Additionally, the vibrations produced by a cat’s purr can also help to reduce pain and inflammation in humans.
Signaling its Owner
Another theory is that cats purr as a way to signal to their human owners that they are content and happy. Cats are known to be independent animals, and they may not always show their affection in the same way as dogs or other domesticated animals. However, when a cat is feeling content and happy, it may start to purr as a way to signal this to its owner.
In Need of Care or Attention
Some researchers also believe that cats purr as a way to signal to their human owners that they are in need of care or attention. For example, if a cat is feeling sick or injured, it may start to purr as a way to signal to its owner that it needs help. Similarly, if a cat is feeling lonely or stressed, it may start to purr as a way to signal to its owner that it needs more attention or companionship.
The Bottom Line:
Despite all the theories, there is no definitive answer as to why cats purr, but it is believed that it serves multiple purposes. Purring may be a form of self-soothing, communication, and a way to signal to their human companions that they are happy, content, and in need of care. It’s also believed that the vibrations produced by the act of purring may have therapeutic benefits for both cats and humans. In any case, the soothing sound of a purring cat can bring comfort and joy to their human companions.