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Why Do Cats Purr?

Purring is the strangest thing. Why do cats do that?

4768 day(s) ago

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Purring is actually still very much a mystery of modern science. Some studies have offered theories, but nothing has been proven conclusively. Scientists are not even in agreement as to how cats purr, let alone as to why. What we do know is that almost every species of cat has a purr response. It is usually triggered during moments of pleasure, happiness, or satisfaction. Social contact and a mother nursing her kittens are the most frequent times for purring. Some cats, however, have been found to purr under moments of stress as well. Veterinarians see this phenomenon frequently. We also know that a signal in the brain is sent to the muscles in the catís throat and diaphragm. Purring occurs while inhaling and exhaling at a sound frequency that ranges from 25 Hz to 150 Hz. Some scientists claim that sounds in this frequency stimulate bone health and healing. Because of this, cats are being studied in providing companionship to astronauts, who face serious concerns of bone and muscle health due to prolonged stays in zero gravity. This theory has gained momentum in recent years and some scientists propose that purring is a reason cats can sleep so much, yet maintain extremely healthy skeletal systems and muscle tone. Indoor dogs that do not get a lot of activity are highly susceptible to osteoporosis and other bone diseases, whereas cats almost never have these problems.

Other theories on purring state that it is a form of communication or self-comfort. Cats may purr when they have no aggressive intentions toward other cats, signaling they are friendly. Another theory states that purring releases endorphins. Endorphins are chemicals in the body suppress pain and increase pleasure.

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