All of you who have cats will be used to the sweet, relaxing purring sound they make when they cuddle up to you affectionately.
Purring in cats is a fundamental part of their being, and lovers of this feline well know it. In reality, this beautiful sound, which accompanies and reassures them, is actually more complex and mysterious than it may seem at first glance. Below, we’ll share 4 fun facts about purring in cats.
How does it happen?
There are two hypotheses.
The first hypothesis is based on the fact that cats purr by producing noise with tremors of their laryngeal muscles, which dilate and constrict the glottis at high speed, causing vibrations in the air during inhalation and exhalation.
The second theory claims that the purring originates in the posterior vena cava, specifically at the level of the diaphragm and liver, because in this area the muscles compress the blood flow, causing vibrations that are transmitted and amplified through the air-filled bronchi and trachea to the sinuses in the head.
When does purring start?
Purring in cats is an innate ability that they begin to develop within a few days of birth. It’s the channel of communication they use with their mother, and thanks to this and their smell, the mother is able to nurse and guide them. Kittens purr to express their mood, emitting different frequencies depending on the situation – if they feel well, or frightened, etc.
The meaning of purring
The most popularly associated concept is that it reflects contentment, as cats tend to do so when they feel comfortable and are enjoying the company. Nonetheless, purring isn’t always a sign of feeling content.
If the cat is sick or in pain, purring may help her as it has anti-inflammatory properties.
Benefits of purring
When we get home after a long day at work, sit on the sofa and our cat purrs, it calms us down, pleases us and we immediately feel more relaxed.
Numerous studies claim that listening to the sound of cats purring stimulates neurons producing serotonin (the happiness hormone) and endorphins, resulting in better quality sleep and improved mood.